Owning a restaurant can be a fantastic experience. As an owner, you are your boss, and you have more independence when it comes to your work and personal life. While there are many benefits to being a restaurant owner, there are also many downsides.
Here are five typical restaurant business ownership challenges to be aware of before jumping into the restaurant business.
First, being your boss can be great. However, it also comes with lots of added responsibilities. As the owner, you often have to pick up the slack for everyone else. This means you will be a jack of all trades! You will likely end up helping with a variety of tasks at one point or another including cooking, cleaning, waiting tables, making phone calls, deliveries, maintenance and more. You will also have to make tough decisions such as hiring and firing employees and dealing with finances.
You will have an erratic schedule. While it definitely won’t be a boring 9-5 job, it also will not be predictable. You will often work evenings and will likely end up working many late nights and coming in for early mornings to prep. Also, say farewell to your weekends. Weekends are prime time business hours for restaurants, so you will need to be there, especially when you are first starting out. This is a huge time commitment that will likely be very consuming.
As a business owner, you will not receive employee benefits as you would if you worked for someone else. This means you have to pay for your benefits like healthcare, dental, insurance, and retirement funds. Sometimes these can be more expensive since you are buying as an individual instead of with a large group as a company would.
Finances can be unpredictable. Your likelihood will depend on business and profits. If your restaurant suddenly experiences a slow period or season with a significant drop in income, you will be the first to feel it! You will have to pay yourself last, as employees must be compensated first. This may mean you are only able to cover your expenses such as rent without any additional income for your personal accounts or expenditures. Plan ahead and always have a savings fund ready that you can use in case of an emergency. This unstable income can be a deal breaker for many prospective restaurant owners especially if you have a family to support
Lastly, it is a risk. Many complexities can arise when you own a restaurant. First when you are starting it can be difficult to get the ball rolling. You will need to get all necessary licenses in order and meet all state and local regulations. Also, you also risk bad reviews or law suits from customers who get sick or become harmed on your restaurant property.
Clearly, deciding to open a restaurant requires a thorough analysis of the pros and cons. While there are risks and downsides, most restaurant owners agree that the risk is worth the reward if you are passionate about what you do and are willing to put in the time, energy and money needed to succeed. Whether you open a national grocer’s location, a pizza place, or a Thai restaurant, these cons will be factors to consider when thinking about restaurant ownership challenges.