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The Weight Of Being A Restaurateur

February 14, 2012

On the one hand, I have to, someday, own a restaurant.  First of all, it’s the only way I can get my cooking fix without either putting myself in the poorhouse or on the fat farm.  Second, it’s the only avenue I can visualize that would allow me to do all the cooking I want and have someone else wash the dishes.

However, on the other hand, what a load to carry.  I’m in sales, and have been all my life.  Frankly, I’m not used to working that hard.  Add to that the fact that you’re tied down to it all the time.  And the worry of owning your own business on top of all the rest.  Yeeesh.

But, in truth, I find myself drawn to it more every day.  I try to scare myself off with thoughts of late nights, hard work, constant worry, fear of failure, crises of confidence, dreams that turn into nightmares.  But still, I find my way back to picturing myself doing it.  Cooking for a living.

Which brings to mind another source of doubt.  What of my cousin’s admonition that if you like to cook “don’t open a restaurant”?  I know exactly what he means as I seriously contemplate the possibility.  To open a restaurant is to become a manager.  Blech.  Staffing headaches, shrinkage and security, financial controls, maintenance, etc.  All I want is to make people a nice plate of food and have them pay me for it.

I’ve thought that I would like to start off catering and sharpen my chops, so to speak.  Learn to cook in volume, learn some pricing guidelines, some menu development strategies.  But I wonder how much of that really translates to a restaurant.  And my thinking is, not too much.  And, unfortunately, there’s no real way to ease into the business.  Line cooks make squat, as do “assistant managers”.  I’m too old to start at the bottom of the food industry.

It would be easier to pursue my dream if I knew what my dream was.  Maybe it will become clear.  Or, at least, clearer.  Or maybe it is clear, and I just don’t want to see it.  It’s all so confusing.  I’m going to go ruminate over some leftovers and contemplate my next meal move.

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  1. linda k. stevens permalink


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