“I got gas in the tank, I got money in the bank”

“The Man” by The Killers

In short, you need these essentials:

1. Gas In The Tank

Gas in the tank.
Image by Wassim Chouak via Unsplash

The reason you want to open a restaurant is that you possess the experience and energy required to propel an idea to a functional one. For some, the energy will cover for a lack of experience, but don’t depend on it.

2. Money In The Bank

Bank sign
Image by ultramarine 5 via iStock

There are a lot of people with an idea/concept for a restaurant, but “talk is cheap.” It wasn’t until I had some seed money ($50K) that I was taken seriously. Then I scratched, clawed, and begged to get the actual funding needed. Thank god for second mortgages.

Becoming a restaurateur

It doesn’t get any simpler than this. If you have these two resources, then you’re on your way to becoming a restaurateur.

Are you in shape to do this?

The energy to run a restaurant is astonishing, even with good staff. This isn’t a 9 – 5, Monday – Friday business. You’ll probably be open for lunch & dinner and possibly 6 or 7 days a week as your rent doesn’t take any time off. It’s fast-paced and the hours are long and late. 

You’re running a 400-metre dash every day, so you better be in great physical and mental shape.  The exhilaration felt in running your own business and the buzz from the restaurant side will help sustain the energy and counter the day-to-day hiccups and irritations. But don’t let it blind you to the toll it can take on your well-being.

A higher level of experience and skill can enhance your performance, similar to a high-octane gas that can better power a vehicle. This will also appeal to investors that will eventually provide the necessary funds.

Too simple?

Breaking down the business plan to these two basics is simplistic but accurate. It’s a start, and how it plays out comprises a number of factors that may or may not be in your control. Be prepared to be overwhelmed.