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I have been working for several years to start up my own business. I met a retired millionaire who owned a beer garden back in 2000 I frequented the garden for a little while and worked as a security guard on the weekends for a few weeks. He was selling the beer garden grill that hosted live music to its customers. It was a young adult hangout for local bands and on Wednesday, he had a family night with a house jazz band.
I didn´t have the money to buy it or the know- how to find investors at the time. After four or five years, I committed myself to starting my own beer garden-based music business that does outdoor door parties and special events also. Here is my situation. I have my marketing strategy pretty well planned out to get started, but I will probably get some final consultation before start up. I plan to have a small menu for the grill that changes each week this is going to be hard but I am motivated and can do it. I worked in restaurants for two years and nightclub promotions. I have a diploma in private investigations also. I have been studying marketing and sales for the last two years. I am ready for battle so to speak.
My plan is for the garden to target a variety of people but in the city I live there are so many strip clubs I don´t want the same trash to come into my garden and turn it into some freak festival. I want to have each week a different culture menu. Like one week Jamaican, the next German, the next western, the next Italian, etc., changing the decorations each Sunday and each Sunday night and Monday morning making sure staff knows the new menu. I am hoping for a location near the airport and hotels. Then I think I could put flyers out by working a deal with cab company’s to put their business card size flyer on one end of the flyer in return they hand out the flyers and refer them to my garden.
Also, to hit the local businesses with a lunch special to get regulars on their lunch break. I thought a 50-cent burger with purchase of any beer would be a good promotion to get lunch regulars, from airport, hotels and local businesses. With hope, they would buy dessert and tip my staff well to keep them happy. I haven´t used the restaurant software yet but I learn computer software pretty quickly. I am going to also use national grants, and a grant writer company to write my business plans to government specs for a start up loan or grant. I hope to manage and book musicians ( I have been a musician for many years ).
Also, I have plans to do outdoor events. Such as a barn dance, organizing and promoting fishing contests, weekend camp out, and some other creative stuff like a ninja party, and a cowboy fast draw barbecue, a treasure hunt, some other fun events with a sponsorship package for sponsors. I hope to target active people. Using tackle shops, boat shops and other places people frequent as possible sponsors with some promotions for local business to advertise using my shop, ( a coupon book ), posters and things of that nature. Also, I thought using lottery machines to generate some income and possibly a bingo night or something. What do you think of my idea? I need to find math figures for my business plans though, any suggestions?
E R E, Jr.
The tragic element of dreaming is only realized when it progresses into a nightmare. And, restaurant dreams have a profound tendency to make that transition more rapidly than owners expect. Opening a restaurant, of any size, whether a twenty seat hot dog stand or a 200 – seat beer garden is a massive undertaking. Seeing the project come to fruition and actually open involves focus, financing, and a business plan that can withstand scrutiny by savvy investors, vendors, backers, bankers, accountants, lawyers, and often, contractors who will not put shovel to earth without a letter of credit or a substantial down payment.
Hardly enjoyable obstacles to overcome except for the foodie masochist with an ego the size of Manhattan, beginning a restaurant from scratch is more difficult, frustrating, stressful and addicting than any other business one can venture into.
I have two suggestions for your review:
First, get a full time job in a restaurant similar to the one you are considering opening. After working your way up the ladder of experience to the general manager´s position, you will have established a track record. This will make it easier for you to attract investors, develop a business plan, and focus on strong marketing and promotional programs.
The other option is to forget about restaurants unless you are eating in one, and take your P.I. degree and parlay it into a law degree specializing in culinary bankruptcy. Yearly, the amount of restaurants that shutter their doors is astronomical. Although many restaurants are successful, more fail than succeed.
One of the major reasons for failure is inexperienced owners who have little expertise in finance and business operations, and less ability in the kitchen. From what you have explained you seem to be on a very slippery slope and the chances of success, considering your minimal experience, your limited finances, and your unproven concept are not likely going to be realized.
Considering all those, you seem to be a man with a mission. Assuming you will shun all advice, as most true restaurateurs do and proceed with this project anyway, you may want to get a partner who has finance and food expertise. You become the promotional and advertising wizard and leave the culinary tricks, staff training and P&L to him.
Good luck in your venture. Let me know when you open, I love the accordion.