Running a Restaurant/advise


Hi Adam.

I am a Mexican chef that will partner up with one person in Boston.
I want to know how much % of profits will be fair for both of us.
He will invest arround 100K for a small takeout place, I won't invest a dime. The concept, dishes, menu, logo, slogan, etc. is very original and is 100% mine. He tried my food in Mexico with some of his relatives and they said ...let's do it. We all think that this is going next homerun in US once all concept is unique.

Should I ask for salary plus % of profits? I will be working on the BOH and he will be doing the FOH but as you may know my job will be more time cosuming than far.

And what if we get very succesfull and are able to franchise? How much to split on franchising?

I really apreciate your advise.

Best regards.


Make sure to get everything in writing, that is very important and that both you and him sign and agree on terms. That's #1. Also need to have stipulations about future growth and how you will be paid upon expansion.
Profit sharing is a good way to take ownership over a project. It is a little scary, because it is easy to hide money and show no profits. So again, this must be a provision in your agreement to be able to see the books and bank statements to match. Profits generally aren't very high in the restaurant industry anyway, so the amount of sharing won't be very much. If you do a really great job at running the restaurant, your profits will be around ten percent. An average would be more around 3%. What I would do is split the profits up into sections. Half the profit should go back into the restaurant or into an account for rainy days or expansion. One quarter can go to investors/financing partners. The other quarter should be split between upper management equally.
Your salary really depends on how much money the restaurant will be making. Labor total needs to be around 30%, so your salary, your staff and the owners salary all need to fit within the 30%. Guessing on that type of restaurant, I would say sales will be around $150,000 per month, $1.8 Mil a year. Your salary should be between $45,000-65,000 per year to start plus profit share. Maybe you can also add into your agreement, that upon opening of the restaurant and/or expansion, you take a certain percent of ownership, maybe 5%.

Although it is your food and concept, it is still someone else's money and they are taking the biggest risk. If this doesn't succeed, you're out of a job. If this fails for them, they could be in a really bad situation for a long time.

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Adam Hegsted


I can answer most questions front and back of the house. I have been mostly back of the house experienced, but have owned my own restaurant and helped run and develop the other restaurants I have worked (from the boh). I am versed in many cuisines but no more about Mexican, Italian, and French. I have also studied a lot and done molecular cuisine or new haute cooking. I study the science of cuisine and cooking techniques as well and have practiced many. Also am certified proctor for Serv Safe. I have won a lot of culinary competitions ACF and national. I work with small farms and farmers and know quite a bit about laws and different things regarding that as well. I know all about setting up and building restaurants and everything do to with costing front and back of house.


Executive Chef Coeur d' Alene Casino, Resort and Hotel (current 3 years) (all types of restaurants, built and developed all, fine dining steakhouse, deli, grill, cafe, pub, buffet, room service, and catering) Owner/Chef The Wandering Table (current 1 year)(catering/fine dining) Owner/Chef Le Piastre (1 year) (fine dining/bistro) Executive Chef Brix Restaurant (5 years) (fine dining, multi course) and The Beacon, a pub (casual, pub fare) (all aspects of the kitchen and developed wine program) Executive Chef Cedars Restaurant (3 years) Fine dining steakhouse

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Art Institute of Seattle- Associates of Arts in Culinary Arts Northwest Culinary Academy (Spokane,WA)- Associates of Sciences in Culinary Arts

Awards and Honors
2009 Wine, Stein, and Dine Cookoff “Best of Show” Best Entrée” “Best Dessert” 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Marti Gras Cookoff “Best of Show” “Best Entrée” The Inlander Magazine “Top 30, under 30” Won 2007 Battle of the Chefs (Iron Chef for Spokane Top Chefs) 2008 First Place National Peanut Advisory Recipe Competition 2007 Taste of Spain, Tapas Recipe Contest, Spanish Trade Commission 2008 First Place International BC Canadian Albacore Tuna Competition 2007 First Place Idaho Potato Commission Recipe Contest 2008 State Recipe Competition United States of Potato 2009 Rio Texas Grapefruit Recipe Competition 2008 “Best New Restaurant” Cuisine Magazine 2010 Haagen Dazs Foodservice Challenge with Marcus Samuelson 1st Place 2011 3rd Place California Grape Commission Competition I've competed and won numerous regional black box competitions. I've won 3 silver medals in mystery box competitions from the American Culinary Federation.

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