The New Restaurant Entrepreneur: An Inside Look at Restaurant Deal-Making and Other Tales from the Culinary Trenches

The New Restaurant Entrepreneur: An Inside Look at Restaurant Deal-Making and Other Tales from the Culinary Trenches

by Kep Sweeney




Success stories abound, but the specter of failure hovers over the launch of any new eatery. Kep Sweeney, a veteran investment analyst for the industry as well as a chef and successful restaurateur, reveals how the most fatal stumbling blocks often occur at the pre-opening, or deal phase, when funding partnerships, and a clear concept are being developed and finalized. At this stage, however, many excited, overconfident dreamers want to charge ahead, believing everything will ""work itself out.""

The New Restaurant Entrepreneur is solely devoted to this first phase of restaurant start-up, revealing the perfect combination of art and business planning that makes a new restaurant sizzle, instead of fizzle. Sweeney offers practical, expert advice to readers whose knowledge of business development may not be quite as far-reaching as their vision, drive, and imagination. Even veteran restaurateurs will find this guide a helpful reminder of where to focus their energies. Readers will learn to:

  • Ask-and honestly answer-key questions that will successfully develop the concept.
  • Toss out the notion that cuisine alone can differentiate the restaurant.
  • Predetermine the evolution of a customer's experience, from first-timer to regular.
  • Form a crackerjack team based on a savvy selection of managers and waitstaff that complements the owner's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Look for financial partners with similar financial and personal goals-and learn to avoid the ""tire kickers.""

In 14 years working in the industry, Sweeney has seen dozens of mistakes, some made by the largest restaurant chains. He's also witnessed-and had a hand in-some spectacular successes, including Dylan Prime, Morton's, and Damon's.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780793185672
Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
Publication date: 06/01/2004
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

Kep Sweeney has worked as an investment banking analyst, restaurateur, and chef. He currently owns a restaurant advisory/turnaround company serving the hospitality industry. He is frequently interviewed by national publications, speaks about entrepreneurship to business groups, publishes industry-related research, and advises distressed companies on turnaround strategies. Sweeney holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina.

Table of Contents

1.The True Beginning1
Part 1So You Want to Open a Restaurant?
2.Know Your Skills, Use Your Skills5
3.Demand-Side Analysis Versus Supply-Side Analysis19
4.Target Market27
5.Differentiating Characteristics31
6.Understanding the Guest's Experience45
7.Crafting a Concept49
Part 2Forming the Team
8.What Type of Entrepreneur are You?63
9.The Critical Positions69
11.Don't Be a Guinea Pig83
12.A Deal Must Be Material to at Least One Person87
Part 3Location, Location, Location
13.Location Analysis93
14."My Landlord Seems to Like Me"97
15.Tenant Improvement Dollars103
16.The Guarantee109
Part 4Raising Capital
17.Financial Modeling115
18.Few Investors Versus Many Investors123
19.Debt Versus Equity131
20.Profiling the Investment Group139
21.The Real Estate Approach: People are Assets147
22.The Apple Does Fall Far From the Tree149
23.The Tire Kicker155
24.Projections: High, Medium, or Low159
25.Voting Rights167
26.Noncash Liabilities171
27.Exiting the Business173
28.Structuring the Deal177
Part 5Welcome to the World's Greatest Industry
29.Reading the Tea Leaves189
30.A Day in a Life199
31.Setting Up Your Business for Success203

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