Well, I've been pretty busy with varying aspects of getting my restaurant ready...there are so many things to do. I mean, I know the restaurant industry pretty good and I know how to run a restaurant - a 'profitable' restaurant...but still, there are so many things to consider.
First, you've got to be crazy enough to come up with the idea to start up a restaurant...most people I know would agree that I'm a bit crazy so I've got that one covered. Then you've got to really think about what kind of restaurant you want to have, and then once you've decided that, you think about it again and again and again. Hmmm, seems to be a pattern here about "again and again and again" - you'll see as this goes on.
Once you decide on the kind of restaurant you want (and after thinking about it again and again and again), what's the menu like, what's the layout like, full-service?, quick-service?, what kind of atmosphere do you want to present...things like that you think about...again and again and again. Then what about the menu...again and again and again. I went through all of that, but for me, I knew right away that I wanted to do a 'Diner' style restaurant, Breakfast/Lunch only. I am a short-order cook. Now, I have nothing against Chefs and the more accomplished gourmet type cooks - I know several and they are good friends. For me, I'm just a plain and simple kind of guy - just give me a desert without all the chocolate drizzle or dusting of...whatever it is that they use. I'm serving down-home comfort food, and lot's of it!
Anyway, at some point, you've got to think about the location, your market, your design...again (because of location and market), the type of building you want, and then what are you going to have to do to get the building ready (the build-out). At the same time, you're back to the menu and layout...again, as you start thinking about what your kitchen is going to look like...what equipment are you going to need, what smallwares you need, what kind of dishes, flatware, glasses, and such...and then you're back to design, layout, and menu...again and again and again.
Right now, I'm looking...again and again and again, at equipment. More so, 'where' am I going to get my equipment from. Since I already know what equipment I need, I'm now trying to decide where to get it from. The internet is a huge help, and a huge pain at the same time. If I wanted to, I could spend the next few weeks doing research on where to get what equipment - there is that much information out there - which is a good thing. However, at some point, you've got to say this is it...and I think I'm at that point...which is a good thing.
There are many many steps in getting a restaurant going - I've only named just a few. Ahead of me? - well, I've got to finalize my menu, figure out my pricing, get my liability insurance, setup my bank account (for business), do this, do that, and then do more of this and that.
Another huge step is financing...something I am working hard on getting. I'll post something later specifically on this topic.
All in all, I can say that this has been an exciting experience for me. There is more to it than what I had even thought, but I can see the end of the tunnel, and the end involves turning on an OPEN sign and unlocking my doors!!! Filling the air with smells of fresh baked bread and fresh ground coffee, hearing the sizzle of eggs and bacon on the grill, but mostly, seeing the smiles and satisfied looks on the faces of all those that come to eat at...Nellie's Diner!