Ten Worst Reasons to Start a Restaurant/Juice Bar

10. You want to be your own boss.  No you don’t.  Most people don’t.  I don’t.  Most people are followers, want to be led, told what to do. I allow myself 20 minutes of fantasy time per day and I spend half of it imagining being someone’s bitch, being told what to do. I even put a craigslist ad out seeking someone to be my boss.

9. You want to make a lot of money instead of being exploited.  The money can be good. But keep in mind that business owners don’t get a minimum wage or union protection or tenure.  You’d be completely exposed to an unpredictable world. As Marco Pierre White put it, “those bastards can come knocking at any time and take it all away.”

8. You want to run a business the “right” way.  You’re going to show Walmart/McDonald’s/greedyevilbusinessoftheday how it should be done.  You’re going to pay everyone really well and be really really nice to them so they work really really really hard and you’ll all get really really really really rich together it’ll be a big happy family. If it were that easy, we wouldn’t need God.  There’d be heaven on earth. Not saying you can’t run a business your way.  I’ve broken many business textbook rules. Just saying it’s not easy to pull off.

7. You want to be passionate about your job.  So you want to turn your hobby into your job, and you’re convinced you’ll do well if you finally pursue something you enjoy.  No.  Your hobby — cooking — is fun because it isn’t your job, you’re not graded on it by strangers and colleagues day in, day out.  It’s a hobby because there’s no pressure to do well or else.  It’s a hobby because for most, it’s an escape from reality and pressures of life.

6. You think you’ll care more if it’s your business.  No you won’t.  How much you care, your work ethic, depends on habit, not if it’s yours or not.  If you’re doing a shitty job at someone else’s job right now, you’ll most likely do the same shitty job working on your own business. You won’t be able to care about your business until you learn to care about someone else’s business.

5. You want to work less. I need to pee.

4. You think you have a great idea/product.  But ideas are worthless. It’s the force of character behind an idea that matters.

3.  You think you have great recipes, you’re convinced grandma’s meatloaf recipe will make you a million bucks. Most recipes are worthless in restaurant environment.  In fact, they’re often dangerous, can sink a restaurant because they’re so complicated.  And it’s not that easy to develop a menu.  A menu is not a collection of your greatest hits.  A menu is designed to support workflow processes and is based on utilities infrastructure.  That’s why we rarely accept recipes from well meaning customers.    Most don’t know how to hedge risk or how to work with the infrastructure.

2.  You think it’d be glamorous.  Actually, it is, in some ways.  Be sure you enjoy being under microscope.  I had no idea people would care so much about this or that about my life, that I’d be a source of neighborhood gossip.  If you’re an extravert, you may enjoy the attention.  If you’re like me, an intensely private extreme introvert whose idea of fun is playing chess against a computer, you’ll find it emotionally draining.

1. You want to serve God, deliver God’s will and message.  Actually, this is the only good reason to open a juice bar or a restaurant.  This reason will give you the stamina and discipline to keep going during the toughest times.  This reason will significantly reduce probability of you fucking everything up in your own fucked up way.

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