Your startup is a restaurant

Startup restaurant

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.

You should totally read my book – The Great Fragmentation.