Raine - GOOD LUCK!
It's tough, but it's also fun as long as you keep the attitude, you'll have memories from this for the rest of your life. We've had restaurants, bars, steak joints, seafod houses, breakfast nooks, etc, for the past 30 plus years. The best advice I can give to you is to make sure that you always have an escape route. Ask yourself questions???? If this does not work, then how do I get out of it without taking a beating? Here's what I know, for what it's worth:
THE LESS EMPLOYEES THE BETTER.
SPECIALIZE IN SOMETHING THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS IN THE AREA.
AN OLDIE BUT A GOODIE! - "KEEP IT SIMPLE"!
TRUST IN YOURSELF AND YOUR IDEAS.
HOT FOOD HOT & COLD FOOD COLD - NO EXCEPTIONS.
ABSOLUTE CLEANLINESS, FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM, ESPECIALLY THE BATHROOMS, THESE REFLECT ON THE ENTIRE OPERATION AND AT MOST TIMES IT IS THE FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR PLACE.
THE FOOD IS IMPORTANT, BUT SO IS PERSONALLITY, NOT ONLY THE PLACE BUT ALSO YOURSELF - BE BIGGER THAN LIFE! A GREAT BIG HEELO AND AN EVEN BIGGER GOOD-BYE! INVITE EACH CUSTOMER BACK. LEARN THEIR NAMES AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS NAMES, AND WHEN THEY COME BACK, GREET THEM WHEN THEY WALK IN THE DOOR BY THEIR NAME.
Raine, just a few things to tnink about, I've just catered a party for 180 and I am beat, but if your interested in more info, I'll get back to you, I'll,probabaly evn stop by to see you this summer. KEEP THE FAITH & GOODLUCK - CHEF JOE!