Hi all I’m new to this forum so first I wanted to tell you a little about myself. I am 26 years old and just finished culinary school. I have always had a passion for cooking even from a young age. I live in a small town of chowchilla ca with a population of 15,000 people. Their is a restaurant here that opened 9 months ago it has a great location on the main street in town. The problem is i drive by the place everyday and i only see 1 or 2 cars in the parking lot if any. I fear the place is about to close due to no business. I have spoken to many locals who say the place isn’t worth the price and they don’t want to go back. I would love to buy the place and start my own but i don’t have the money. What i would like to do instead is approach the owner and ask him if I could help turn the restaurant around but I don’t know how to begin. In culinary school i took extra classes on business management that i believe has prepared me to run a restaurant. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated thank you.
I assume when you state that the locals say “the place isn’t worth the price“, they mean either that the food is over-priced and the owner is charging more for the food than what the quality or quantity served deserves, or prices are higher than what the locals feel that they can afford.
I really think you would probably have no chance of getting the owner to agree to let you work with him to turn things around, unless you had money available to invest in the place (which you don’t). Unless he is serving a more exotic (higher-priced) menu than what the area can handle, or he himself is a complete idiot when it comes to cooking (which is possible), he likely feels that he needs to make a fairly large profit, for whatever reason (high mortgage payments, large family to support, medical expenses, large business loans, alimony, child support, etc.). As a result, he uses cheaper ingredients and/or serves smaller portions.
Any owner in this situation already feels trapped, and without a source for additional investment in his business, feels he has no direction to turn. Adding you to the payroll will only make his situation worse, and any suggestions you might make for him to serve larger portions or use higher-quality ingredients will not be welcomed, since he will see this as cutting into his profits. He will also not be receptive to any major advertising, special prices, coupons, etc. since he would feel that these could cost him more money too.
You also have to consider the psychology involved here. If the owner thinks you are too smart without having a monetary investment in the business, he will probably be scared that you might steal his business right out from under his nose.