Success stories abound, but the specter of failure hovers over the launch of any new eatery. Kep Sweeney, a veteran investment analyst for the industry as well as a chef and successful restaurateur, reveals how the most fatal stumbling blocks often occur at the preopening, or deal, phase, when funding, partnerships, and a clear concept are developed and finalized. At this stage, however, many excited, overconfident dreamers want to charge ahead, believing everything will "work itself out."
The New Restaurant Entrepreneur is solely devoted to this first phase of restaurant start-up, revealing the perfect combination of art and business planning that makes a new restaurant sizzle, instead of fizzle. Sweeney offers practical, expert advice to readers whose knowledge of business development may not be quite as far-reaching as their vision, drive, and imagination. Even veteran restaurateurs will find this guide a helpful reminder of where to focus their energies. Readers will learn to:
Ask-and honestly answer-key questions that will successfully develop the concept.
Toss out the notion that cuisine alone can differentiate the restaurant.
Predetermine the evolution of a customers experience, from first-timer to regular.
Form a crackerjack team based on a savvy selection of managers and waitstaff that complements the owners strengths and weaknesses.
Look for financial partners with similar financial and personal goals-and learn to avoid the "tire kickers."
In 14 years working in the industry, Sweeney has seen dozens of mistakes, some made by the largest restaurant chains. Hes also witnessed-and had a hand in-some spectacular successes, including Dylan Prime, Mortons, and Damons.