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#1 Sun 18 Nov 07 10:12am

Ravedge

Member
Member since Sun 18 Nov 07

Opening a Restaurant Questions

I’m a newbie who is interested in restaurant business. I thinking of opening my own restaurant, and if it is successful I’ll open a few more branches all over the country. Right now I have a few questions which I hope you guys can help.

1) If I own a restaurant which I’m putting other people in charge when I’m not around, how do I make sure that there is no ‘foul play’? How do I prevent some dishonest employees taking the restaurant’s money and putting into their own pocket? For example instead of putting the customer’s payment into the cashier machine, they may put the money into their own pocket?

2) Is there a simple way of keeping track of the money or profit earn everyday? Do we keep track of the amount of food supplies used in order to estimate the amount of profit earn at the end of the day?

Please help. Thanks.

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#2 Sun 18 Nov 07 2:37pm

Hadleigh

Member
Occupation family support practitioner
From suffolk
Member since Wed 17 Oct 07

Re: Opening a Restaurant Questions

Hi Ravedge,
It's great that you are thinking about the restaurant business, we need some more independants out here. clap
Me and my OH have been in the trade for about 40 years between us and have only recently opened our own venture. As a starting point when thinking about setting the place up i invested in a few books which i got from amazon. These would answer your questions below. For the most part we keep track of money buy strick reconciliation at the end of shifts, that can also tie in with the physical orders that went into the kitchen. For the most part deliberate theft is very rare, staff issues tend to surround motivation and maintaining standards.
In the restaurant trade most of work to a gross profit margin of 60- 70%. This is calculated by the kitchen when producing your menu. Breaking everything down by ingredient and as a rough guide mulitply this by 3.5. You will then have to bear in variable and fixed costs on top of this, such as rates, staff costs, etc.(the list is endless exclaim )
The next step was to produce a business plan and getting some business advice. This could be through your own resources, or if you are in the uk business link on the web is fab.
Take it one step at a time get as much advice (and sleep) before you start. Good luck and best wishes
Hadleigh

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#3 Sun 18 Nov 07 4:27pm

Cleary

Member
Occupation Chef
From Beccles
Member since Fri 12 Oct 07

Re: Opening a Restaurant Questions

I think 4x is more realistic when dealing with dry sales! And you will need a business plan! Then you need to no your market there is no point setting up a fine dining resterunt in the middle of a countcil estate. Or doing a style of food that 70% of your market dont want! And as far as trusting staff it's always tricky i mean if you hire a food and beverages manger for eg they no every trick in the book which is great to a point but there is always the chanc they know how to rip you off but in the main alot of them dont but it all depends but as you have no knoledge of working in the industry your a target when it comes to staff! Also if you want to open a resteraunt concentrate on making your first resteraunt a success before having the ambition to have a whole chain!

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#4 Mon 19 Nov 07 5:41am

GeoffP

Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Opening a Restaurant Questions

Sorry to sound a bit negative, but, before you even contemplate opening your own restaurant, go snd get a few years exoerience actually working in one!

There is only one way to make a small fortune in the restaurant business - first you start with a large one.

Many restaurants open each year - and close within 12 months when the owner goes bankrupt sad If you want to have any chance of success, you need to to get some experience - and enough money to survive the first year without expecting any profit (It will take you at least that long to get established).

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#5 Sat 24 Nov 07 5:09am

frillylizard

Member
Occupation head inmate
From Canada, eh?
Member since Sat 20 Oct 07

Re: Opening a Restaurant Questions

well said Geoff - do NOT expect a profit for at least two years, the outlay to open is outrageously high, you have to open be ready and THEN get the food police to okay you, you need investors unless you are really loaded...in that case are you single  wink . Location is so important when opening, as is design, staff training etc.

Research and try to get a job as a manager of the front of the house at first. You will not have much to do with the kitchen but you can get the idea of the business end. If you are an owner/manager you will be basically tied to the place.

Your kitchen manager ensures that all food is plated and presented properly. He is the biggest key to success.

Not to sound like a downer but it is a ruthless market to enter, especially these days when fewer and fewer people 'dine' out (yes lots grab a burger but not many go for traditional service). And be carefully about branching out too fast..it has shut many a place.

Have you thought of another angle: catering? It gets you and your food out there, over head is lower and once established and have a name then you can finding backing to open a place.

Good luck - be great to see some creative and new small places around.

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#6 Sat 24 Nov 07 5:32pm

Hadleigh

Member
Occupation family support practitioner
From suffolk
Member since Wed 17 Oct 07

Re: Opening a Restaurant Questions

All this advice sounds really harsh, but believe me, we are just about to celebrate our first years opening, and to say we are near to closing is an understatement. I used to work in what I thought was a stressful job, but there is NOTHING to compare with the relentless stress of opening every day, worrying if you have broken even and if you have enough money to pay staff, suppliers and the government (they don,t care how hard you are).
But on the upside when you have a busy evening with great customers there is nothing better.
Frillylizard has a great idea in thinking around the idea of catering. Reputation in running a business will go down great with investors or banks. Wish I had thought about that!
Never did anything the sensible way lol
Hadleigh

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#7 Wed 28 Nov 07 6:33am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Opening a Restaurant Questions

If you are interesting in franchising your business then I might be best to talk to a business advisors with experience in this area.

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#8 Thu 29 Nov 07 2:38am

chacha1103

Member
Occupation High School kid
From Ottawa, Canada
Member since Tue 23 Oct 07

Re: Opening a Restaurant Questions

When you get to the hiring point of the process, dont rush it. Your staff represents you, so you dont want slackers!

Cheers,
chase

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#9 Fri 30 Nov 07 3:07am

Matt69

Forum champ
Occupation Future No. 1 Chef in the world !!!
From Melbourne
Member since Fri 14 Apr 06

Re: Opening a Restaurant Questions

well i'd be focusing on trying to get 1 restaurant up and established before i even had the idea in my head to get a chain.

basically your gonna have to keep your eyes on them like a hawk

good luck anyways

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#10 Thu 02 Oct 08 7:46pm

semphermea

Member
Occupation Assistant Food and Beverage Operations Manager
From Glasgow, UK
Member since Thu 02 Oct 08

Re: Opening a Restaurant Questions

I am all for entrepreneurial ambitions but I must be honest and say that it really bugs me when I hear of people who do not work in the hospitality industry and yet want to open a restaurant.  I studied hospitality management at college for 2 years, have numerous professional qualifications and 7 years experience of working within the front of house area of a variety of different sectors.  I am now lucky enough (through sheer hard graft and working my way around each function of the business) to be working within a management capacity within an up-market restaurant specialising in Scottish cuisine.  If people have the ambition to open their own restaurant then they should try working in one first - they should work as a bar tender, waiter, busser, mixologist, supervisor, assistant manager and at least general manager before they even consider setting up their own food and beverage operation.  It is not an easy lifestyle, it is a passion; a passion to provide excellent service and deliver the best product you can... it is not as easy to make money as non-hospitality professionals think!!!  My only advice to any budding restaurateur can be is: if you are passionate about running your own restaurant then please go and gain the skills, knowledge and experience to do so.  It is no good trying to run before you can walk! The hospitality industry is extremely competitive - there are new businesses opening all of the time and only the best, innovative and EXPERIENCED can ride the waves!

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