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Business Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
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Rap17 Offline
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Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Hello, long time lurker asking for advice on starting a restaurant in Vancouver. Me and my cousin want to start a Peruvian restaurant in Vancouver. It will serve exclusively “Pollo a la Brasa” with some sides of “Anticuchos” Inca Kola and Chicha Morada will also be served. Our main competition would Nandos and Swiss Chalet; Swiss Chalet being shit. What I’m asking is how likely would this business succed and what do I have to look for?. Note it wont be a small joint that only caters to latinos, like most restaurants do in the US; on the contrary I’m trying appeal to everyone else. Feedback and past experiences would be nice.
09-07-2017 03:20 PM
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Laner Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Vancouver BC?

Look at Tacofino for some inspiration. They have been successful in areas where other ethnic foods have not. From friends who own restaurants, success is going to be about being able to have cheap overhead but the ability to expand quickly when the time is right. Otherwise, best case scenario, you just become a moderately busy ethnic spot.

It shouldn't have to be said, but location is everything.
09-07-2017 03:28 PM
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Sidney Crosby Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Your competition wont be Nandos or Swiss Chalet, those are both giant chain restaurants.

Are you and your cousin Permanent residents or citizens?

Do you have any restaurant experience? How big of a place do you want?

By Vancouver do you mean, downtown ish or do you mean metro Vancouver? Depending on where you live I'd consider maybe opening a place in Surrey or something, the rent in Vancouver is crazy.

I think you're competing with Mexican restaurants, most people would assume Peruvian and Mexican is basically the same thing.

Have you considered a food cart or truck? They make a killing in Vancouver. Look at japadog, that guy is swimming in cash. You could always transition to a restaurant later and keep the food cart/truck. It would be a great way to build clientele.
09-07-2017 03:37 PM
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Rap17 Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Laner: Yes location is everything for any business, but you cant forget that scenery is equally important. Look at Cactus Club for proof.

Sidney Crosby: Yeah no Im a Canadian citizen and hes American. We do have business experiences in other ventures but the restaurant thing is lacking thats why I turned to here. NOOOO Vancouver would be great but even a shitty condo is 2 mil these days, im focusing in on white rock/ Langley area cause thats where the retires go, so they have more money to spend. No thats the thing I wont sell it as an ethnic place but rather a more white washed restaurant similar to chiplotle. I thought about the food truck thing, but it I dont know if the grill would fit in a truck; and then I would def have to sell it as an ethnic place. Problem is most people have not heard of peruvian food much less of the actual country, so its a tough sell trying to appell to someones curious side.
09-07-2017 03:52 PM
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Sidney Crosby Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Rap I'd suggest getting at least a couple months experience working in a restaurant. You never know you may work a couple months at some place and hate it. If you already have a job you could always take on a part time shift at some place two, three nights a week.

Langley is good, look into maybe Downtown Langley or around Willowbrook mall.
09-07-2017 04:25 PM
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DrugAdvisor Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
From a brick and mortar business perspective, figure out which of these areas you need help or are your strengths.

Operations

Accounts

Sales & Marketing

Bureucratic & Red Tape

General Management

Aside from working 16 hour days, getting shoved by city taxes, handling and bickering over small issues with customers, spending sleepless nights worrying whether your monthly overheads will be met this month, you're good to go!
09-07-2017 08:22 PM
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Laner Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
(09-07-2017 03:52 PM)Rap17 Wrote:  Laner: Yes location is everything for any business, but you cant forget that scenery is equally important. Look at Cactus Club for proof.

Sidney Crosby: Yeah no Im a Canadian citizen and hes American. We do have business experiences in other ventures but the restaurant thing is lacking thats why I turned to here. NOOOO Vancouver would be great but even a shitty condo is 2 mil these days, im focusing in on white rock/ Langley area cause thats where the retires go, so they have more money to spend. No thats the thing I wont sell it as an ethnic place but rather a more white washed restaurant similar to chiplotle. I thought about the food truck thing, but it I dont know if the grill would fit in a truck; and then I would def have to sell it as an ethnic place. Problem is most people have not heard of peruvian food much less of the actual country, so its a tough sell trying to appell to someones curious side.

- Good scenery is a byproduct of a good location.

- White Rock is good, but is also almost as expensive as good areas of Vancouver. I might check this, but places like Chinatown or Fraser might even be cheaper than White Rock. Langley is mostly strip malls and gets pretty run down in the city center. As much as I love Cloverdale, I would not recommend.

- Sounds like maybe Taco del Mar might be more of what you are looking for. They are very successful from what I hear, and local. Just don't get funded by the Punjab mafia or they might blow up your restaurant, house and then dump your body on the beaches of Squamish.

- This is a catch 22. On the one hand being 'ethnic' can be good to attract virtue signalling hipsters, but it can also isolate people who are more attracted to aesthetics. King St in Toronto has some of the best designed 'ethnic' restaurants I have ever seen. But they almost feel like they were started by the marketing division of some super cool design house. Not a bad way to go, but then you will be looking for real estate in Chinatown, New West, Steveston, Kerrisdale, White Rock.
09-07-2017 10:15 PM
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Rap17 Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
okay no my cousin is going to open up a restaurant in peru for now, that way he knows the ins and outs of the business and how to run it properly as head chef. were waiting for these rents to go down as getting place right now is extremely high; and it would be too high of a risk. But yeah Langley is deff in my list of places as its commercial. Being raised in Cloderdale my whole life I know what the surrounding areas can offer. No I would rather put a Mucho Burrito than a taco del mar as im not very impressed with the taco del mar products. and getting money from the mafia is a big NO-NO dont worry. YEAH, hipsters are a good crowd but I head they are mostly in Victoria. Right now im checking out Abbotsford because of the low rent prices and the fact that this place literally no competion, a quality chinese place KILLLL here too.
09-08-2017 12:00 AM
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Sidney Crosby Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Isn't Abbotsford all mennonites and brown people (East Indians for you non-Canadians) ?

They are developing the Willoughby area of Langley like crazy and there aren't many restaurants besides fast food for competition.
09-08-2017 12:17 AM
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ComebackKid Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
What is ROE of successful restaurant? What returns do market leaders get?

I love restaurants, but I never found this business attractive.
09-08-2017 12:26 AM
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Going strong Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Consider the following post: people in the know, often advise for a bar, rather than restaurant, opening...

(06-06-2016 01:19 PM)birthday cat Wrote:  
(06-06-2016 12:54 PM)Going strong Wrote:  Relevant to this thread, is: https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-50098.html

Bar or hostel are I'd say basically the same kind of investment abroad (same amount of money and quantity of paperwork involved)...

The difference is that a hostel is open 24x7.

These aren't the businesses for me anymore but I would always choose owning a bar over a restaurant or hostel.
09-08-2017 12:35 AM
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Sidney Crosby Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
GS it's hard to get a license for a bar or nightclub in BC, I'm not sure about other provinces.
09-08-2017 01:00 AM
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Rap17 Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Alright it depends where you go in Abbotsford. The Mennonites live in the white areas like east Abbotsford, and they're very progressive from what if seen. Indians live in the lower at west or central Abbotsford where the gangs are. Yeah Langley is a good option if you have a large capital. Bar is a bit risky because the amount of success you get directly correlates to how attractive your clients are(female at least).
09-08-2017 01:07 AM
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Rhyme or Reason Away
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Post: #14
RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
If you don't have experience managing or at the very least working in a successful restaurant, don't do it.
09-08-2017 01:28 PM
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rudebwoy Away
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Post: #15
RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
That sort of restaurant would fly in Toronto.

Mexican food is killing it here right now, Chipotle being the leader of course.

I don't think marketing it to retirees is a good idea, they probably prefer awful Swiss Chalet.

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09-08-2017 01:41 PM
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Veloce Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
I don't know anything about operating in Canada so bear that in mind.

The biggest issues facing operators right now BY FAR is labor. Increasing minimum wages, and diluted workforce. There are just so many restaurants opening right now and finding talent or even halfway competent employees is extremely challenging.

You are correct to open a QSR (quick service restaurant). You want to maximize cover count with minimal staff. You do not want waitstaff. You should offer counter service. You can still do these things with design touches like recovered wood, industrial accents, edison bulbs to capture that hipster market share.

Your projections should dictate your rent budget. What's your check average? For pollo a la brasa I'd say you should be shooting for the $15-20 range. Next, honestly project how much business you're doing to do. 40 guests per day? 100? 400?

Assuming you do 45 covers for lunch and 90 for dinner your first 6 months of business, you're looking at about $2000-$2500 per day in gross sales. Your rent should fall somewhere around 7% of gross sales. So assuming you're open 7 days a week and average $2200 per day that's $66,000 per month in sales x .07 = $4620 per month in rent.

Assuming you average $60,000 per month in sales that's $720,000 annually gross. If you really know what you're doing, and I mean the top 10% of restaurants that can do this, you'll hit a 4% return and make a whopping $28,800 of profit. Presumably somewhere in there you'll pay yourself a salary, but this shouldn't be more than about 5% of gross and you keep any profits.

So the real key in a QSR is opening multiple outlets; this is why they are so successful. They're much easier to maintain and replicate than anything more high end or formal. Once you have one operation doing well after 2 years, your second location will seem like a walk in the park.

Restaurants are fucking hard.

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09-08-2017 03:58 PM
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CaptainChardonnay Away
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Great info Veloce. +1 from me.
09-11-2017 12:44 PM
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germanico Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Quote:so its a tough sell trying to appell to someones curious side.

Its tougher when you are selling cow hearts and boiled corn.

Quote:Mexican food is killing it here right now, Chipotle being the leader of course.

A non-mexican chain selling non-mexican food.

Want to sell to your primos and their cumpas? They are not paying your rent.

Want to sell to hipsters and food critics? They dont want to even pay for what they just ate. But they will promise to write about it on their blogs.

Who do you want to sell to?

Want to sell to the masses? Well, tough shit. Masses dont:

-Have good taste.

-Like exotic food from unknown places.

-Want to learn the proper pronunciation of funny sounding foreign words.

-Have much money or leave tips.

Do you want to own a restaurant? Then find a nice place, get a decent contract, hire reliable people, and enjoy your new job working for the shittiest boss there is: yourself. You might even make some profit by the end of the month.

Want to make millions? Make the dumbest, fattiest, american-iest version of your own cuisine and then experiment with the recipe until you get something that you can make in mass quantities, freeze for months, and then bake or cook in under 180 seconds to be ready to serve. The ingredients must be chosen on a price/shelf life basis, never on quality or authenticity. Think high fructose corn syrup, think surplus government cheddar cheese, think hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

People dont want new things. They want the same old. Give them cow diaphragms or tongues (my regional dishes) for 12 bucks in a nice place and they wont even cross the door. You can call yourself lucky the day you get a full house, and will fire half your waiters for lack of use before the first month ends. Give them beef and cherry tomatoes on a skewer, smother them in "Generic Mayo Type Salad Dressing, 124oz." with some chopped up chives in it for looks, call it "El Antikebab Inca Supreme" on the menu, sell it for 2.99, 1.99 more for a regular soda and fries. Sell 300 of those a day and if you can keep your overhead expenses low you could have 250k cash in the bank in a year. Your choice.

And fucking read. Start by getting a copy of The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco. Do that in under a week because after that, then you need to read a fucking lot on food industry practices and standards. And another fucking lot on customer service, management, finance, strategy, law and regulations.

You want a big restaurant? Then get your head outside the small business mentality. Go big or sit back down.

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09-12-2017 02:43 AM
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bootyhuntah Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
(09-08-2017 12:26 AM)ComebackKid Wrote:  What is ROE of successful restaurant? What returns do market leaders get?

I love restaurants, but I never found this business attractive.

I've had access to some sales reports and P/L statements of some of the past places I've worked - brick and mortar food/coffee/beer & wine places. Some had liquor licenses to sell cocktails, which increases your margins but it comes with added risk and regulation. The good places can take home 20-25% margins.

It really all depends on your business model and how well you manage your overheads.

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09-12-2017 10:09 AM
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Veloce Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
(09-12-2017 10:09 AM)bootyhuntah Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 12:26 AM)ComebackKid Wrote:  What is ROE of successful restaurant? What returns do market leaders get?

I love restaurants, but I never found this business attractive.

I've had access to some sales reports and P/L statements of some of the past places I've worked - brick and mortar food/coffee/beer & wine places. Some had liquor licenses to sell cocktails, which increases your margins but it comes with added risk and regulation. The good places can take home 20-25% margins.

It really all depends on your business model and how well you manage your overheads.

20-25% of what? Annual net profit? No way.

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09-12-2017 04:30 PM
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Drazen Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Copy Andina in Portland.

http://www.andinarestaurant.com/

Vancouver is even more yuppie than Portland, you have to do this versus going extremely native. Appeal to yuppies with upscale food with smaller portions.
09-12-2017 04:51 PM
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bootyhuntah Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
(09-12-2017 04:30 PM)Veloce Wrote:  
(09-12-2017 10:09 AM)bootyhuntah Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 12:26 AM)ComebackKid Wrote:  What is ROE of successful restaurant? What returns do market leaders get?

I love restaurants, but I never found this business attractive.

I've had access to some sales reports and P/L statements of some of the past places I've worked - brick and mortar food/coffee/beer & wine places. Some had liquor licenses to sell cocktails, which increases your margins but it comes with added risk and regulation. The good places can take home 20-25% margins.

It really all depends on your business model and how well you manage your overheads.

20-25% of what? Annual net profit? No way.
Profit before taxation. Your model doesn't take into account high-margin items like coffee and alcohol sales.

Latin American Coffee Guide
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09-12-2017 06:02 PM
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The Beast1 Offline
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RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
Totally off topic reply, but Nando's is utter shit. If i'm going out to a restaurant for dinner I want something I can't make fed to me (fried chicken). I can grill chicken all day at my house and buy Nando's sauces on my own for a quarter of their price.

Shalom Alechem!
09-13-2017 08:00 PM
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Laner Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
I agree. For me its Korean fried chicken and beer places.

That shit is the crack cocaine of the fried chicken universe. Thats not even counting the Korean girls in booty shorts and high heels.
09-13-2017 10:06 PM
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Veloce Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Opening a Restaurant in Vancouver
(09-12-2017 06:02 PM)bootyhuntah Wrote:  
(09-12-2017 04:30 PM)Veloce Wrote:  
(09-12-2017 10:09 AM)bootyhuntah Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 12:26 AM)ComebackKid Wrote:  What is ROE of successful restaurant? What returns do market leaders get?

I love restaurants, but I never found this business attractive.

I've had access to some sales reports and P/L statements of some of the past places I've worked - brick and mortar food/coffee/beer & wine places. Some had liquor licenses to sell cocktails, which increases your margins but it comes with added risk and regulation. The good places can take home 20-25% margins.

It really all depends on your business model and how well you manage your overheads.

20-25% of what? Annual net profit? No way.
Profit before taxation. Your model doesn't take into account high-margin items like coffee and alcohol sales.

Yes it does.

4% is a target net profit that nearly all restaurant operators would be thrilled to achieve after taxes, cost-of-goods, salaries, and operating expenses.

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TEAM NO APPS

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09-14-2017 02:20 PM
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