The word Restaurateur has become a popular word and an alluring concept in minds of the young and aspirational, especially for the ones who want to make a mark for themselves in the world of entrepreneurship. New eateries, cafes, restaurants, food kiosks, food trucks, dark kitchens all are various ways and means to achieve a dream of becoming a restaurateur.
One can witness numerous new eating joints pop-up in any vicinity. Enjoying the delicacies at these new pop-up eateries can be quite a gastronomical experience as new ideas, food and beverage innovation, fusion and sometimes even confusion can be a common occurrence.
However, dazzling, being a restaurateur may sound and feel, it is indeed a tough task to master and the failure rate is exceptionally high in this scheme of things. A close look at ways to be a successful restaurateur would be great learning and truly insightful. Though before we touch upon the behaviors of being pro at this trade, we will be looking at various reasons, generic beliefs and common practices that can add to the feat and prevent one from making errors that are seemingly easy to trip over.
The two-part article challenges some common misconceptions of becoming a food and beverage entrepreneur in the first article. The second one will highlight the skills and the proficiency required to master the game of food and beverage entrepreneurship.
Part One: Fallacies that lead to failures at being an effective restaurateur:
I am a foodie and I love to eat: This is the most shared reason one can hear when talking to a budding restaurateur. Well, it certainly takes much more than just the love for food to be efficacious in the competitive and ever-changing world of gastronomy. One’s love for food can lead to enjoying the epicurean experience though running an eatery is a permanent job with many capabilities needed to be successful.
I like to spend my day at cafes thus, I can open and run an excellent café: Being at an eating joint and enjoying oneself there does not even come close to owning and operating an eatery. One’s own food joint is a place of work and should be treated as such.
My mom’s recipes are out of the world: Recipes of my mom or our veteran home cook are finger-licking good. So once these recipes are served to many via a restaurant model, it would be a lucrative business opportunity and a hands-down accomplishment. Actually, not really! Restaurant recipes need precision and standardization which home-cooking does not always guarantee.
All I need is a good chef and a manager or a cashier to run a food place: A chef who knows how to cook well and a manager who can manage the daily affairs at the diner would take care of it all and the owner will enjoy the profits and fame. An outright myth that should be tackled upfront. Active involvement of the owner is decisive in ensuring success.
Limited or zero knowledge of food & beverage business: The world of food is an exceedingly technical field and requires a load of professional know-how that will help a nascent or an expert restaurateur survive. Therefore, one should ensure a thorough knowledge of F&B Skills and expertise.
F&B profession is a part-time affair, so it will be a cake-walk: This is an absolute full-time job and demands every minute of the time one may have in a day, so it is prudent to be mindful before taking this deep plunge.
The above-listed reasons for failure in food and beverage business are just a few from the long list of disappointments that a budding or even a seasoned and veteran restaurateur may face. F&B business can sometimes be ruthless to even the most experienced lot of connoisseurs.
Hence, to keep the regrets at the minimum and saving one from burning hands at this trade, it is essential to have an in-depth knowledge of the F&B world. In addition, a lot of other technical and professional pointers should be at the forefront of one’s mind while venturing into this very demanding and round-the-clock role of a restaurateur.
We will look at some vital ways and ideas at being a prosperous F&B business owner in Part Two: Ways to be an amazing restaurateur: Coming soon.
(Varun Behl is the Managing Director of KCCO India Pvt. Ltd.)