Back of the House

The Nitty-Gritty on Opening a Restaurant

So you’ve been thinking about opening a restaurant. (Just play along, okay?) If you’ve already read this cautionary Slate piece by Daily Intel writer Michael Idov and are still looking to get into the game, you’d better have a look at “The Fundamentals of Running a Restaurant,” a Forbes “Special Report.” What follows is our handy breakdown of a few issues put forth by the article. (For an inside look at an imminent opening, read the Launch, our series detailing the process of Sam Mason opening Tailor.)

The excerpts:

Start-up costs. “Depending on how fancy your new place is, a blank-slate approach will set you back $100,000 to $300,000 for stuff like industrial cooking and ventilation equipment, refrigerators, freezers, tables, bar stools, shelving and counters with stations for cutting, heating and cooling.”

Legal structure. “Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. (If a customer suffers an allergy attack from your food, the lawyers can’t go after your house.)”

Must-have technology. “The latest generation of software-based, point-of-sale systems …. A middle-of-the-road package runs $7,000.”

External threat. “[A]nalysts estimate that restaurateurs will need to add some 2 million jobs over the next decade – even as they cope with soaring health care costs, minimum-wage hikes and stricter immigration regulations.”

Permits. “While [health] permits run less than $100, you might wait nine months for acceptance. If you make it that far, you then have to schedule an appointment with the local fire inspector.”

The Fundamentals of Running a Restaurant [Forbes]

Related: The Launch

The Nitty-Gritty on Opening a Restaurant