Success is being in the right place..
Risk vs. Reward
Open a restaurant today can be summed up a quote from Ray Crock, the man behind the McDonalds Empire. He said “Success is being in the right place at the right time and knowing you’re there” There is a lot of truth to that statement. I for one can say that I’ve experienced not being in the right place at the right time, but thinking that I was. The results were far from positive. Self- awareness, and knowing when to act, is vital to success. On the other hand, as Winston Churchill once said “Great success always comes at the risk of enormous failure.” In some cases, if you’re not willing to lose it all you’re probably not the person for the job. The key is to determine the ratio of risk vs. reward and act accordingly.
In the sport of baseball the elite hitters of all time, the “homerun kings,” have one statistic that they usually don’t brag about. You guessed it: STIKEOUTS! I’m here to tell you that I have struck out in my business and it has cost me. Yet, if you asked me if I would do it all again, my answer would be yes. Does that mean I want to fail again? Absolutely not. I am just so passionate about what I do that I am driven to continue trying whether I succeed or fail. There is an important relationship that exists between passion and business sense. They cannot operate separately from each other; they need to co-exist. This relationship is important for you to understand. Passion is the engine; the driving force that encourages you to learn more, work harder, achieve more and ultimately realize your dream. Understanding the business is what allows you to move forward and put your plans into action. Remember that as you move forward you need to keep your feet planted firmly and be mindful of both the reality of business and the passion that drives you.
It was once said that “the world makes room for those that know where they’re going.” Setting realistic goals will reduces frustration and discouragement. This is all a part of the big picture, or should I say the “PLAN”. The restaurant business is tough, but that is not the reason that many aspiring restaurateurs do not succeed. Failure often accompanies unrealistic goals or expectations and lack of knowledge and planning. Take the time to do your homework and understand the process. This will not guarantee success, but it will certainly diminish the possibility of failure. Consider the following questions when formulating your business plan:
- Do you have a concept? Be unique.
- Do you have a suitable location? Will your concept work in the geographic area you are considering?
- Have you done the market research for the area? Include the population, average income, and other businesses that are in that area in your search. Also research the roads and interstates that are accessible from this location.
- Are you building or will you lease an existing location?
- Is the location visible from the road?
- Does the location have suitable access? Can your customers enter and exit without too much trouble?
- Do you have enough capital or a business plan to acquire it? One of the most common reasons restaurants fail is under-capitalization.
These are just a few of the many things necessary to consider before you enter into any commitment.
I may not the brightest bulb in your utility room, but I am the one that lasts the longest. Whether training under-seasoned Executive chefs, working as a senior marketing associate for a multi- billion dollar company, owning and operating my own restaurants or consulting for the startup of other client’s restaurants, I have always been in it for the long haul. To quote Henry Miller: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” I understand that the journey is just as important as the destination and that persistence is the key to eventual success.
Attitude is Everything
If you were leaving my home through the front door, as I do each morning, you wouldn’t be able to miss the large sign that hangs above it. It says “Attitude is everything!” A positive attitude has always been my most valuable tool. In closing let me leave you with one of my family’s life long wishes for all good lads and lassies: “May the road rise up to meet you , may the wind always be at your back , may the rain fall soft upon you face and until we meet again…May God hold you in the hallow of His hand.” I wish you much success in your endeavors. Now is the time to open your restaurant!