YOU WILL GO HUNGRY
"1. You will probably fail.
2. You won't have time to eat food." - Yuji Haraguchi, Yuji Ramen (New York, NY)
YOU WILL BE HASSLED. BY EVERYONE.
"Don't open a restaurant unless you really know what you're doing, because every 'elite' Yelper will fill you in on exactly how to run your restaurant based on their expertise of once upon a time in high school they worked as a busser at Denny's for two months, and now they're reliving their glory days by Instagramming sh*tty waffle photos.
Don't open a restaurant unless you're totally into being harassed 24/7 by phone calls, texts, emails, unexpected drop ins, and the occasional pigeon carrier by people trying to sell you a whole bunch of stuff you don't want.
And don't open a restaurant if you have a bigger ego than your chef." - Scott Weiner, The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group (Homestead On The Roof, The Berkshire Room, Roots Handmade Pizza, West Town Bakery, The Fifty/50) (Chicago, IL)
YOU'RE WORKING AGAINST ALL ODDS
"When someone asks for advice on opening a restaurant, my answer is always 'don't'. You must be totally passionate, fearless, and willing to lose all of your money. Otherwise, don't do it. Regulatory delays could eat up all of your money before you've even opened. How many restaurants of Eater NYC's Best Restaurants of 2010 are still open? Especially in NYC, there is ruinous competition.
Any s.o.b. with money can come in, rent the best location, hire the best chefs/GMs/architects, and not care if six months later the place shuts down. Better chefs than me have opened and failed miserably. Bankruptcy and divorce ye may face if you open a restaurant.
And just when you're feeling successful, you realize the only way to keep up the energy is to hire more people. If everything goes well, you'll have all the talent, energy, and success to open on time and make it through the first two years. Most chefs are not good business people and have a hard time dealing with financial decisions. Many restaurant owners, if they do make it to year three, should sell and get out while the takings are good. No guarantees it will ever get any better, and so many factors conspire against you -- natural disasters, a downturn in the economy, death in the family.
In July I'll be celebrating my 20th anniversary of owning my restaurants. I've opened five, closed four. Of those, only one lasted six years, and my current restaurant may make it to nine years." - Jimmy Carbone, Jimmy's No. 43 (New York, NY)