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Your Dream of Opening a Restaurant -- Beware!

pearlD Apr 15, 2007 07:00 AM

I have just finished reading a book called "Flash in the Pan":The Life and Death of an American Restaurant, Author is David Blum, ISBN: 0-671-68692-5. Only once copy in the Toronto Public Library System (if this is a serious 'dream' of yours...try the Bookstores)
What a horror story! It should be REQUIRED reading for anyone with the 'fantasy' of opening a Restaurant. Too scary for words!!

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    RicRios Apr 15, 2007 02:27 PM

    Blum's book was published in 1992.
    Not that that diminishes it's well deserved intrinsic value, but certainly the novelty factor is kind'a gone by now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RicRios
      pearlD Apr 15, 2007 05:42 PM

      I think losing ones shirt is never a novelty and the Restaurant business is just as bad, if not worse than the 80'/90s. In Toronto where I live the statistics on 'closings' are not for the faint of heart...that being said Toronto seems not to mind as restaurants abound.

      1. re: pearlD
        RicRios Apr 15, 2007 09:19 PM

        This has been said many times before but.. what the heck! here it goes again:
        Q: How do you make a small fortune in the restaurant business?
        A: You start with a big fortune.

    2. flourgirl Apr 17, 2007 05:23 AM

      I actually get kind of annoyed when people try to stomp all over other people's dreams. There are many different kinds of eateries - some much more difficult to run and make money from than others.

      But one thing I have noticed in my life is that the first step one has to take to make one's 'dreams' and 'fantasies' come true is take a deep breath and resolve to ignore all the negative naysayers.

      2 Replies
      1. re: flourgirl
        pearlD Apr 17, 2007 07:12 AM

        I certainly don't mean to stomp on anyone's dreams far from it, but I do think that the competition is fierce in the restaurant business and no matter how unique your 'dream' (ie. that of filling a niche) ...you better have BIG pockets....it is a killer business ...aside from the money factor the wear/tear/stress is a HUGE factor to consider. My parents had a small family /greasy spoon business for over 40 years and small as it was there was always 'something' to worry about; believe me it took its toll..healthwise as well as the money factor.
        That being said...sometimes it's the right place at the right time.

        1. re: pearlD
          LabRat Apr 17, 2007 10:46 AM

          I don't think exposing someone to reality is necessarily stomping on their dreams, its trying to help keep their dream from becoming a nightmare. The reason a LOT of restaurants go under in their first year is because the owners didn't do the necessary research and have a good business plan before they opened the doors. Anything to make them stop and think before taking the plunge will help them be successful. A friend of mine once told me "You don't open a restaurant to make great food, you open it to make money. If you can make the money, then you can make the great food."

      2. thatgirl153 Apr 17, 2007 10:50 AM

        Never read the book but my dad was in the restaurant/bar business for years. He worked 15 hours a day every day for years. He would take half a Sunday off every other week. It's was a lot of work and he made a decent living but probably not worth the time.

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