Some things potential owners should know before opening a restaurant


  1. Everyone who works for you will steal from you in some capacity, be in food , falsified hours , petty cash or any number of other scams, a good employee is one who doesn’t rob you blind.
  2. Equipment will break down at the most inopportune moment possible.
  3. New kitchen equipment is a rip off you can buy the same thing used for a third of the price. Restaurants go under all the time take advantage of it and buy their barely used equipment cheap. Of course sometimes you need something like now! And it’s worth the rip off !
  4. If a restaurant was in the location your considering before you and failed the location is what we in the restaurant industry call a burned location and your chances of success there are slim to none. Unfortunately humans are creatures of habit and it will take them years to get over the image of that location as a no go eatery mean while you will be stuck there running out of patience , money and resources.
  5. When it comes to suppliers and service people the squeaky wheel gets the grease, chef yelling at phonewondering why you get shipped sub-par product , get deliveries late , are waiting forever for the repair man. That’s because other chefs and owners aren’t , they’re screaming and raving down the phone line threatening to close their accounts , trust me it works!
  6. Firing people sucks but is a necessary evil, what’s worse than firing people who are obviously terrible at and unhappy in their jobs is stringing them along until there is no possible option but to get rid of them in an abrupt and excitable manner. If you own or run a business some days your going to have be the bad guy get used to it.
  7. The neighborhood and city , in my experience good restaurateurs, know the cites and neighborhoods their businesses  are in inside out , they have their figures on the pulse are always well informed about what’s trending , developing and generally going on in the food industry as well as in their specific area.
  8. Linen service is great! in no way is this ever a waste of money here are the biggest reasons.
  • Cooks are obsessed with cloths , it’s a good thing! they need them on mass and believe me washing a 100+ filthy rags yourself every night is not the ideal way to celebrate the fact business is booming.
  • Kitchen staff are bad at remembering/bothering to wash uniforms , not to mention even if they do remember to wash them, they will never get them as clean as the linen service.
  • You will spend a fortune on laundry detergent , washing machines , bleach and water bills before eventually deciding to go with the linen service. do yourself a favor and just get one to start with.

Regarding cooks

  1. Line cooks will call in sick because they stayed up way too late doing drugs , drinking and generally getting into trouble, make peace with it if they’re good it’s worth it if they’re not fire them , either way chances are if they’re calling in you don’t want them there any more than they want to be there .
  2. Moral is very important , cooks are like pirates moral gets too low they’ll mutiny have nopirate cooks doubt about it if they don’t feel it’s worth their time they will leave you high and dry often many at the same time if anything they’re are loyal to their chef not the owner.
  3. Don’t touch their personal knives same goes for their specifically set up stations or mise en palce there is a reason they have it set up the way they do and if you move something 2 inches to the left their liable to get thrown off by it .

like Order up! check out what I was doing before all this

Also feel free to leave me comments about your own kitchen experiences I’m always interested to hear them.



The tip debate

I work in a café on the bottom floor of one of those huge over populated commercial buildings in downtown Toronto . 2 floors above me is the office of an attractive young doctor with a healthy addiction to turkey clubs , I joke that he’s in the turkey club (I know I’m hilarious ). Anyway most of the time he sends his receptionist to pick them up but at least once a week he comes to pick the order up in person , we share a banter about the weather or the city or whatever he puts his orders on an account so I’d never actually rung him in before .

Today was one of those days he came in person and to pay his tab the first debate arises with the size of the tip 60% more than half the total bill . Being a devout over tipper my self even I was pleased but doubtful it must be a mistake I think to my self he’s entered his pin number by accident or something “I think you may have made a mistake” I question . He checks over the bill “Nope no mistake , that’s for you, Merry Christmas” .

Ok now I’m really confused but you know great I could use the money , I guess the guy really like s to talk to waitresses about the weather once a week, or he pities me or something in which case moneys money I’ll take it.

Now I just have to figure out how to deal with it seeing as my boss is definitely going to assume when he sees this that it’s a mistake because who the hell tips 60% even at Christmas. So I have to explain to him so as not to miss out on my freak tip that’s when the real question arises .

We divide tips at my work evenly between the servers who worked the day the tips are from , so when I receive my cash from the boss man I’m surprised when he says “so your keeping that for yourself right”

“well I figured I’d split it between the 2 of us (my self and the morning girl for that day”

“why she didn’t , it was only 20% that time though” apparently this had happened before and my co worker and supposed friend had pocketed the cash .

In my eyes the question is this do I trust what my boss tells me to be true and pocket the cash but betray the trust we give each other to divide tips fairly every day , or do I be the bigger man so to speak and divide it evenly to spite the fact she may not do the same?

cash questionmark

10 Things your waitress isn’t (that you seem to think she is)

  1. Clairvoyant I don’t know why you assume I know exactly what you want for lunch simply by looking at you but I don’t !
  2. A therapist ,I am not qualified to or interested in helping you with life’s many problems , have some class and keep it to your self .
  3. A sex worker I do not exist for you to ogle me , flirt with me or otherwise perve out in public . Just stop! It’s creepy and weird.
  4. A tourist information center. No I do not know where the World War II memorial museum is . I know it’s not here , this is a restaurant , this is also what mapquest is for .
  5. A security guard I am not here to watch your purse , bicycle , laptop or other personal item . Don’t ask!
  6. The weather man , I don’t know if it’s supposed to snow later or how cold it’s going to be tomorrow I suggest you consult the weather network.
  7.  A traffic reporter, no I don’t know why the traffic is so heavy right now maybe it’s because your downtown in a major city at rush hour .
  8. A public transit employee . The subways down I hadn’t noticed I’m at work , why is it down I don’t know I’M AT WORK!
  9. The Boss , yes sometimes restaurants have strange policy’s , I didn’t make them , and chances are I’m as baffled by them as you are .
  10. Your friend , just because your a regular and we see each other most days doesn’t make us friends ,I hate to break it to you but there’s more to friendship than that.