How to Know if Owning a Restaurant is Right for You


Owning a restaurant is a dream for many, but it’s not the right job for everyone.

There are many factors of being a successful restaurant owner that might thrill some and deter others. 

Discover whether you have the right personality to be a restaurant owner by considering the traits listed below.
Owning a Restaurant








Do You Like People?

As a restaurant owner, you are constantly meeting, greeting, and chatting up customers.  You also have to communicate between various levels of staff and mediate disputes. When you own a restaurant, you do not have the privilege of sitting in your office all day. If sitting at an office from nine to five is your speed there are many other jobs will make you happier. If you love socializing and making people happy, you will thrive.  As a member of the hospitality industry, your job is to please the customer, so while this is not always an easy job, an affable personality will help smooth over any rough patches.

Do You Thrive on Stress?

Whether you are a host, server, manager, or owner, stress is simply a part of the job.  As the restaurant owner, all of the responsibility ultimately lies on you.  Owning a restaurant is not a predictable endeavor.  It is not unusual to face unforeseen obstacles and difficulties all the time.  Perhaps you will encounter the unexpected cost of an immediate repair in the kitchen, or you will order a batch of what turns out to be bad fish and you will have to nix that day’s special.  This sounds like a nightmare to some, but if you can keep a cool head and you can shine through the stress, then you are well on your way to being successful.

Can you Plan Ahead?

Planning is directly correlated to stress.  Efficient restaurant owners always plan ahead.  They are able to create goals, implement plans, and think on their feet.  The restaurant business can at times be chaotic and unpredictable. As a restaurant owner, you must expect the unexpected.  Every day, you should set a schedule for yourself.  Prioritize a list of what needs to get done, from largest to smallest.  Keep a calendar of important meetings, expected shipments, and any other task that is relevant to your day, week, month, and year.  One of the best ways to plan is to strive toward a goal.  Don’t get caught in the rut of doing the same thing day in and day out.  Instead, create a goal that is attainable for the restaurant if you prioritize your schedule.
restaurant-business

Are You Organized?

Anyone who takes on a leadership position must be organized.  Your job will be stressful as it is, so you should not add more stress when you walk into your office and see piles of papers and a full email inbox.  Instead, it’s critical that you plan your days and keep a file of all important documents.  If you have the funds, you may benefit from hiring a bookkeeper.  A bookkeeper will help log information for you and keep everything organized so you can focus on other responsibilities of the job.  Even though life will toss you curve balls, you still have responsibility to keep the power you do have under your control.

Are You Willing to Sacrifice for the Success of Your Restaurant?

Running a restaurant isn’t cheap, nor does it afford a lot of time off.  Often you are working more than eight hours as your entire schedule revolves around your business.  You will also have to give up most weekends because this will likely be the busiest time of week for your establishment.

Most importantly, you will have to invest a lot of money.  Most restaurants fail within the first few years after opening, so if you want to keep your doors open you will have to invest money where it counts.  Consider, for example, whether you want a liquor license.  In some instances, such as with a beer and wine license in California, you will contend for what is often a pricey license with stiff competition. Prepared to spend upwards of $500,000 for a liquor license? If not, you may need to reconsider your expectations. However, it is up to you to decide whether your investment will yield the results you desire.

If you have these qualities and a passion to drive you forward, this is the business for you.  Consider educating yourself with a bachelor’s of science from MSU in hospitality to prepare you to move forward.




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