Waiting...and waiting...and waiting

1,046
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Joined Apr 19, 2001
Okay, here's a rant - I got hired in October to be the day shift kitchen manager for a new restaurant only 5 minutes from my house - great gig! They were still renovating, and projected the opening around the middle of November. Well, November came and went, and December came and went; I've been in contact with them, and they've had so many problems with contractors and inspectors, it's not really their fault, and I do feel badly for them. Now the projected opening is the end of February! The last disaster was that the locksmiths came to put the locks on teh doors and two of the doors had been built crooked - so now the 'door man' has to come back out to realign the doors - then the locksmiths have to come back out. THEN the equipment can be delivered - THEN the equipment can be brought in - THEN the plumbers and electricians have to come back to hook everything up - THEN we'll get in there to start training teh staff!!!

To anyone who wants to open a restaurant, read the above!!!

I'm so antsy to get to work (please remember I said this six months from now when I whine about how tired I am!), all I'm doing is cooking at home; my husband is on his knees begging me not to bake anymore!

Seriously, I know I've posted all over this site - I'm so glad I've had this opportunity to at least keep my mental 'finger's in the soup. And I'm sure I'll have loads of questions once I start. I've never managed in a restaurant kitchen - other places, office settings, etc., and taught martial arts for three years - was a sous chef at a catering kitchen, and did all the ordering, inventory, etc., so am comfortable with that.

It's going to be a fun experience, when it finally happens! thanks again to all of you for making my life more bearable until the big day!;)
 

pete

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I know how frustrating it can be, waiting on an opening. Over the years I have learned to add about 2-3 months to any projected opening date, and that seems to be good ones! Seriously, I have seen very few restaurants get opened within a month of their original opening date. Just make sure that you have plenty of time in the kitchen to get all the kinks worked out before they actually open the doors.
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
I can really sympathize with your antsy-ness. And Pete is so right -- it's a rare place that opens anywhere near its projected opening!

But it sounds like with your background you'll be just fine once the place finally (!) opens. Especially with those 3 years of martial arts!!! ;)

Keep the faith.
 

pete

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One thing I forgot to mention earlier-I hope you are getting paid. I have seen a few friends get burned like this. They accept a job as chef or sous chef, quit their job anticipating the projected opening, and then the restaurant doesn't open for 2 more months. When they quit their jobs, they never bothered to find out if they would be paid starting on a set date or only when the restaurant opened. Some of my friends enjoyed the little paid vacation (though there is always things to be done before an opening) and others had to back out and go crawling back to their old jobs or find new ones. Always make sure you have it in writing about your pay and on what day it starts whether or not the place opens.
 
1,046
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Joined Apr 19, 2001
Thanks for the shoulders, guys! No, Pete, I'm not getting paid - didn't even know it was a thing to do. But that's okay - my starting salary is on the high end (whenever we DO open!), and we're eeking by on hubbie's salary til then (oh, the things you can do with beans and rice!).

I will be going in to work with the general manager on things like 'employee handbook', prep lists, making up inventory sheets, etc., and do expect to be paid once I start on those.

Thanks again, all!
 
2,938
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
I suppose it's a lesson to be learned for the future. I do hope they are projecting accurately at this point. When you do finally start work, I hope that you find the time to fill us in on the details.
 
1,244
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Joined Sep 21, 2001
Its hard on everyone- you since you aren't getting paid. and for the owner, or the people putting up the cash for the restaurant. Delays like this cost ENORMOUS amounts of money. Think of the cost of being closed an extra 3 months with no income, but the construction bills and other expenses keep piling up. One hopes that those months income weren't figured into their business plan. Losing money hurts even if you have deep pockets. Good luck to all.
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
In school, they told us that you should have in the bank at least twice the total amount of your expected annual expenses before you even open, in order to keep you going until business builds up. Undercapitalization is probably one of the most common reasons new restaurants go under. We've probably all seen it happen: a place finally opens and gets a good response, but then disappears. Just couldn't pay their bills. Hope it doesn't happen to you, Marmalady!
 

pete

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Suzanne, That is what we were told also when I was going to school and we had our class on business plans, etc. Unfortunately, that is very rarely an option for most restauranteurs. Most just barely make the opening. Money like that is just so hard to come by nowadays. If everyone followed that rule, I have a feeling that the only ones that would be opening restaurants would be the larger corporations. Most openings I have been involved in usually have about 3 months operating expenses when the doors open, luckily almost everyone of them is still around. But yes, undercapitalization is the number 1 reason that restaurants fail.
 
1,046
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Joined Apr 19, 2001
thanks again to all for allowing me to air my frustrations! I do have a really good feel for the restaurant and its owners and the young woman they've hired as GM. The owners live in the community, have owned the local florist shop for 20 years, and know the community and its personality. The restaurant, I think, is going to be a great family/community place; the teens are already saying it will be great to have a place to go to after school, and after the games on Friday nites. And the older 'locals' have been bringing in old photos and newspaper articles about Martinsville, which is where the restaurant is. So I think the customer base is there, and the owners seem to be openminded enough to make the menu changes as needed to tailor to their customers. They seem to be financially in a pretty good place, also; i know they've sunk a hunk of $$ already! The place looks great - still has the old ice cream 'drive up window' in the front, but remodelled in Victorian gingerbread, with a turret!
BTW, the name is 'Gabriel's Fountain' with a great sort of art deco angel logo. I really do have confidence that this place will make a go of it, and despite dealing with lousy contractors, etc., will be a real community landmark for this little village. So I'm just waiting, and waiting, and waiting!
 
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