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

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9780793185672: The New Restaurant Entrepreneur: An Inside Look at Restaurant Deal-Making and Other Tales from the Culinary Trenches

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 preopening, or deal, phase, when funding, partnerships, and a clear concept are 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.

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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.

From Booklist:

A successful new restaurant represents a conjunction of talent and business sense that absorbs both capital and aesthetic energy. Sweeney began his professional career working in the kitchen of San Francisco's venerable Jeremiah Tower. After rising to head chef at another restaurant, Sweeney went bust managing his own operation. So he decided to get an MBA to help prevent future restaurateurs' errors. Sweeney focuses on the "deal" that creates a restaurant: a vision, a partnership, and a financial plan. He believes that if these are successfully addressed, the restaurant has maximized its chances for success. He advocates analyzing demand and doing careful marketing to be sure the menu attracts the right audience. He exhorts restaurateurs to pay careful attention to location and to plan cash flow carefully. Sweeney covers the business side of restaurants objectively and in such careful detail that anyone contemplating opening an eatery can use the author's organizational insights to minimize risk and to maximize chances for success. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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