Are you one who keenly follow cooking programmes and devise innovative recipes or is often inspired by contestants in reality shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, Masterchef and Top Chef? True, these shows discovered immense talent and brought culinary arts up as a coveted profession. Perhaps you dine out often and with all your practice in cooking, you are ready to show the world your unique cuisine. Therefore, owning your eatery makes perfect sense.
Food business has always and will always hold an allure. Aptly put by Peter Rainsford, the vice president for academic affairs at the Culinary Institute of America and co-author of “The Restaurant Startup Guide”, “so many people love to cook, they like food, and they think, boy, I’ll have a job where I’ll do what I love”. “They don’t realize how hard a job it is, both financially and physically”. He should know, given that he opened the O’Malley’s Restaurant for 5 years. It ran concurrently with his full-time professor job at Cornell University’s hospitality school and both he and his wife soon discovered business is a full-time not a side income venture. They were pressed with too many responsibilities and gave it up.Below is a just one of the many real scenarios highlighting why restaurants fail.
PEPPER RED’S BLUES CAFE
Charlita Anderson was a lawyer who harboured dreams to run a restaurant that would feature her mother’s recipe for gumbo, a family favourite. She opened the Cajun restaurant and nightclub, doing everything from making gumbo to scrubbing the floors and singing torch songs, while still putting in a full day as a magistrate. The venture lasted 15 months. Where was the point of downfall? Linda Lipsky, president of Linda Lipsky Restaurant Consultants, laid out the possible reasons:
• Family encouragement above financial planning. “People who have tasted the gumbo say it’s the best this side of New Orleans. It’s a big deal in our family”, said Ms Anderson.
• A rather obscure location, 40 miles from Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie banking on the hope that the long rumored casino hotels would be built, which never did.
• Although Ms Anderson passed her mother’s test, she did not have the know-how to translate the recipe and cooking methods to large volumes.
• “The tiny little things you don’t even expect, they’re going to pop up at any time”. “I went from a highfalutin position to scrubbing the floors”, Ms. Anderson said.
• She rushed from courtroom to cafe every evening – definitely too much to shoulder.
When asked how great food can fail her, she surmised “people will encourage you but they won’t show up every night”. Her takeaway from the experience was “you have to appreciate that this might not work. If it doesn’t, get out”.
Pepper Red’s Blues Cafe is probably a tip of the iceberg. Watch Kitchen Nightmares and Restaurant Impossible where Gordan Ramsay and Robert Irvine rescued restaurants from a host of issues. Although each episode ends with a joyous revival and the chefs revisit months later, over 60% of eateries featured on Kitchen Nightmares do not survive. Not surprising actually, given that it is all up to the owners to carry on after the celebrity chef leaves. If they had no basics to begin with; sustainability remains a tall order.
Maynard, M. Love Food? Think Twice Before Jumping In. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/27/dining/27fail.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
YOU CAN AVOID THE PITFALLS!
According to Linda Lipsky, many restaurant novices are not aware about having enough capital to cover every aspect of a business for the first six months; including food, salaries, benefits, kitchen equipment, rent and utilities. And this is when reality bites. Recognising this all too familiar scenario, Mise En Place returns with the second instalment of “A FOODBIZ WORKSHOP”. Following last year’s positive responses and the increasingly challenging business climate, it is an oppor tune time for you to pick up on ideas to minimise cost and maximise productivity in your kitchen. Amongst the topics of discussion include:
REALITY OF THE FOOD BUSINESS –
• Statistics, Facts & Prospects in Malaysia
• Labour Cost
• Utilities & Fluctuating Food Costs
• Maintaining Food Consistency & Quality
• Avoiding Food Contamination
• Which Equipment to Invest In?
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
• Licenses & Legislation
• Standard Operating Procedures
• Steering Committee
• Key Per fomance Indicators
• Evaluation & Enforcement
• Demonstration of commercial kitchen equipment & a business owners shares how implementing equipment shaved costs and improved operational processes.
• Q&A with our speakers
We are privileged to have our returning speakers from 2014, the people behind F&B Facilities to share their knowledge in managing a diverse range of establishments. We are also excited to hear from the Director of Bangi Resort & Development Corporation on banqueting methodology.
Rick Chee, Managing Director, F&B Facilities
With over 26 years experience in food service facility planning, Rick comprehends local culture and regulations. Founded in 1991, F&B Facilities’ expertise include consultancy, design and space planning, equipment supply, installation, maintenance and fabrication. An advisor to the Chefs Association Of Malaysia, Rick is also recently appointed by Taylor’s University as an Industry Advisory Panel Member for its School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts.
Vincent Soon, F&B Facilities, Partner
Vincent’s expertise include Asset and Engineering, Equipment, KES and Prototype Equipment Design and his experience spans across Quick Service Restaurants, Theme Parks to Hotels. He is accredited by the Ministry of Health on Food Handlers and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaya on Food Safety and is a Senior Associate member of FCSI.
Soh Chung-Ky, Director,
Bangi Resort & Development Corporation
A Mechanical Engineering graduate, Chung-Ky applied system and structure to bring a new lease of life to the clubhouse’s restaurant. Find out how technology has helped BGR Restaurant @ Bangi Golf Resort serve up to 300,000 meals per annum without compromising on operating costs, manpower and quality.
Our panel of sponsors are some of the industry’s major equipment Manufacturers:
A specialist in hot food preparation and with 54% market share in the combioven segment and over 100 million meals are now prepared every day in RATIONAL units in all parts of the world.
Speakers: Millie Chan (Vice President Business Development ASEAN), Samuel Chia (Senior Regional Sales Manager) Malaysia & Singapore
Known worldwide for producing blast chillers, shock freezers, and holding and proofing systems; it introduced the concept of rapid chilling and preservation for various segment in foodservice. Speaker: Gabriele Vendruscolo (Sales Manager)
The warewashing company holds stakes in 10 companies in Germany, 6 in Europe and 7 overseas to ensure Mission M makes the world cleaner, more hygienic and more liveable.Speaker: Rudolf Kitzbichler (Managing Director), MEIKO Clean Solutions (SEA) Sdn. Bhd.
Italian company manufacturing comprehensive vacuum cooking solutions, for the domestic market and professionals since the year 2000.Speaker: Lisa Zancanaro, Area Manager (Asia Pacific)