Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On and on and on and on…

Today, I am in a much better disposition than yesterday. 

It’s funny how monumental some of the battles seem when you try to figure out how pieces will fit and how things will work out, but how tiny, simple and elegant the solution normally ends up being.  And so went the case of resolving out the majority of our equipment issues.

To those with the restaurant entrepreneurial spirit, here is a warning.  Don’t bother trying to get a loan from a bank.  It’s relatively pointless especially considering the 18% interest you may have to swallow.  From what I understand of financial institutions right now in association with restaurant loans – a majority of them require that you have been in business for 5 years or more.  In the world of the restaurant, if you have been in business 5 years or more, I would imagine that you might not want to borrow the cash (enjoyed success) or you shouldn’t borrow the cash (struggling restaurant in debt). 

Yes, restaurants are a bad case for loans, (if the 80% failure within 2 years still stands), but I’m not sure the loans are approached at the proper vetting or even the basic consideration.  I’m not sure why there isn’t a short term approachable equipment loan (considering equipment has tangible value even over time) for restaurants.  There are risks, but I’m not sure those risks are necessarily more than the risks of renting out a car necessarily. 

Now that my major headache is resolved, here are some tidbits:

- We’re trying to finish inspections this week and next, so if everything goes according to plan, we’re moving fast out of the gate.

- The interview process can be a bitch… the complexion can change from good to bad in a matter of hours.  You can be cruising in the morning from good interview to good interview and then hit a bump and trickle down a shitty slope.

- “I don’t care” is not a word that should ever be used in an interview.  You should always care. 

- Someone came into an interview telling me they were already starting at a new restaurant for Bruce Hill’s (well respected chef in this city) Zero Zero this week.  I asked him why he was here and he simply said he was “looking for the best money available.”  My response: “money commensurates with the quality of the cook.”  I should have told him that his hourly rate just dropped $4 an hour when he opened his mouth. 

- Interviewed a girl for a front-of-house position that’s kind of a dead ringer for Carey Mulligan in An Education.  Honestly, one of the smartest, charming and well spoken interviews I’ve ever been a part of.  What was even more impressive was that her first interview was very good, but her second was even better.  Now that, my friends, is called bringing an A game.

- One of the most annoying but important things in getting this business going is really nickel and diming each decision we make.  Costs compound and what may seem like a bunch of harmless bar rags here or there, end up becoming the difference of a few thousand dollars in a year.  So yes, nickel and dime everything and everyone.  It absolutely matters. 

- We just got our tabletop in and it’s in theme of the bar as well except it’s got a very intricate cross pattern design.  In the scheme of naming different areas and sections of our space – for some reason, the guys wanted to name our table “Tron.” 

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- I’m doing some test runs for our food receive and delivery since I happen to be cooking an event this weekend.  Today, I got my first delivery from one of the farms we plan to source a lot from: Full Belly.  Check out the amazing Sun Golds… so sweet.

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- In terms of schedule management and hiring, we’ve been really scraping our minds around what is really necessary.  When you open, you need a lot of hands on deck, which means you will likely have to over-hire to start, but after 2-3 months people become comfortable with their roles and expected workload, so your staff doesn’t need as much help.  It’s a very sensitive point because payroll is the ultimate cost when it comes to San Francisco restaurants.

- More stuff coming later in the week, including some juicy reveals.  Oh yeah, we got lucky and ended up having a smart and devoted intern, named Laura, help us with steering this crazy ship a little bit.  She’s blogging about her adventures and or our misadventures on the Summit wordpress blog, seen here.  You can also follow her at twitter account: FoodiesBooty.

1 comment:

  1. That is the sexiest table I have ever seen. Did you all hire a local woodsmith or find it online somewhere?

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