Restaurant looks lucrative business in Nepal. Most people see crowded restaurants people enjoying coffee or food or drinks in some restaurants. They visualize themselves to be the owner of such restaurants and think well I know as such dish that I have tried at home town or somewhere overseas that can be a hit here in Nepal, in saying so all look into Nepal as Kathmandu and they open a restaurant. Their friends are young and are in media industry and get amazing coverage in media, wow now they are entrepreneurs, wow they are covered by media, wow everyone in their family and their friends teat them as a celebrity. Wow yes that is what we are aiming for a social recognition that has gained so fast because of this restaurant. And those who are reading the story are fascinated about opening their own restaurant and getting known to the public as a emerging entrepreneur and thus who to reach out, the same person who is in the media currently right? to they reach out to the guy/girl who is in the media currently and invest in a restaurant paying him a hefty fee so called franchisee fee or setup fee …. well do the restaurants in Nepal actually know what a franchisee is? Lets take an fair example of owing a “Himalayan Java Coffee Shop” or a “Chicken Station” or a “Synko Katti Roll” or “Bajeko Sekuwa”. I don’t want to go to detail but have anyone checked their financial plan or ROI . Do they actually present you with ROI? well and are the franchisees making any money compared to the investment they make on these businesses? … Straight forward answer is NO…
So who are making the money then? the owners of the names by charging hefty franchisee fees with no obligations and responsibilities.
Ok lets not go with the big ones we want to settle with the small ones. People invest their money and more than that their whole enthusiasm and dream into a restaurant. They become creative and design their restaurant to their best. This will be their dream project, they will think people will appreciate their work of art in the design of the restaurant and will be attracted to it. Media someday will come to their place and ask “Well who designed this? we want to talk to the person?” and he/she will come out gracefully and say to the media “I am the guy/gal”. Well simple fact… I have not ever seen anywhere in the world that are being interviewed for the way restaurant or cafe looks? Well no…
Then comes the part of opening ceremony, now your restaurant is already setup with all your sweat and blood, lots of sleepless nights during construction period. Feeling good about spending money on something you dream of coming to reality. Good! well done!, now you are not in the position to listening to anyone, you feel like you are No 1.
But you don’t realize yourself that restaurant is not only about ambiance or money you spend on it but its about the “PEOPLE” restaurant is not at all a business. It is a link between you and more people that come to your restaurant to enjoy more people together. It is a social enterprise that happen to be a business because it is visible to public so easily. Why? lets look at corner clothing store that is mostly empty and you see people only few times a day and you wonder how could they survive the rent they are paying. Whereas in a restaurant you see someone every-time you look into it and dream about owning such place where you count each person as thousands and be millionaire quick.
Well well, this is not the case how you approach a restaurant, as I said earlier restaurant is not a business at all it is a social place where people come to hang out and enjoy their life, just like a park. If it is not enjoyable enough you see no one around. No one realizes this, for this you need to have a big vision of what you are going to achieve out of this. If you are looking after money then forget owning a restaurant, dream big. Dream about becoming a social organisation that serves your society and fulfills every needs they want after someone gets back from their work. Everyone is a soldier during the day, following rules, regulations, following work ethics and doing whatever possible to please the people around them. At the end of the day ever human being needs a place to setback and let go of their control and sit relaxed for a while, may be listening to music, or sipping a cup of coffee, or a couple of beers may be. Do you actually know the place like this where they will go? well this could be the answer, this is where people wanna be, this is where crowd goes.
We must realize the psychology behind a restaurant, we must own a peace of art where people feel comfortable to sit around.
Food, really? the ambiance is good enough isn’t it? restaurant by the name is the place to hang out with good food. Food and good food is a must. In doing so we must work on menu and the food presented.
In having a good food consistently is a big challenge in a restaurant, some cooks are well in cooking and can produce exceptional food but others are not perfect enough to cook the same quality. It is not due to the ability of the cook but it is because they actually don’t know the recipe. A descent cook with well written recipe in hand can cook exceptional food, so before owing the restaurant, it is essential to have a menu in place and know exactly how much is the food cost and at what price are you willing to serve customers. This is the major issue of owing a restaurant, in Nepal 98% of restaurant owners are unable to determine the menu or food cost of their own restaurant they own. They rely on the so called “Chef” they hired for certain amount of money to decide on the faith of their own restaurant that had cost them 1000X more than the salary they paid to the guy responsible currently. Doesn’t this seem a daunting business?
I might not be a good writer or a blogger. I might have used so many repeating words that could have avoided but I just want to express my feeling about this topic. Lets look at a employee that works in your cafe or restaurant. Where is his career path? what have you planned for his future? Are you willing to give up 50% ownership of your business after he works for you for 10 Yrs? Well NO!!!! then why would someone work for you in minimum wage and be your faithful cooking best dishes for your cafe/restaurants. Have any individual restaurants planned enough for their employees? no not at all. That is why restaurants collapse, that is why good cooks are not available in market because they don’t see future in your organisation. Are you really an organisation? are you planning to expand to be multi-branch brand or just a restaurant that serves you some money to feed your family.
This is a major question to ask before owning a restaurant, unless you prove a point why this restaurant exist in this society there is no point in using another space in town and spending your hard earned money into creating rubbish that is for sure going to go down in no time.
For further discussion on this topic I welcome you to join in comments .. with me .. i would like to extend this blog into something that can help people to save their hard earned money to get into drain…