Seriously: Don't Open a Restaurant

The Zagats have news for you: It's not as fun as it looks
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2011 8:17 AM CDT
Updated Apr 7, 2011 1:53 PM CDT
This is not as much fun as it looks.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Do you dream of opening your own restaurant one day? Well, Nina and Tim Zagat have some advice for you: "Don't do it!" And they should know, considering they co-founded and publish Zagat Restaurant Surveys. Opening a restaurant is about a lot more than just being "a great host or good cook," they write in the Wall Street Journal. "But it's hard to deter people," even though "there's a 60% probability that you will fail within three years or less."

In order to open a successful restaurant, you'll need "a knack for real estate;" "an eye for interior design;" leadership skills; people skills; a good memory; a welcoming demeanor; public relations, advertising, and social media know-how; technical, plumbing, and electrical talents; and the ability to work long days, every day—including holidays—and get by on little sleep. "Serving hundreds of people à la carte is totally different than cooking a meal for a few friends," the Zagats conclude. "That's why we try to dissuade our friends from opening their own restaurants. That's also why we admire successful restaurateurs so much."

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