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In Reply to: Anyone have a bbq restaurant? posted by Jason on February 28, 2012 at 06:44:39:
I opened up my own shop 3 years ago(just started year 4). Sales were up 20%, 18%, 15% each year.
Most important tip I can give is make sure people like your food. I catered for 3 years before I opened. I served a couple of thousand people each year while having the luxury of a day job.
If you have a good product and demand you will start in a better position than if you just opened up because your friends tell you your food is good. (I love my friends but they were hardly ever critical of my (free)food)
Try to open near a business center. If you can find a spot within a couple of miles of an office park you can capture a lunch crowd.
Locating on a Busy road always a good.
Know how many customers a day you need to support your restaurant. 30 days divided into: rent + estimated utilities + linen service + wood + phone + trash removal equals daily cost of being open. It costs me $9.75 an hour(x24 hours a day) just to occupy the space.
# of customers x average ticket sales lets you know what you will take in a day. Of course this doesn't include food or labor.
Push the catering business. This is where you will make the money.
Don't use the big boys to buy your food. Find a Restaurant Depot or Sam's. The big boys charge 20-28% more. Stopped that service after a few months. Almost killed my business.
I buy my food everyday from RD. I get what I need for today/tomorrow.
I'm having a blast. It is 7 days a week job.
I am busy enough so I don't have to cook. I oversee everything but my guys are good.
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