2 answers

What is the best way to prepare for starting your own restaurant?

Updated West Boylston, Massachusetts

2 answers

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

There are two suggestions that I can make that will help:

  • Step 1: Work in a restaurant to learn what it is all about. Many people have become successful restaurant owners by first working with someone in a successful restaurant, becoming the best employee possible, and ending with possible results: not only will you gain much valued experience but,
  • some have become partners (part owners) because the owner valued their skills and experience and
  • some have had the business turned over to them when the owner decided to open an additional unit or decided that it was time to retire and turn the business over to a valued person.
  • Step 2: Contact SCORE ( the Service Corp of Retired Executives), a free service of the Small Business Administration offering free consultation and workshops by retired people who have been in related businesses through which you can learn the necessary steps to establish and grow a successful business. You can find them on the internet. They have offices in many cities across the US.

Fraser’s Answer


Hi Rebecca, I've never started a restaurant before, but I have started a business so I can offer some generalized input here.

I think it's important to be familiar with the industry you want to start a business within. So, gaining experience at a restaurant would be a great place to start. Because your goal is to start your own restaurant, you are in a wonderful position where gaining experience in EVERY role is important. It will be important to understand the diverse jobs at a restaurant - dishwashing, wait staff, line cook, etc. Which is to say, even if you feel like some of these jobs aren't rewarding, remember that you are doing it for the experience you gain toward your long term goal of opening your own restaurant.

I also suggest gaining some general business knowledge. Marketing, sales, financial management, etc. These skills will be just as important to the specifics of a restaurant.

I recently read Anthony Bourdain's book about the restaurant industry, Kitchen Confidential. It opened my eyes to the restaurant industry. I also found it incredibly inspiring. Perhaps that's a great place to start!