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  • Looking for the other crazy people who opened a restaurant – general advice for a Chicagoan dipping their toe in the ownership side of things

    updated 4 months, 2 weeks ago 0 Member · 1 Post
  • Charles

    October 12, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    HI GUYS– I have a super active main account but opted to create a new one specifically for my business and consulting others. I created it this morning and immediately started googling some hq overview posts to find more information on crunching numbers when it comes to owning a restaurant. So, thanks for clicking on me. My backstory basically goes that I am 29 year old woman in Chicago with 11 years experience in the industry. And I think like a lot of us do, I never intended on making a career out of it but here I am opening my own place and fucking ecstatic over it. I’ve done it all – been everywhere but behind the line. I’ve done an opening before, fell into a great friendship with the owner of that place and he asked if I was interested in partnering to do my own spot. I said absolutely. We raised money from investors, found a spot, city kept coming out and inspecting, etc etc and reno costs just got way too out of hand. We made the decision to back out and start over – blessing in disguise, truly. So now I’m sitting here crunching numbers for a new spot and I feel overwhelmed. I think I need help on where to even start. I already know which two neighborhoods have the foot traffic and income I want to be around – I also know that because I’d be sole operator 70% of the time, I don’t want to exceed seating beyond 60ish people or so (open to changing that though, of course). It’s an upscale taqueria with a (hopefully) super solid cocktail menu. Investors (awesome people) are involved and we have $200-300k currently sitting in an account for opening to get going. Maybe I’ll just spitball some questions and you all can answer if you guys want, you can give input, you can also tell me if some of them don’t matter to ask: What square footage is appropriate for 60 seats, bar, kitchen, etc.? Our initial building was 4500sf, two floors and was anticipating to seat 90 all day with two bars. I read the suggestion of aiming to do $500psf – how do I adjust this number to fit our situation? Is there an equation or way to go about thinking of this? I know that so, so many things can be bought used or even traded for to get a restaurant going and I’m all for it – but what is a reasonable number to stay around when doing renos and buying equipment to open? I don’t want to bury myself. What mark ups would you recommend as of this year? I visit restaurants in Chicago constantly and make note of their price points – but I want to know initial costs and how they decide where to aim. Great staff that you can trust and are driven is fucking key in running a tight and successful ship – but how do I entice someone to help manage with me if I don’t have a huge amount of money to start and pay them with? Is there a program or website that’s recommended I use to read up on numbers more and learning what percentages and profits mean? I’ve done this a very long time but am newer to the administrative side of things – super eager to learn and I’m not a moron. What’s your opinion on investors vs bank loans? We know a lot of people who wanted to willingly invest so we wrote up a proposal and pretty much all accepted – just have never dealt with a handful of investors before and want to make sure all stay happy (wish me luck). I 100% intend on basically living in the place. I intend on being on that floor pretty much every hour it’s open – it’s going to be my livelihood — my baby if you will. I get that it’s brutal, it definitely mostly sucks but it’s my comfort zone. Any, and I mean any, and all info, advice or reality checks are very welcome. – by hq overview GottaLoveSaturdays – –

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