Front of the House: Taj Mahal Syndrome

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taj mahalFirst time restaurant entrepreneurs are often mistakenly under the impression that making the front of the house look like the Taj Mahal will somehow bring more customers and result in higher revenue. That may be the case in a billion dollar Las Vegas casino, but not so in an independent restaurant venture. It is a classic example of “pride goes before the fall”. Yes, your family and friends will be impressed, but it is not your family and friends who will fill the seats every day, providing enough covers to ensure profitability. Minimize your start-up capital requirements with the following tips. You just might need it to continue operations on an unplanned rainy day.

Used VS New
Even if you have unlimited funds to invest, a start up is a start up, which means there is a risk of failure. If you purchase new, top of the line equipment, furniture and fixtures, it will provide your ego with a pat on the back, but if your venture goes south, you may get no more than ten cents on the dollar when you liquidate—that is, when you find a buyer looking for used equipment (one who was far smarter than you were).

Go Without
You will be surprised at how much you can go without. You may think you must have a state of the art tropical smoothie machine for the bar or a fancy stainless steel mandolin for the kitchen, but unless you can justify the cost with increased revenue, use a blender and a sharp knife.

The quality of your food is not dependent on your choice of floor covering or light fixtures. Have you ever heard of anyone patronizing a restaurant because they enjoyed looking at the wall sconces?

Buon Appetito e Buona Salute, Chef Angela Bell
Beyond the Bull (an “eat smart” kitchen)
233 W. Main St., Central, SC 29630
http://antiaginggastronomy.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ChefAngelaB

Last modified: March 9, 2013
Angela Bell


This story is part of our Small Business Corner, a peek into the life and trials of small business owners.

Category: Insider's perspective, MPR Authored, Restaurants, Small Business, Small Business Corner, small business owners, startups, tips

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