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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 09-14-2010, 02:02 PM   #61
chachahut
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My apologies, Ray. No attack was intended & I apologize for the misunderstanding. When I read your posts, it appeared to me you were advising against starting out with a small manageable business with low debt & overhead.

That's what I got when I read the following:

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Originally Posted by drbbq View Post
I don't agree with the "Start small" or the "Grab and go" strategy. You need to do what the customers want, not what you want. IMO people won't take you seriously if you have short hours, no tables, and a limited menu. If I was going to start a business I'd be looking to make a lot of money. You can't do that with a small, carry out only, limited hours joint.
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Originally Posted by drbbq View Post
I think many want to start small because they really don't know anything about running a restaurant. But IMO if you don't know anything about running a restaurant you shouldn't open one.

All I can tell you is I personally left a lot of blood, sweat, and money on the ground one time trying this but nobody wants to believe it.
Of course, how one could not interpret the above to mean essentially one is completely clueless when it comes to the food service business if they choose to start small, keep the menu tight & focus on the low overhead of take out - especially when that person is actually running such a business - is beyond me.

Perhaps instead of a series of negative "NOPE DON'T DO IT" posts you could provide some real tangible constructive advice to the original poster in this thread. Share that 35 years of experience & knowledge to help him avoid the pitfalls. Encourage & help someone to start their own successful business - not smack'em down for trying. Way too often threads like this are dominated by negativity like yours. I say it's high time - especially in this economy - we actually try to HELP folks find some way to make a new business work.

I'll work up a post on the things I did to start my small, carry out only, limited menu, limited hours joint. I challenge the Dr. & any other business owner reading this to come up with some positive advice to help MariettaSmoker.

Any takers?
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Unread 09-14-2010, 02:31 PM   #62
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HERE! HERE! I'd love to read what you did. I'm not up for a career change at the moment. I love doing what I do but I always love learning something new. Can't wait to read your post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chachahut View Post
I'll work up a post on the things I did to start my small, carry out only, limited menu, limited hours joint. I challenge the Dr. & any other business owner reading this to come up with some positive advice to help MariettaSmoker.

Any takers?
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Unread 09-14-2010, 02:32 PM   #63
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Cooper Tire Babes!

Funny... when I bought my GF 4 Cooper tires this year, I did not get the babes like you did!
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Unread 09-14-2010, 02:38 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chachahut View Post

I'll work up a post on the things I did to start my small, carry out only, limited menu, limited hours joint. I challenge the Dr. & any other business owner reading this to come up with some positive advice to help MariettaSmoker.

Any takers?
Hey Cha cha.. I personally am really looking forward to your thread.. when you get the time. As I know time is limited for you. I really admire what you and your wife have accomplished. It is no small feat, on any size of scale. I personally tip my hat to all the small mom and pops for their drive and doing it their way. For good or bad, America is filled and keeps up with the large restaurant chains. If you were near me, I be visiting your place.. when I am too tired to do my own food that is!

Though don't forget.. there is a good deal of positive advice already in the thread too, a good part being yours

I think Marietta Smoker's thread here has been helpful and appreciated my many people. Thanks MS for the original idea to ask this question!!!
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Unread 09-14-2010, 02:46 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chachahut View Post
My apologies, Ray. No attack was intended & I apologize for the misunderstanding. When I read your posts, it appeared to me you were advising against starting out with a small manageable business with low debt & overhead.

That's what I got when I read the following:





Of course, how one could not interpret the above to mean essentially one is completely clueless when it comes to the food service business if they choose to start small, keep the menu tight & focus on the low overhead of take out - especially when that person is actually running such a business - is beyond me.

Perhaps instead of a series of negative "NOPE DON'T DO IT" posts you could provide some real tangible constructive advice to the original poster in this thread. Share that 35 years of experience & knowledge to help him avoid the pitfalls. Encourage & help someone to start their own successful business - not smack'em down for trying. Way too often threads like this are dominated by negativity like yours. I say it's high time - especially in this economy - we actually try to HELP folks find some way to make a new business work.

I'll work up a post on the things I did to start my small, carry out only, limited menu, limited hours joint. I challenge the Dr. & any other business owner reading this to come up with some positive advice to help MariettaSmoker.

Any takers?
My problem is with the quotes around a spun version of what I said.

I don't have time to detail all of this. I'm telling the truth as I know it but once again everybody thinks I did something wrong and it will be different for them. I wish you all lots of luck.

I'll be looking for all the success stories to answer your challenge though.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 03:36 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
Think about this: a good typical net profit for a restaurant is 10%, NOT including any compensation to the owner. Do the math and you'll get an idea how many meals you'll have to serve to make the income you need to live on. And of course figure on working 12 hours a day, every day.
Yes backing into the sales you need to do is a smart way of thinking about it.

The restaurant I opened about 15 years ago is still running because the financial structure combined with a conservative estimate on the number of nightly covers was enough to cover the nut and drop a reasonable amount of money to the owner/operator. I said no to 4 or 5 scenarios before going with one.

I'm looking at some other restaurant ideas right now. I like to start with the P&L Proforma where I simply chart out low, medium, peak number of covers and check average the restaurant could reasonably support. Extend and calculate to estimate yearly sales. Apply 10% Net Income.... long look in the mirror:

1. Can I hit those cover/check average numbers?
2. Will the net income cover my financial needs and my debt service?

Strong Yes's and move onto to Cash Flow analysis.

If you are not great with numbers hire a financial consultant to develop a plan. You can operate perfectly but if you have a financial boulder on your back you will fail.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 03:47 PM   #67
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One thing that I ensure to tell my clients is "cash is king". I don't care what a P&L looks like if that balance sheet is filled with debt that has to be serviced every month with large amounts of cash then they need to cut cost, slow down spending and get more aggressive at collecting receivables. I know receivables aren't a big part of the restaurant business but cash flow is.

Most people that venture into opening their own businesses aren't "financial" minded people. They have no clue how to read a set of financials. Yet these same people don't think it is important to spend the money for a financial advisor and never figure out before it's too late as to "where did all the money go?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by ique View Post
Yes backing into the sales you need to do is a smart way of thinking about it.

The restaurant I opened about 15 years ago is still running because the financial structure combined with a conservative estimate on the number of nightly covers was enough to cover the nut and drop a reasonable amount of money to the owner/operator. I said no to 4 or 5 scenarios before going with one.

I'm looking at some other restaurant ideas right now. I like to start with the P&L Proforma where I simply chart out low, medium, peak number of covers and check average the restaurant could reasonably support. Extend and calculate to estimate yearly sales. Apply 10% Net Income.... long look in the mirror:

1. Can I hit those cover/check average numbers?
2. Will the net income cover my financial needs and my debt service?

Strong Yes's and move onto to Cash Flow analysis.

If you are not great with numbers hire a financial consultant to develop a plan. You can operate perfectly but if you have a financial boulder on your back you will fail.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 03:48 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbbq View Post
I don't have time to detail all of this. I'm telling the truth as I know it but once again everybody thinks I did something wrong and it will be different for them. I wish you all lots of luck.
No time to detail what went wrong & perhaps teach someone what to avoid, but plenty of time to sling a bit of negativity & dump on people's dreams, eh? Nice - very nice.

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Originally Posted by drbbq View Post
I'll be looking for all the success stories to answer your challenge though.
Dripping sarcasm duly noted & typical of the tone you've displayed throughout this thread.

Personally I'M hoping to hear from folks with the time to detail why they believe their business failed. One learns much more from failure than from success. Perhaps the "truth as you know it" might help me or anyone else reading this thread from hitting the same issues you did.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 03:55 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamabuzzard View Post
One thing that I ensure to tell my clients is "cash is king". I don't care what a P&L looks like if that balance sheet is filled with debt that has to be serviced every month with large amounts of cash then they need to cut cost, slow down spending and get more aggressive at collecting receivables. I know receivables aren't a big part of the restaurant business but cash flow is.

Most people that venture into opening their own businesses aren't "financial" minded people. They have no clue how to read a set of financials. Yet these same people don't think it is important to spend the money for a financial advisor and never figure out before it's too late as to "where did all the money go?"
1. The P&L is valuable as a gauge on what the monthly numbers would look like and whether I can cover that balance sheet filled with debt (and the 100 grand I want to pay myself ). As I said the important next step is CASH FLOW

2. I was suggesting to spend money on a financial advisor BEFORE doing a deal, not after.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 04:13 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by chachahut View Post
No time to detail what went wrong & perhaps teach someone what to avoid, but plenty of time to sling a bit of negativity & dump on people's dreams, eh? Nice - very nice.

Dripping sarcasm duly noted & typical of the tone you've displayed throughout this thread.
Dude slow down a bit perhaps he has no time for detail 'at this point in time'. Don't read so much into things straight away. No one is here to hurt anyone... this place doesn't and never will work like that.

A fair number of things can go away from the original plan in this sort of business and I as one can tell you if I were to sit and run through them all you would either get very board or the forum would time out on me.lol

I am working with very little money, bad weather as normal, bad economy, home made cookers, a busted gazebo,people that think carbonized sausage is BBQ, borrowed tables, and people that smile and lie to your face and those are only a 1/4 of the top crust just wait till I get to the filling. lol
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Unread 09-14-2010, 04:22 PM   #71
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I'm not disagreeing with anything you're saying I was giving examples that I see with many of the clients I deal with. They don't understand that gauging cash flow is most important with deciding on whether or not you're going to take out a loan to buy something. I do contract accounting for several small businesses so I'm not there on a day to day basis when they decide to make financia decisions. So I try to educate them as much as I can when it comes time for me to visit them so during the interim they don't go do something that could be fatal to their business.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ique View Post
1. The P&L is valuable as a gauge on what the monthly numbers would look like and whether I can cover that balance sheet filled with debt (and the 100 grand I want to pay myself ). As I said the important next step is CASH FLOW

2. I was suggesting to spend money on a financial advisor BEFORE doing a deal, not after.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 04:26 PM   #72
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I think the issue is the obvious sarcastic, condescending tone the good doctor has been using. It doesn't come across as someone wanting to help but rather to tear down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_KY View Post
Dude slow down a bit perhaps he has no time for detail 'at this point in time'. Don't read so much into things straight away. No one is here to hurt anyone... this place doesn't and never will work like that.

A fair number of things can go away from the original plan in this sort of business and I as one can tell you if I were to sit and run through them all you would either get very board or the forum would time out on me.lol

I am working with very little money, bad weather as normal, bad economy, home made cookers, a busted gazebo,people that think carbonized sausage is BBQ, borrowed tables, and people that smile and lie to your face and those are only a 1/4 of the top crust just wait till I get to the filling. lol
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Unread 09-14-2010, 04:28 PM   #73
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Mods - Little help here...
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Unread 09-14-2010, 04:37 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chachahut View Post
No time to detail what went wrong & perhaps teach someone what to avoid, but plenty of time to sling a bit of negativity & dump on people's dreams, eh? Nice - very nice.



Dripping sarcasm duly noted & typical of the tone you've displayed throughout this thread.

Personally I'M hoping to hear from folks with the time to detail why they believe their business failed. One learns much more from failure than from success. Perhaps the "truth as you know it" might help me or anyone else reading this thread from hitting the same issues you did.
I'm trying to let it go man. You should try too.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 04:40 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamabuzzard View Post
I think the issue is the obvious sarcastic, condescending tone the good doctor has been using. It doesn't come across as someone wanting to help but rather to tear down.
I've never been much for looking through rose color glasses.
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