4 Myths that kill the ‘Restaurant dream’ & how to avoid them

Written by: Gabrielle F. Mather, Founder & CEO of Restaurant Secrets Inc

Restaurant dream

It's incredible how a person who may not otherwise dare risk venturing into business, might harbor this desire, “… I would love to have my own restaurant or café someday...”

I am one of the biggest believers in dreaming big, aiming high & bringing purpose to my passion. I can testify to the power of thinking dreams into reality through faith, self-discipline & determination. But if you are going to attempt turning stumbling blocks into steppingstones, first let’s understand the importance of demystifying emotional notions!

I’ve realized over the past two decades of my life spent in F&B that the main reason why people think it’s easy to run a restaurant is that they truly believe the food business is all about just cooking good food and selling it. Food evokes such emotions and passion in us that many dreamful entrepreneurs believe these 4 myths:

  1. It’s easy to run a restaurant.
  2. Good food is the only reason a restaurant succeeds.
  3. A good location guarantees success.
  4. Instagramable interiors & images will make my restaurant successful.

Here are some ‘Secrets’ of this business that I have learned the hard way, through operating my own restaurants, educating myself through trials & failures & mostly through consulting on over 300 projects in the last decade, having faith in trials, understanding leadership is about serving others & consistently working harder & smarter when the going gets tougher.

  • PROFITABLE Restaurant Business is not just about food.
  • The Restaurant Business is one of the most profitable businesses but also one of the most COMPETITIVE businesses you could venture into.
  • SMART Restaurant Businesses use Systems & Manuals that operate, are detailed & focused on getting the best out of people & products.
  • The Checklists and PROCEDURES needed to stay operationally viable and thus profitable and successful in this business run into hundreds of documents.
  • The COST CONTROLS needed in this business are intricate and crucial to not just make money but more importantly not lose earnings.
  • If you don’t provide Systems and Procedures to passionate willing PEOPLE to run your restaurant, you could land up becoming a slave to your own business.
  • Without the right SYSTEMS guiding your Service, Operations, Sales & Marketing direction, you will be working hard to pay the Landlord, Suppliers, and Staff while you remain unpaid.
  • Your brand of LEADERSHIP & passion to steward your dream through inevitable failures, heartbreaks & let-downs as a LEADER will determine if you take a great concept to a successful business level or let it die like a dream.

And even after you do it all right - great location, product, marketing, systems, etc you could still be looking for buyers for a failing restaurant rather than customers to walk into your store if you ignore the importance of PEOPLE FOCUSED COMPANY CULTURE.

It may not be Rocket Science to run a restaurant successfully but it’s also not just about 'cooking food and selling it’.