If there’s someone who knows a thing or two about opening and running a successful restaurant, it has got to be Bobby Flay. The celebrity chef has been in business since 1991, and his empire has just been growing over the years.
For that first restaurant, a young Bobby partnered with Laurence Kretchmer, the renowned businessman, and the rest is history. The eatery went by the name Mesa Grill and was in Manhattan, New York, and it quickly made a name for itself.
Soon, its success translated to other restaurants as Flay gained fame for his prowess in the kitchen. The fact that he also became a media personality and an author catapulted his fame to celebrity status, and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of him.
Words of Advice
As is the case with most successful people, Bobby Flay is looking out for aspiring chefs who deem him their mentor, and has some words of advice for them. Are you looking to open a restaurant on your own? The celebrity chef says that you must first have excess capital and be full of patience.
As Flay puts it, opening a restaurant always costs double what you had budgeted for, and since he’s been there and done that a million times over, why not just heed his advice?
Better safe than sorry should be your mantra, before you go in full throttle and run out of cash before you actualize your dream.
And according to RestaurantOwner.com, an eatery operator site, it costs an average of $375,000 for you to open a stand-alone restaurant.
And you know that time frame you have in mind? Chef Bobby says that you should also double it, since it takes twice as long as you anticipate. Again, he is a master of his craft, so you shouldn’t take his words lightly.
Also, the top chef warns of some unexpected challenges along the way. Remember Mesa Grill, his first restaurant? It had been operational for over two decades before he finally had to close it in 2013.
His landlord quadrupled the amount of rent he was paying, and if he were to pay up, Bobby Flay would be operating at a loss.
Luckily, if you were a customer of his, you can catch the Las Vegas version of the Manhattan restaurant, which he opened in 2004. Thankfully, that one hasn’t had any landlord issues 😊
Just last year, the chef also closed down Bar Americain, also located in Manhattan. As The Times reported, closing it down was the safer option as compared to Bobby renewing his lease.
What do all these closures tell you? Bobby runs his empire by making decisions that profit him in the long-term, even if they seem to have immediate negative consequences.
In line with this, he compares restaurants to Broadway shows. A show in its peak attracts large audiences, but the buzz soon fades away, and he says that it’s the same in the restaurant business. When you feel like you’ve had a nice run, it’s time to move on to the next challenge.
All in all, chef Bobby advices that the key is total self-belief, and the ability to recognize your small wins. He says that when he establishes a new eatery, he doesn’t think about the whole menu – he handles one food item at a time. Can you do that?