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In Reply to: bbq restaurant opportunity posted by John in wyoming on October 10, 2011 at 19:39:53:
Sorry to break it to you, but your wife is right - it is highly likely you WILL be in the poor house.
You say this is a small place. If that's so, the owner is the only one who (might) be earning a living wage. A head cook job in a family-owned restaurant in middle America might pay $12 and hour if you're talented, without any benefits. Good luck supporting a family on those wages!
Of course you can always work doubles (you won't be paid overtime) to make ends meet, and you can expect to have 12-16 hour days when business is seasonally heavy. (Yes, you'll be working holidays instead of spending time with your family.) Luckily business will dry up periodically, so you'll be able to rest up when your hours are cut drastically. That will help the owner keep the business in the black, but it will probably put your personal finances in the red.
Again, I apologize for being a downer, but I'm just letting you know the reality of working in food service is a long way from the glamorous life portrayed by celebrity chefs on TV. It is physically demanding work for long hours and low pay, with little job security and limited opportunity to move up unless you relocate to a market with lots of high-end restaurants like NYC or LA.
If you decide to do this, I'd recommend having both a back-up plan and a clear plan as to where you want to go with it. If you plan to make a living at it, you'll need to own your own place. However doing this means investing a ton of money into a type of business where statistically 75% of start-ups fail within a couple years.
People who work in food service do so either because they have no choice or a crazy passion for it that defies all logic. It sounds to me like you aren't the former, but only you can decide if you are the latter.
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