How can a young entrepreneur be successful in the restaurant industry at a young age?
My whole life I have always loved food. Not only eating but cooking as well. I think of food and cooking a necessity to life but also a way to bring people closer together. The restaurant business is a very risky and statistically a very high failing business. I still have aspirations to be in the business but what are ways, tips, and mentoring I should know to be successful? #businessminded #entrepreneurship #cooking-and-baking
Hi! I love food too so I can relate to your feelings. I think to be successful in any business, there are some basic requirements: (1) capital - money money money! (2) discipline - being in the restaurant/ hospitality industry, you will be working the most when the rest of the world is not e.g. long weeks, holidays, etc. (3) motivation - you have to be highly motivated and driven to achieve your goals (4) endurance - Based on my understanding of businesses, there may be periods where you don't make money and other times when you do. You have to be strong enough (financially) to endure the cycles.
I'd highly recommend (1) talking to several business owners (even those who do not own restaurants) to understand what made them successful or did not and (2) get experience working in restaurants to help you understand how they function.
1. Be pragmatic about your timeline. You acknowledged that it is risky and statistically hard to stay sustainable for a long time in the restaurant business so know that it takes time not only to develop the concept of what your restaurant is but to get the correct location, permits, and marketing to get it off the ground
2. Make sure the product quality doesn't get lost in the glamour of being a restaurant owner. Do lots of taste testing with family, friends, and strangers before launch. Food bloggers and reviewers will immediately hawk the premises as soon as it opens and it always helps to have your feedback before it reaches them.
3. Make sure you know your community well. Finding nearby venues, organizations, and themes in the community can help you succeed with partnerships, contests, and fun ways to market your organization. Don't just make it a place to serve food, make it a community staple.
If you are ever in Washington DC, check out Rasa Grill. If they are able to, I'm sure the owners would love to share their experiences with you!
My nephew opened a very successful restaurant last year, after years of working in (and managing) restaurants owned by others, so he learned the "ins and outs" of the business and had a good footing. He also went in with a partner (50-50 I believe), so they split the "on site" time.
With their experience, they have a good handle on the financial, culinary, service and promotional issues they would face, opening a new restaurant in Frederick, Maryland, where there is a lot of competition.
I'd recommend you get a lot of experience before you attempt to "take the plunge".