Hello from North Carolina

Joined Oct 11, 2018
Hey everyone!

I currently run a small cafe serving coffee and sandwiches mostly. We are planning to open a new, full service restaurant in about two to three years. While we've been operating our cafe pretty efficiently the last 8 years (Keeping labor around 25% and food cost under 30%), I do not have the necessary experience or knowledge of running a full service restaurant, much less designing the layout and understanding how to set up the kitchen properly.

I do however have a vision of what type of food and what kind of restaurant we want to "be" to the community and the location of the space so I'm hoping to learn as much as possible here.

One of the first tasks I need to complete is to find an executive chef to help me execute the vision, help me layout the kitchen and what equipment to purchase, etc. How would you guys/gals best recommend in finding someone like that? Even though this project is a few years down the road but I would like to start the planning process now. Please let me know if this question should be posted elsewhere.


Joined Sep 17, 2018
What is the particular motivator for moving from a cafe style that you say you can and are running efficiently to a full service restaurant which you admit having no knowledge about running? Is it just money or are other factors in play? You are going to need to find someone that can basically open a restaurant for you from the ground up with little or no help from you. There are people that can help you plan and open a place but honestly this venture is a big undertaking and I wonder if you have looked into other avenues to improve your cafe without this drastic transition first?
Joined Oct 11, 2018
The hurricain(s) luckily just missed us where I live and we did t even loose power. I appreciate the concern.

We actually have a 2nd cafe opening with a small full kitchen where we will offer more “cooked” items next year.

The motivation for opening a full size restaurant is because we have secured a prime location and we want to offer high quality food that is not currently available to the businesses and residents in the area. It’s not that I am cluelesss about running a restaurant but need help with specific details in the kitchen setup for the type of cooking we envision.

I’m an amateur bbq/smoker/cook but I can turn out better pork and beef than any restaurant around - not that the focus of the restaurant will be bbq but I know enough about food and service to understand what experiences customers are looking for.


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Joined Oct 5, 2001
Glad to have you than you for joining our community.

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