Just because you’re a good cook doesn’t mean you should own a restaurant.
But for some people, working in the kitchen isn’t just a skill, it’s a passion. How do you make the transition from catering for your friends and family to serving hundreds of strangers who are foaming at the mouth for the opportunity to give you a nasty Yelp review?
“Worst. Restaurant. Ever.”
The simple answer is: business knowledge.
Which is to say that you should consider business school or at least partnering with individuals who already know the ins and outs of running a successful restaurant. That way, you can worry about making that perfect family recipe while somebody else crunches the numbers to see that you’ll need to sell 50 of that dish a night just to break even.
If you do want to go the education route — but aren’t keen on the thought of business school — some culinary institutions offer four-year undergraduate degree programs.
Of course, avoiding student loans and throwing caution to the wind can be a lot more fun. So, it might be best to take all that passion and start small. Perhaps with a food truck.
They’ve arguably become a little too popular — almost cliche — but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a smart play to see if you have what it takes. For a fraction of the cost of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant, you can concentrate on your main dish, learn, fail, and succeed — all with the small-scale risks and responsibilities of working inside a wagon. It’s a tried-and-true method for seeing if maybe you have the right stuff, and it’s also why you often see owners of food truck start-ups trying to take the next step on television reality shows.
Watch the video to hear what the hosts of “Restaurant Startup” think about turning passion into a business.
Tune in to “Restaurant Startup,” Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC, to watch entrepreneurs compete for the backing of the show’s celebrity restaurateurs.