July 1, 2014
TO OPEN A RESTAURANT, you have to be a crazy person. It’s not just the closure rate. Around one in four restaurants fail in the first year -- daunting, but far rosier than the infamously apocalyptic myth of “9 out of 10”. Insanity’s required because of the nature of the failure: it’s brutally expensive, shamefully public, and usually follows years of slavish devotion to simply getting the dream off the ground.
Thank god for crazy people then, because as of 2014 there are 990,000 restaurant locations in the U.S. That’s almost 100,000 more opportunities than ten years ago for Americans to let more talented people do the cooking for them. To help keep this trend going, we talked to restaurant owners, operators, and chefs across the country about the staggering number and variety of landmines lying in wait for anyone wanting to take the plunge -- and got some advice about dealing with them. If you’re thinking about opening a place, or just want to hear a hilarious story about "Shirtless Edgar", read on.