Many people from all industries and all walks of like often dream of opening their own little restaurant or country pub. A cosy quite little friendly village or the seemingly perfect spot in your town that nobody else has seen. A place filled with admiring customers, well trained, passionate staff and a full cash register 6 nights a week. Sound familiar? “Then wake up and join us back here in the real world,” says hospitality expert Mark Bowden. “two thirds of restaurants won’t survive past their first birthday.”

Forget the working time directive, no more weekends off, every demanding customers, financial headaches, staff nightmares and a whole host of other issues. What, you still want to do it. Then before you do, take the time out to research every detail of your idea, from the impact on your own and your family life, to the market place, location, finance, staff, training, chefs, refurbishment and every small detail you can find to give you and your fledgling business, every chance to survive and grow.

Over the next few months I’ll be posting on the National Hospitality Academy #hospitality11amtip Blog, with in-depth ideas, pitfalls, help, links and a whole host of useful information for budding new restaurateurs, or for those who might be considering a pub lease of tenancy.

1. Don’t be a know it all

Those in the business will have heard these statements all hundreds of time. “It’ll be a goldmine, a licence to print money.” It must be great having your own pub/bar/restaurant”

Vanity is a popular reason for people opening restaurants. A change of career, some think a small country pub will be some kind of nice easy retirement job. Many people can’t even boil an egg let alone create menu, source fresh ingredients and make consistent excellent food That’s like me and many others who think they could manage a big football team because we like the game.

You don’t need any qualifications to do it. Indeed, if you have the spare cash to buy a going concern, you can be up and running almost straight away. I’ve seen countless people lose the very shirts off their backs, running head first into a new pub or restaurant venture, only to be handing the keys back 12 months later, having almost bankrupted themselves and strained their once stable family relationships to breaking point.  People fall in love with an idea and don’t want to learn their craft, which takes years of time and commitment.

You still up for it.

Tomorrow we’ll look at location and see what to look to find the ideal spot.

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