Yes, your startup is pretty much a restaurant. Which means there are a few things you should know about new restaurants:
- A domestic kitchen is different to a commercial one.
- A successful dinner party does not translate into a successful restaurant.
- Most restaurants can’t afford a janitor, a book keeper, advertising or…
- A restaurant can never please all tastes.
- You’ll need to experiment with dishes and scale.
- Small menus work better than extensive ones.
- The meal the customer sees is a small part of what makes it all work.
- The margins are always smaller than you expect.
- Working hours always exceed opening or revenue generating hours.
- Customers can be wrong, but we need to look after regulars.
- Regulars come back for the consistency or experience.
- Customer perception from the outside determines if they’ll come in the door.
- Recommendation from friends matters more than anything.
- There is no chance of annual leave until customers will really miss you.
- If you want to be successful enough to go big, you can’t run the kitchen.
- 95% of new restaurants close within the first year.
- 99% of new restaurants close within three years.
Sounds a bit difficult, with a low probability of success. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. It does mean you should know it might be one of many tries to get one that works.
A learning curve only happens when you are prepared to push up hill.