All Blog Entries

  1. Front of the House: Taj Mahal Syndrome

    First time restaurant entrepreneurs are often mistakenly under the impression that making the front of the house look like the Taj Mahal will somehow bring more customers and result in higher revenue. That may be the case in a billion dollar Las Vegas casino, but not so in an independent restaurant venture. It is a classic example of “pride goes before the fall”. Yes, your family and friends will be impressed, but it is not your family and friends who will fill the seats every day, providing ...
    Categories
    small business
  2. Restaurants: The power of the plate

    It was several decades ago that Chef Alice Waters introduced the concept of using natural, locally grown ingredients in all of her menu items in one single restaurant in California, a restaurant known as Chez Panisse. From one Chef with an idea and a passion for fresh ingredients came a whole new cuisine, California cuisine, still popular today for it’s abundance of fresh, locally caught or grown, and simply prepared ingredients. Fast forward to 2000 and there is Chef Jamie Oliver who has made ...
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    small business
  3. How Much Capital Do I Need?

    Reason #1 for failure of a restaurant is undercapitalization. That can mean anything from not having enough funds to complete the start up phase required to open, to insufficient reserve to provide funds for operating costs until profitable. As a culinary instructor in a prestigious Charleston college, I was always taken back when my culinary students answered the question, how are you going to fund your restaurant, with the response, “my parents are going to help me”. What? How much is the rent? ...
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    small business
  4. Why Do Restaurants Fail?

    There is a long standing belief that restaurants fail at the rate of 90% in the first year of operation. That myth was promulgated by a “rock star” chef entertainer in the 1990s and spread like an e-virus around the country. The truth according to academic studies performed at Cornell University, the University of Tennessee and UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management is that the failure rate for an independent restaurant is 27% in the first year of operation, 19% in the second year and 14% in ...
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    small business
  5. Restaurant Lingo: For Beginners

    Restaurants tend to develop a language of their own and the longer you spend in the business, the more it begins to sound like your native tongue. I routinely catch myself uttering “coming behind” when I’m passing slow old ladies at Wal-Mart, rather than politely saying “excuse me.”


    Here are some samples of Restaurant-ese:


    Murdered- This refers to food that has been ruined, usually by overcooking.


    Radar Love- Putting food in the microwave. ...
    Categories
    Small Business
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