Before we get into the food and beverage business, we should delve into the fundamental question: Are you ready to open a restaurant?
You should take your time to think thoroughly if owning a restaurant is right for you or if you prefer the risk-free food truck or stall business. Opening a restaurant may seem glamorous and fun but operating it is tough and it all comes down to hard work and initial sacrifices.
So before you take that huge leap, perhaps you would like to think over these few pointers to see if you’re up for the game:
Sacrifice is needed
Owning a restaurant means you will be working most of (or all) the time, especially at the start of your business.
Be ready to miss special occasions with your loved ones because restaurants are most likely to be at the busiest on weekends and holidays. And we Malaysians, are proud of our extensive public holidays and celebrations, ranging from festivals to protocolled off days.
You need to be prepared to put in those long hours and it’s not just during the operational hours. You will have to be there before opening hours to get everything set up and also after it closes, to get it all cleaned up and re-organised.
Get valuable experience
It doesn’t have to be cooking skills but you should try getting some experience by working in the food and beverage industry whether it’s waiting tables, or helping in the kitchen. You might be wondering why when you can actually hire people to do all those tasks.
Well, in case of any unforeseen circumstances – let’s say your staff calls in sick and you can’t find a replacement, you will have to step into their shoes and perform their duties. It is critical to understand all the various job scopes that are involved in running a restaurant – from tracking the finance, to cooking and serving the customers.
Get yourself familiarised with the industry to see if its for you because while it may be glamourous to be the head chef, washing dishes, waiting tables and dealing with customer complaints is a different game.
Chef or Business Manager?
If you have amazing cooking skills to start with, that’s great. Chefs know a lot about the food that they’re serving. However, while chefs may be experts in food, they might lack knowledge on the business management side. Business management is useful to examine the operation costs and to maximize restaurant’s profits in order for the restaurant to be successful.
You might need to hire a business partner to help you run that side of the business. Or enroll yourself in culinary arts along with business management courses that are available throughout Malaysian culinary art schools such as Le Cordon Bleu and Berjaya University College of Hospitality.
Text by Chris Tan
Image by Getty