The biggest mistake restaurant startup owners make is putting too much money into the business before any is made.
While it is true that in order to make money, you must spend money, you need to ask yourself an important question.
Is it worth investing in top quality items without having the income first to support it?
The small 1000 sq ft pizzeria opened in April, only to close in June. The previous owner partnered with family members and went all out buying top of the line items for the store.
What they didn't have in place was a marketing strategy to ensure success. They spent most of their money on making the place look good, but no one (customer) was there to see it.
The owner recently contacted us and asked if we would be interested in purchasing the business. She said "Come and get it."
The price had been cut from $50K down to $30K (as is).
When we walked in to see the site, our first impression was that it was very neat and well kept.
The kitchen even had a 32" oven, DOUBLE the capacity of our current oven. Top of the line flooring, branded rugs and expensive equipment was in place.
By all appearances, it looked the part of a successful business, but that wasn't the case.
What we learned when we opened our first Mattenga's Pizzeria location was there is no reason to spend that kind of money until you are sure you are making money and covering basic costs each month consistently.
We patterned our business practices after Chick-Fil-A, a very successful company.
We learned that a plain rug works just as well as an expensive branded one.
The bulk of your money, after expenses, need to be on marketing your business. Without customers, you will not survive.
Be diligent with every dollar so you don't fail and have to sell unexpectedly.
We did end up purchasing the location and are working with a specific game plan in place to market the area heavily prior to opening.
Our vision is to spend thrifty, invest in quality employees and make it a successful business in the community.