What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business

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Fieldthistle
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2006/03/30 09:35:01 (permalink)

What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business

Hello All,
Just wondering two or more things...
What is the best thing about owning a food busines?
What is the best experience you've had with a customer,
beyond them saying how great the food and service was?
Who are your best customers? Male, female, couples,
newlyweds, older, younger, rich, poor, etc? And Why?
Have you thought of how you can make your worst customers
become better ones? You may not know it, but you have the
ability to be one of the best social engineers we have.
Take Care
#1

25 Replies Related Threads

    Kinsman
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/30 10:47:33 (permalink)
    Best thing?
    Cleaning out the fryer.
    Heh heh. Or maybe wiping down the hood around the fryer. Seriously.
    Is it that I get to eat all the leftovers? Hmm...well, I guess I don't really mind that too much. Except for fries. They are never good cold. Hm. Lessee.....long hours, low pay? I've had longer hours and lower pay. Wait. Never mind. This is the least pay I've ever worked for, especially considering the amount of experience I have, and the hours are for sure longer than even when I worked construction....so no, it's not that.....how about the people?

    Hey!

    That's it! The people! I get to serve people food...doing what I really love to do. I can work hard to make it my best, and when somebody really really likes it, it's the best they ever had...well...there it is. I guess that's why I do it. When somebody comes back or goes out of their way to come and eat my food, or tells me they wait all week to eat my food....That's the best thing, for me.

    That, and being able to eat the best french fries in the world anytime I want.
    #2
    damon2
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/30 12:22:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Kinsman

    Best thing?
    Cleaning out the fryer.
    Heh heh.

    And it's fryer night tonight....and my night to cook *grumble*

    The best experience, thats kind of a toss up...but I'd have to go with watching one of my regular customers go through her pregnancy...to serving their son's first meal ever at a restuarant..to running into them while voting and having him come over to say hi and giving me a hug, and telling the other people around that I "cook him the best food ever"...or it might of been the customer who went on and on about how our turkey was processed loud enough for everyone to hear, till my partner came into the kitchen grabbed a turkey and slapped it down on their booth to a round of applause from our regular customers....ya gotta love being in business for yourself once in a while
    #3
    nvb
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/30 13:36:06 (permalink)
    Up until this year I would have said not much, but I've reached a point to where I feel like an owner and not an employee. Getting to set my own hours is one of the big advantages right now.

    I serve mostly blue collar males during lunch and if you can get a "pretty good" compliment of them it makes my day. Besides that, it is returning customers and folks that come in because they've heard good things about us. It's really a self-serving business.
    #4
    Phishmonger
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/30 13:53:42 (permalink)
    While not a former restaurant owner, I did own a successful fish market for 10 years. The greatest joy was giving out cooking advice for the great number of varieties I sold, and having the customers come back to say how wonderful it was. As Kinsman said, it's the people! Retired now for 8 years, but still meet many old customers who still ask for advice, and tell me they miss me at the old place. I still go in to the market and paint the signs, and help some with daily prep a few days a week. I guess I'll never really retire. But, it's nice to have the time now for other pursuits. I've rambled enuf. Bye for now,
    Paul
    #5
    koloa
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/30 13:57:14 (permalink)
    i would like to know if some of you are struggling to make money in the food business, who is paying the mortage? and if your business is paying the mortgage but your hourly pay/profit is still low, is it still more than what you could be making working for some corporate company? i mean, bottom line is to provide for the family AND to spend time with them, so wouldnt you want to work your hrs to make the most money possible?
    #6
    nvb
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/30 14:45:03 (permalink)
    kola,

    In my situation I'm already retired and have a decent retirement check coming in, therefore I'm glad to give an employee a few of my hours. It's a trade off for me getting a little more of my own time. And yes, I joke around about it, but I'm making less money than my manager.
    #7
    prisonchef
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/30 15:42:08 (permalink)
    best thing= it's the quickest way to turn a large amount of money into a small one. ok that was a bad joke. i guess the best thing besides being able to cook my food my way is being able to help someone out a little. i have a little old lady customer jean who to be honest i really didn't like at first. she is extremely demanding and the one thing she loves is brisket which without a doubt is the mt. everest of bbq as no two briskets ever cook the same. however after listening to my wife(who i work for) i started asking jean questions. she can give exactly what she likes and doesn't like in the most clear and concise form i have ever seen. she has taste buds that chefs would die for and the ability to communicate those thoughts (all though in a harsh manner but that's what makes her so cool) ok that's jean's downside. her upside is while she is getting her brisket she is talking it up. due to matching her tastes buds we have gone from 4 ounces of beef sales in 4 hours to over 20 cooked pounds in the same time period. we didn't see her for a few weeks and found out she has had eye surgery. 2 weeks back she showed up but didn't buy anything. had my wife find out why by taking her a 1/4 pound sample no charge. turns out she has too much assets for medicare and was hurting and was embarassed to boot. long story short i offered to give her a pound of brisket but she wouldn't hear of that so i came up with the idea of giving her a job. her job is simple she taste tests the brisket and then we set her up with a chair and small camp table near the rig and she eats brisket just like she loves and talks to people and she loves that and my sales go up and i love that. so i guess i turned my worst customer into my best and by so doing i am reaping the rewards of that and jean gets to eat while paying her doctors costs off. and that is the best part of having my own(opps i mean working for wife) food rig.
    jack
    ps. sorry the post was so long but the question came at the right time since i was taking a break from prepping brisket for "the customer from hell" my old name for jean
    pps. glad i re-read the original post as the social engineering thing had me going off before anyone thinks i have gone soft" />
    #8
    prisonchef
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/30 16:04:40 (permalink)
    koloa,
    in answer to your great question. i work 7 days a week. 4 days a week for a great boss in a local bbq joint and 3 days a week for my wife (yep chapter s corp woman owned).
    every penny we make in the rig goes right into the business.
    every penny i make goes into savings from the other job.
    we laid this plan out in our 5 year business plan and so far it is matching our projected numbers.
    the reason we laid the plan out the way we did is because we simply will not be under the burden of loans, but more importantly we wanted to be sure my wife who works in radiology would be happy doing food service. by the way i no longer cook chicken that is her venue and woe to me if i interfear with that. she is great dealing with people so took that job too and she has the uncanny ability to squeeze two nickles and come up with a quarter so thats her job also. mine is food cost control,shopping,menu and cooking of course along with weekly maintance and cleaning of the rig both interior and exterior and generator maintance.
    before you get dreamy eyed on the business remember the old joke of how to turn a large fortune into a small one---buy a restaurant
    hope it helps
    jack
    #9
    damon2
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/31 00:26:26 (permalink)
    koloa, we're making money but my partner works for the scholl system which heps to make ends meet...our plan is 3 more years then retirement, we're able to fund our SIMPLE IRA's to the max, pay our bills and still put away a bit each year...one of the aspects of owning the business is the ability to sell it at the end....as for how many hours..ummmmm....if you count "bookwork" I qualify for overtime pay around wednesday night. If you're looking at going into the business, my advice would be look for one for sale..at least you know what you're getting, the failure rate for start ups is really high..something like 70% in the first three years
    #10
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/31 05:54:03 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    Prisonchef, you are the man. Jean probably has one of the best jobs around. Bless you.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #11
    Kinsman
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/31 13:54:31 (permalink)
    Yeah, Jack....way to go.
    #12
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/31 15:17:06 (permalink)
    I enjoy my customers. It's rewarding to feed people, receive rave reviews, and get compensated, all at once. The "instant gratification" makes my day.

    CSD
    Born in Chicago
    Rasied in Chicago
    Moved to Wisconsin
    Selling Vienna Beef hot dogs & Polish
    #13
    lleechef
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/31 16:35:36 (permalink)
    Lemme see, the long hours, working all nights, holidays, weekends, the excrutiating heat, the cooks that don't show up, equipment that breaks down, etc. etc. Oh joy!

    For me, the pay was phenominal. You can show off your artistic abilities. And the instant gratification is when the wait staff comes in the kitchen with a plate that looks like it was licked clean and says, "They didn't like it!"
    #14
    cyclops
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/03/31 21:05:10 (permalink)
    Best thing about owning a food service business is:

    Youre not working for someone else in the food service business.
    Thats it. Nothing else. Their is not a suckier business to own in this world. At least you can make good money owning your own. There is no future working for some one else in this business. But the hours bite, the help sucks (if your not hiring illegals), and this has got to
    be the only business in the world where customers think they should get something for nothing. Sometimes I just shake my head. But its the only thing I know how to do and I do it pretty well, not great but well enough.
    #15
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/01 08:50:46 (permalink)
    for me, its simple...... what jack said. and, what kinsman said. those hit it on the head...great job!
    jack, i am sending this link to jean...hahahaa
    its like when you are having a bad day, and nothing turns out the way you want, and then the phone rings, and its this old man that just ate you bbq, and your thinking "oh crap what did i do wrong?"
    and he tells you that its the best bbq he has ever had(and you know he has had alot, since he is like 80 yrs old), and that he will be your loyal customer for now on......
    things like that, are the reasons we do what we do!
    #16
    Nemis
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/01 09:37:27 (permalink)
    If i owned a food business I think Id love to learn and taste all the new products out there and travel the nation at all the cool food shows.
    In my second life I want to have my own diner
    I respect the hell out of anyone who decides to go into such an adventure..even if the establishment closes I know someone has put their heart and soul into it ..BRAVO for the food business owners out there!!
    #17
    prisonchef
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/01 21:06:25 (permalink)
    rocker,
    then you wil love this. market sucked--wait no it blowed---no it was a day from hell!!! but peg has ingredients for brunswich stew----except----- brisket!! had the yankee day from hell!!! can you give me a sample??? man i lost it!!! walked outta the rig. so help me i hear one more stinkin new jersey accent!!!!! 18 hours cooking down the drain. and so help me if i hear a fancy dan french chef give me advice i will go rice paddy on him!!! only saving grace is a custom order for 20 pounds of pulled pork,divided into on pound bags and frozen and delievered monday at 8 bucks a pound. pork being used i got from the "late sale bin" at 82 cents per pound. take the 50% shrinkage and cooked cost is 1.64/lb. so there is a god in heaven and we will continue on in the face of adversity
    jack
    by the way reason for no brisket was---ya guessed it--- jean!!!!
    jean however has a melodious connitecut accent lol(heck i can't spell them yankee states)
    #18
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/02 07:50:51 (permalink)
    about a week ago, i found this red pair of shoes(air nike's) in my dumpster at home. apparantly someone had moved out of one of the neighboring apartments, and left them behind, and they got trashed, along with tons of other belongings. but here they were, size 8.5, sitting on top of all this trash,unscathed, just begging...."grab me!"
    so i did, and i took them to work, and i had this one little boy in mind. he always comes in the weekend and buys a 20c pop sickle.
    sure enough, he came yesterday, (always wearing what looked like twice hand me downs, never tied or even strung) and i asked him what size he wears and he said 7. so i asked him if he wanted my red shoes, and of course he tried them on, and they fit! that smile and sheer delight would have illiuminated the darkest street. he left with a new bounce in his step...
    it aint always just the food, that makes poeple happy.
    #19
    Sundancer7
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/02 07:58:19 (permalink)
    That was a very nice gesture Bassrock. Sometimes the most simple thing means a lot to those who have not. You made me smile on this beautiful Sunday morning and I certainly appreciate what you did.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #20
    Phishmonger
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/02 12:13:35 (permalink)
    Thumbs Up, Bassrock! Really a nice thing to do.
    #21
    damon2
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/05 12:50:48 (permalink)
    nice bassrocker....very nice *S*
    #22
    V960
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/05 13:27:20 (permalink)
    To the original question...making people happy w/ my food.

    My leftovers go to the shelter or to my pigs, in that order. Most times the shelter doesn't want food after dinner time therefore we keep a few pigs to use up the leftovers.

    #23
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/06 06:50:23 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    V960, high praise to you for leftovers to the shelter...Uh, how can I become one of your pigs?
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #24
    V960
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/06 10:34:31 (permalink)
    Fieldthistle,
    Our chickens are the ones that really make out (roos anyway) Fifty plus hens and three roos...used to be four roos but one came after me and got me w/ its spurs on my left leg. Chicken broth is his name now.

    About the pigs. We had a party a few years ago and decided it would be fun/interesting to serve the pigs a very strong PJ leftover from the party. So here we are on a bright sunny Sunday morning gettting pigs drunk. We sampled a little, they sampled a little and the wives were not at all pleased.
    #25
    Burgerman1
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    RE: What's the Best Thing about Owning A Food Business 2006/04/12 10:40:14 (permalink)
    That's easy.

    Going home at night knowing that you have done something good,
    sleeping all night with a clear consisious,
    waking in the morning and looking forward to being at work!
    #26
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