24 December 2011

5 tips for the virgin restaurateur

These are things i've come to learn, not necessarily did.

1. Choose your first location with the same attention you would use when you buy your first house*

2. Look after customers like you would welcome guests in your home**

3. Your kitchen and its team is your engine. Dont stick a Ferrari engine into a beat up old shell. And vice versa***

4. Look after your staff like you would if you were an ambitious Indian mother****

5. It is never going to be like you expected it*****

* Take a long hard look at your neighbours. You need to appeal to them as well. Gauge the volume and quality of the footfall at different times of the day, during different seasons. How much work does the site need to bring it up to your requirements?  Dont buy in Chelsea unless you can keep up with the Chelsea set.

** I intentionally said guests not friends. Keep it warm and welcoming, but these are not close friends who are already familiar and comfortable being in your house. So make them comfortable.

*** High maintenance? Insurance costs? Reliability? Are you riding on slow city roads, or do you also want to crank it up for the highway? Think long an hard about the engine driver.

**** Everyday is the eve of the IIT exam. Feed them well. Love them lots but make them study hard. Ever so often you need to wear the pants.

***** The highs are higher and the lows are lower.