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Running a Restaurant/Opening restaurant in a food court.

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Question
Dear David,

I'm Alex, 32 years old french guy (trying to type good english), I'm running a fast food in France since 5 years. I started with no cash, so I'm stuck in a spot witout any parking near, without any visibility. My concept is unique and got good success, but cause of a very very bad spot, customer got trouble to come to me.

I want to move, and i thought about coming in US or Canada. I have two big questions. First, can you help me to find someone able to help me (administrative, find provider, find good place, ...) along this adventure? Second, I havent so many cash, but I'm so confident in the concept, I just have to make taste people to make them fan! Can you help me to find some kind of business angel/partner?

Thank you for your time.
Best regards, Alex.

Answer
Hi Alex,

I will do my best to answer your questions.

First, congratulations on accomplishing what you have despite having a bad location. You are to be commended for your efforts.

Your first step, if you are going to open a restaurant in Canada or the US will be to make sure you have the correct type of Visa (at least for the US - I am not familiar with Canadian laws).  There are attorneys that specialize in immigration law and can tell you exactly what you need to do.

Even before you find a location, you will need to develop a business plan and come up with a way of obtaining financing.  And Alex, I have to tell you that this will not be an easy task.  For every one investor that contacts me about investing in a restaurant concept I have 100 people with restaurant ideas.  It is virtually impossible to get funded unless you have some money of your own to get started. There are a lot of "crowdfunding" sources you can explore online, and if you are fortunate enough to raise some funds that way, it could be a down payment on a business loan. Dependent upon your credit, you may qualify for a business loan but few if any lenders will fund more than 80% of what you need, meaning the remaining 20% needs to come from you.

I don't want to discourage you, but I do want you to be aware of the reality of what it will take to open and operate a successful restaurant here (or virtually anywhere).

Feel free to email me with any additional questions.  I will do my best to help.

David Foster
Foster and Associates
dfoster@fosterandassociates.net
(417) 877-0428 office
(417) 883-8989 fax
(417) 849-1903  

Running a Restaurant

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David Foster

Expertise

We have been in the restaurant industry for over 40 years and consult with restaurants, casinos and hotels nationwide. We love helping restaurant operators succeed and can answer any questions related to restaurant start-ups, business plans, operations, labor costs, food costs, liquor costs, employee turnover, marketing etc.

Experience

I am a seasoned foodservice veteran with nearly 42 years experience in the industry. My extensive background includes overseeing multi-unit, multi-concept restaurant operations ranging from cafeterias to fine dining, and everything in between. I have a strong hands-on operations and marketing background that give me a unique insight into the “Real World” challenges of the restaurant industry. I have extensive concept development, menu and recipe development and kitchen layout and design expertise. I am effective in analyzing operational needs and identifying practical solutions in today’s very dynamic foodservice environment. In the industry, I am respected by my peers and have served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Restaurant Association and have been a featured speaker on the subject of Home Meal Replacement at various national events. I also served on the Culinary Advisory Board of the Ozark Technical College as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

Organizations
Member of the National Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of the Missouri Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks

Publications
The Consultant, Seasoned Views (a trade magazine for the restaurant industry)

Education/Credentials
Attended Drury College, Springfield, MO, Varsity Management, SRI

Awards and Honors
I have had restaurant projects featured in The Consultant (a magazine for foodservice consultants with worldwide circulation). I was honored for achieving the highest level of management competence by the Selection Research Institute.

Past/Present Clients
Sugar Creek Casino, Classic Rock Coffee Company, Mark Twain Brewing Company, Springfield Brewing Company, Bruegger's Bagels, M&M Grill, Paco Joe's, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Buffalo Run Casino, Golden Corral Corporation, Crosswinds Café, Chinese Chef, Mr. Dunderbak's Old World Market & Café, Bullfeather’s Wings and Grille, Mainstreet Market, Bear Rock Café, Cartoon's Oyster Bar & Grill, T's Redneck Roadhouse, Jim's Steakhouse, Neighbor's Mill Bakery & Café, Crazy Vine, San Francisco Oven, Maria's Mexican Restaurant, Andy's Frozen Custard, The Granite Club, Umi Japanese Steak, Seafood and Sushi, Springfield Grocer Company, US Foodservice, Premium Standard Farms, Smithfield, Dakota Organic, Kraft Foods, Allens, Inc.

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