The Problems That Come With Industry Outsiders Opening Restaurants
In the restaurant industry, it's common to see industry outsiders running the businesses. Decent home cooks will romanticise the idea of having their own little restaurant. Then, someday they make it happen. Others might see a restaurant as a good money making opportunity to invest in. However they get there, many of them will fail. By coming from outside the industry, they'll be lacking the knowledge and you can only gain from spending many years working in the industry. It will be a sobering experience for the owner when they realise how little they actually know about the position they've stepped into. If they go forward with humility and try to learn as much as they can along the way, success is possible. It doesn't usually go down like that, though.
As the industry outsider gets started in their restaurant, they'll have to hire industry veterans to help with the day to day work of the restaurant. By doing good work, these veterans will be running the restaurant's day to day. Over time, the owner may get the sense that they're losing control of their own business. Don't fight this. The key is to accept this. As a business owner, they should be bringing in people who can do the work better than themselves. That way, you get trusted, knowledgeable people running the day to day while the owner can focus on the larger picture of the business. When the owner gets afraid and feels threatened by their employees, they're thinking and acting out of insecurity. The owner should be glad that their employees are doing a better job than themselves. It's a sign that they've hired the right people who can do the job well. Having good workers only leads to better results for the guest or customer. When the owner is an outsider to the industry, they need to know their place. They can get involved in the business' day to day minutiae, but they should defer to and learn from the industry veterans. Owning the business doesn't mean they have a strong understanding of every area of it. That can only be obtained through years upon years in the industry. Asking the veterans for their opinions and expertise will work as a good show of respect while learning more about the industry. When the owner tries to authoritatively control something they don't understand, it looks like a toddler throwing a tantrum. The owner's demands may look and sound ridiculous, yet the staff will have to fall in line. Tensions rise, especially in the kitchen, because of their expertise and experience being undermined. Meanwhile, the owner is too hardheaded to realise that their business has been on the right track. Instead, they'll fight and butt heads with the industry veterans who are being hobbled by the owner's insecurities.
For an industry outsider to succeed in the restaurant business, they need to realise their position. While the owner is in charge, they need lieutenants who have put in the time and effort to become experts in their field. By partnering with industry veterans, the owner will be illuminated to how much they don't know about the position they've stepped into. By working with the veterans, they can gain a more thorough understanding of the industry. The key is to remain humble. When an owner starts to act like they know all there is to know about the industry, they'll fight with their more knowledgeable staff and things will go wrong. By remaining humble, the owner can tap their experienced employees for their guidance to help make better decisions. A restaurant owner that comes from outside the industry will need to spend a lot of time learning about the job they're stepping into. From studying and learning from their employees, the owner can succeed.
From my own experience, there are a lot of industry outsiders opening restaurants. That might play into the statistic of a large number of restaurants closing in their first year. They can become successful, but the owner must be humble. The restaurant industry is one that you can only understand after having spent many years working in its systems. By deferring decisions and consulting an industry veteran, the owner can come to a better decision for their business, while showing they value the expertise of the veterans. When the owner acts out of insecurity the business will crumble, but by valuing their employees and their expertise, they can make a successful business.