Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch?

Author
ricoboxing
Junior Burger
  • Total Posts : 33
  • Joined: 2011/05/20 11:42:00
  • Location: Oshawa, ON, XX
  • Status: offline
2011/12/15 10:51:35 (permalink)

Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch?

Hi first post here. A couple of summers ago, I decided to start up a mobile food vending business selling our Hawaiian BBQ Skewers and marinade. I built a portable Tiki Hut, and we would go to different street festivals in the summer and sell our BBQ skewers and m. We even catered a few parties from the interest we got at these festivals.  I always said that I never wanted to get into the restaurant business, but the more I do these festival, I think the more I want to get into the business. I don't know why, but even though I'm dead tired after standing in front of a 400° grill all day, there is something very satisfying about seeing people come and enjoy the food that I made from scratch.
 
Now this is the only experience I've had in the food service industry, so my plan is to do this for a couple more years while I put my business plan together, get funding and look into purchasing a quick service restaurant and starting up my own Hawaiian BBQ place. Maybe in a food court, or somewhere that has a lot of foot traffic.
 
So to all the other restaurant owners here, how did you get started? Were you born into the business, by an existing business, or did you start from scratch?
 
Oh and feel free to convince me to NOT start up a QSR!
post edited by ricoboxing - 2011/12/15 10:54:26
#1

16 Replies Related Threads

    Foodbme
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10259
    • Joined: 2006/09/01 14:56:00
    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/15 15:01:31 (permalink)
    I don't know what the regulations are where you live and want to operate but the type of food you're preparing and the reputation you're starting to build would lend itself to a concession trailer or a Food Truck. It's a more cost effective way to get into the business and less restrictive than a permanent location.
    You asked, "How did you get started?". You already have started and it sounds like you've been bitten by the bug!
    Most people I know got started in the business working for and learning from others in the business. Even those that took over a family business started working in the business learning the ropes. The highest rate of failure is with people who get in it without any previous food business experience.
    It appears that you're going about it the right way. Learning as you go and progressing to the next level. Keep going!
    post edited by Foodbme - 2011/12/15 15:03:59
    #2
    lleechef
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6822
    • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/15 16:33:52 (permalink)
    I opened three restaurants from scratch, that is to say as the executive chef, in charge of all of the kitchen operations.  All were very sucessful.  It's very hard work so be prepared to have no time off, work all weekends, all holidays and the cooks will drive you crazy.  You will work 100+ hours a week.  Buy locally when possible.  My last restaurant was 1 mile from a large farm which was awesome.  Good luck ricoboxing!  Let us Roadfooders know how you make out!
    #3
    pnwchef
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2397
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/15 19:15:44 (permalink)
     I don't know why, but even though I'm dead tired after standing in front of
     a 400° grill all day, there is something very satisfying about seeing people come and enjoy the food that I made from scratch.
     
    This what it's all about, Satisfaction, sense of accomplishment, pride, passion and the feeling of self-fulfilment. Keep doing what your doing, there is a big difference in being a street vendor and owning your own restaurant. You have  a great looking street vending operation, keep it fun, learn different menu items and sauces. The menu will have to be bigger in a Restaurant operation. ...........Welcome to Roadfood, the best of luck in the New Year......................Aloha..........pnwc
     
    #4
    ricoboxing
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 33
    • Joined: 2011/05/20 11:42:00
    • Location: Oshawa, ON, XX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/15 21:31:04 (permalink)
    PNWCHEF

     I don't know why, but even though I'm dead tired after standing in front of
    a 400° grill all day, there is something very satisfying about seeing people come and enjoy the food that I made from scratch.

    This what it's all about, Satisfaction, sense of accomplishment, pride, passion and the feeling of self-fulfilment. Keep doing what your doing, there is a big difference in being a street vendor and owning your own restaurant. You have  a great looking street vending operation, keep it fun, learn different menu items and sauces. The menu will have to be bigger in a Restaurant operation. ...........Welcome to Roadfood, the best of luck in the New Year......................Aloha..........pnwc


    Yeah I know, I already have an idea of what our menu will entail. It will be relatively simple with 5 or 6 different types of plate lunches. Our signature item though will be the Hawaiian BBQ Skewer. I enjoy being a street vendor, but it's not something I can see myself making a good living doing. Living in Canada, there are so many variables that are out of my control (weather). I'm sure the restaurant biz will be the same way, that's why I don't want to jump into it until I can get more experience in the food service business.
     
    Foodbme

    I don't know what the regulations are where you live and want to operate but the type of food you're preparing and the reputation you're starting to build would lend itself to a concession trailer or a Food Truck. It's a more cost effective way to get into the business and less restrictive than a permanent location.
    You asked, "How did you get started?". You already have started and it sounds like you've been bitten by the bug!
    Most people I know got started in the business working for and learning from others in the business. Even those that took over a family business started working in the business learning the ropes. The highest rate of failure is with people who get in it without any previous food business experience.
    It appears that you're going about it the right way. Learning as you go and progressing to the next level. Keep going!

    At first I considered getting some sort of food truck or concession stand, but currently in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) there is a lot red tape concerning mobile food vendors. Another thing is the weather. From Nov-April we can get some pretty cold and crappy days.

    lleechef

    I opened three restaurants from scratch, that is to say as the executive chef, in charge of all of the kitchen operations.  All were very sucessful.  It's very hard work so be prepared to have no time off, work all weekends, all holidays and the cooks will drive you crazy.  You will work 100+ hours a week.  Buy locally when possible.  My last restaurant was 1 mile from a large farm which was awesome.  Good luck ricoboxing!  Let us Roadfooders know how you make out!

    Yup I know when I start up it's gonna be crazy, but at my age (33) I think in the next couple years will be the right time. Don't wanna look back 10 years from now wishing I had at least tried it. Me and my wife also have 2 kids to feed (5 & 3) so if I ever do it, it's gonna take alot out of family time as well.
     
    #5
    Foodbme
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10259
    • Joined: 2006/09/01 14:56:00
    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/15 21:39:15 (permalink)
    At first I considered getting some sort of food truck or concession stand, but currently in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) there is a lot red tape concerning mobile food vendors. Another thing is the weather. From Nov-April we can get some pretty cold and crappy days.
    Look at it as the Glass being half full. If it's difficult to go thru the Red Tape, those potential competitors will fall by the wayside and you'll be one of the few who perservere! If you have the determination to get thru the red tape you'll be in a unique position.
    Looking at what you're doing, the warmer months should be able to provide you with enough income to take the cold months off to spend with your growing family. Think positive!
    #6
    ricoboxing
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 33
    • Joined: 2011/05/20 11:42:00
    • Location: Oshawa, ON, XX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/16 08:11:36 (permalink)
    Actually there is a large flea market around here that has a half decent food court. That's what I really want to do next, so that I can still keep my day job, and work the market on the weekends. Getting a spot there though is a different story. The restaurant owners there have been there since the market opened 8 years ago. I guess I'll just have to wait till one of them gives up their lease.
    #7
    lleechef
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6822
    • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/16 10:28:15 (permalink)
    I did not mean to sound negative about the restaurant business.  It's great.  I was in it for nearly 30 years.  But I have come across folks that think it would be so "romantic" to have a restaurant.  It sure as hell ain't "romantic".  Satisfying and rewarding, yes!  But only if you're prepared to work long hours and basically have very little time for yourself.  Again, best of luck to you!
    #8
    ricoboxing
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 33
    • Joined: 2011/05/20 11:42:00
    • Location: Oshawa, ON, XX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/16 11:55:15 (permalink)
    lleechef

    I did not mean to sound negative about the restaurant business.  It's great.  I was in it for nearly 30 years.  But I have come across folks that think it would be so "romantic" to have a restaurant.  It sure as hell ain't "romantic".  Satisfying and rewarding, yes!  But only if you're prepared to work long hours and basically have very little time for yourself.  Again, best of luck to you!

    yeah don't worry, I kinda know what you mean on a smaller scale. Just doing these street festivals takes tons of work behind the scenes (prepping, cleaning, booking events etc.), and a lot of family and friends will see us there and say "wow look at this lineup, you guys are making a killing". Well I didn't buy the sauce and those 1000+ skewers at Costco, I made them. I don't even bother to mention the days when the weather is bad and we lose $$
    #9
    pnwchef
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2397
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/16 12:31:20 (permalink)
    Hi ricoboxing, The public/friends will never know how hard it is to produce good homemade food. A good Restaurant owner/Chef will make things look fun, easy, like anyone can do it. The whole truth is "Not Everyone" is cut out for this business. You really have to have  a passion to give you the drive to want to succeed everyday. I think you have the passion and drive to succeed. Take your time, learn from doing, try different menu items, save your money, start working on the logistics of owning your own business.
      I see you are favoring Hawaiian BBQ, have you spent time in Hawaii ??? I started my Career on Oahu.........You talk about Plate lunches, that's a Hawaiian thing, lots of food, for little bit of money. these are a few of the traditional plate lunch specials I had last year on Oahu. These are a few of my favorites.
     
    Soyu Chicken, always two scoops of rice and Mac salad:

    Teribeef.......


    I think these are the kind of plate lunches you are talking about. I don't think you need a big kitchen and dining area to make your dream a reality..............The best..................pnwc
     
      The last picture came out of a real small kitchen with outside seating. Look at the size of the menu they push out of a small kitchen.

     

    post edited by PNWCHEF - 2011/12/18 10:58:22
    #10
    ricoboxing
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 33
    • Joined: 2011/05/20 11:42:00
    • Location: Oshawa, ON, XX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/18 19:33:38 (permalink)
    yeah when I was in Oahu seeing and eating the plates is what gave me the inspiration to start up a Hawaiian BBQ restaurant in Canada. Lots of the stuff I ate there is food that we eat here at home (wife born in Philippines ). I think that this concept would really well here as toronto is very multicultural
    #11
    FriedTater
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 415
    • Joined: 2008/06/21 20:18:00
    • Location: Badlands of New Mexico
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/18 23:20:41 (permalink)
    ricoboxing
    Well I didn't buy the sauce and those 1000+ skewers at Costco, I made them. I don't even bother to mention the days when the weather is bad and we lose $$

     
    You make your own skewers?

    #12
    ricoboxing
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 33
    • Joined: 2011/05/20 11:42:00
    • Location: Oshawa, ON, XX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/19 07:15:42 (permalink)
    FriedTater
    You make your own skewers?

    yup, the skewers and marinade.
     


    #13
    KurtSara
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 183
    • Joined: 2010/05/06 21:24:00
    • Location: Central MN
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/19 22:35:30 (permalink)
    ricoboxing



    How does the health department let you cook without something over your cooker to keep out bird droppings and other stuff?
    #14
    Dr of BBQ
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3716
    • Joined: 2004/10/11 20:16:00
    • Location: Springfield, IL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/19 22:38:49 (permalink)
    How does the health department let you cook without something over your cooker to keep out bird droppings and other stuff?
     
    You can't see the cover? LOL
    #15
    KurtSara
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 183
    • Joined: 2010/05/06 21:24:00
    • Location: Central MN
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/19 22:46:53 (permalink)
    Dr of BBQ

    How does the health department let you cook without something over your cooker to keep out bird droppings and other stuff?

    You can't see the cover? LOL

    nope, unless I am blind I see nothing over the grill, other than the sky
    the wife and must be to paranoid, we go through allot of gloves when we vend and everything is kept clean, although she is a clean freak
    post edited by KurtSara - 2011/12/19 22:49:04
    #16
    ricoboxing
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 33
    • Joined: 2011/05/20 11:42:00
    • Location: Oshawa, ON, XX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Restaurant Owners - did you purchase or start from scratch? 2011/12/20 07:08:53 (permalink)
    Haven't had any issues with the health departments around here. After the food is cooked, it is transferred to the hot plate. I get inspected at almost every event I do, and their main concern is cold and hot temps. I do bring a portable market umbrella just in case a health inspector gets nit picky (which hasn't happened yet).
     
    I'm more concerned about the fire department making me take my tiki hut down, because they might consider it a fire hazard.
    #17
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1