Skip to main content

College Graduates as Restaurant Entrepreneurs

Restaurant business is huge. The National Restaurant Association predicted $580 billion in sales for the industry in 2010. Quite often, I hear hospitality students telling me they plan to open their own restaurants upon graduation. My questions to these students are: what they have done to prepare themselves for a career in restaurants and how ready they are in managing their own business at the time when they graduate. Managing a restaurant is not as easy as it seems.

Nayeli Rodriguez at Newsweek suggested an entrepreneur needs to make seven decisions before opening a restaurant. I agree. Building on Nayeli’s discussion, I suggest students to check the following questions:


• Do I know everything about restaurant operations? Can I manage the back as well as the front of a restaurant?
• Do I have a solid business plan? How do I make a profit for the business?
• Do I have a great marketing plan? What brand do I want to create?
• Do I select the “right” location based on demographics and economics? A place I “love” may not work.
• Do I have a “clear and simple” menu? Menu dictates the product and service a restaurant provides. How good am I in menu engineering?
• Do I have a plan for inventory control? Fresh food and the intangible component of the restaurant business make inventory control more difficult.
• Can I find the “right staff” who can sell?

If opening a restaurant is a student’s ambition, I will suggest the student to take an entrepreneurship minor and start working in a restaurant as much as they can. Students need to know it would be a long learning process for them before they are ready to run their own business. They not only need to learn how to manage the back and front of a restaurant. They also need to find out if they really enjoy every aspect of the restaurant business and operations. As owners, they will very likely “live” with their restaurants for a long time, at least during the first couple years.

So, are you ready? If you are a restaurant owner, what suggestions would you make to those future restaurant entrepreneurs?

References:
Picture was downloaded from TalentRevolution via: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok09232010P  

Comments

  1. Glad to know the new tool - should give it a try =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This article hits home with me as I am a SU student who is primarily interested in the Restaurant Industry. I know that this is the industry that I belong in, I have the passion, experience, and the determination. I can respond positively to the questions highlighted above.

    I chose SU because I wanted a school with a name that would open doors, but now, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE alone, the school of opportunity for me has hindered my opportunities, and eliminated the easy route to my future. I feel as though I will no longer be able to take advantage of alumni connections in the Hospitality Industry in the next few years as I look for internships. I often ask myself, will my education be questioned?

    If I was in HR and interviewing potential interns, and had to choose between an SU graduate and a Cornell graduate, and that was the only difference between the two interviewees, the reputation of the schools would play a part in my decision. Would other's actually in HR currently agree with me, or is this merely a drama I am creating for myself?

    Now it's my turn to make a decision, I have to decide if I should stay as a major in the Hospitality program and pursue a minor in Entrepreneurship or if I should Major in Entrepreneurship and minor in Hospitality. Which would take me further? Would the number 7 ranked Whitman School of Management carry me further than having a minor in my own home school department? What will others in the Restaurant industry, and stakeholders value more? Regardless, I see the material in both classes in Whitman and Human Ecology paralleling each other. For instance, we learn about mission statements and business plans in both. The Hospitality version merely uses industry examples versus myself applying the Whitman lectures to my interests. Therefore I am beginning to wonder, does the title of school and major really matter in my situation?

    Any advice for me??

    (Human resources)

    ReplyDelete
  3. While the Hospitality Management Department remains as it is until 2014, the Dean is leading us to move forward to two directions --- Food Studies and Sport Event Management. Such changes will not affect students who are already in the program. Incoming students who are interested in restaurant operations may choose to focus on food studies or event management. As we are all going through this process together, I will keep you and other students posted with the updates.

    You have made a great addition to the program. We want you and every HPM students to succeed at SU and in your future career.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Want a job at McDonald’s? Now, it is as easy as talking to Alexa

McDonald’s Corporation introduced the world’s first voice-initiated job application process called McDonald’s Apply Thru. Now, job seekers can initiate the job application process through McDonald’s Apply Thru by taking to either Alexa or Google Assistant.

How McDonald’s Apply Thru works
The job application process begins with the applicants saying:
Alexa, help me get a job at McDonald’s.” 
or
“Google, help me get a job at McDonald’s.”
Then, the job applicants will need to answer a few basic questions, including their name, job of interest, and the location where they want to work.
Afterward, the job applicants will receive a text message with a hyperlink that will take the applicants to continue the rest of the application process.  
Where McDonald’s Apply Thru serve
McDonald’s Apply Thru is now available in nine countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Spain. It will be made available to other countries in the coming months.
Why McDona…

Is today's market too tough for upscale restaurants?

Operating a restaurant is never easy, but is it particularly challenging for upscale restaurants?

Restaurants Unlimited Inc., for instance, which operates 35 fine-dining and “polished casual” eateries, filed for bankruptcy in Delaware last week. Earlier in June, the Four Seasons Restaurant, an iconic spot for power lunch in Manhattan also closed for business after its reopening within less a year.

Are these two examples an isolated case or the tip of the iceberg? Then, if upscale restaurants are struggling to survive in today’s market, what challenges are they facing?

The rising labor cost

According to the Bloomberg report, Restaurant Unlimited Inc. hires 50 salaried employees at the chain’s headquarter in Seattle, plus another 168 full-time and 1,885 part-time restaurant workers. The rising wages in Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland have resulted in a total of $10.6 million wage expenses in the fiscal year of 2019. Nevertheless, its revenue for the year ended in May dropped 1%, at $…

Suggestive Selling – All You Have to Do is Ask!! (By Nicole Lee)

A simple, relatively normal thing occurred while in the drive-through at Del Taco with my boyfriend the other day.After placing our semi-high maintenance food order, the person taking my order, in a forced monotone voice, unenthusiastically asks, “Would you like to add our new blah, blah, blah for dessert?”All my sweet-tooth-driven ears heard was “dessert” and I wanted something sugary to complete my four-course drive-through meal. My boyfriend asked if I wanted the donut thing they were trying to push, but I ended up going with a churro.As we received our food, my boyfriend told the server, “Good job on the upsell.”In which we received the same unenthusiastic “thank you” in reply. This all led to a discussion about suggestive selling, how easy it is, how to do it correctly, and how beneficial it is.Of course, this Del Taco drive-through upsell experience did not meet our standards of how to do it correctly, but it worked!

Easy-Peasy
Both my boyfriend and I have sales and hospitality ba…