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The path to collapse: 13 mistakes novice restaurateur

In 2017, businessman Danil Gerasimidi founded the company Gastronorma, which is engaged in the design, construction and reconception of catering facilities. The entrepreneurial team from scratch launched more than 350 establishments in the main segments of the restaurant market – cafes, fast food restaurants and coffee houses. Among the Gastronorma clients are Dodo Pizza and Pizza 22 cm chains, the catering unit of the Park Inn Pulkovskaya hotel, All Seasons St. Petersburg restaurants, and the Baltschug Moscow deli. One project brings the company from 50 thousand to 1 million rubles, depending on the volume and complexity of the services provided. On average, a team can take about a month to design a restaurant with an area of ​​250 square meters. Gastronorma’s monthly revenue is 2–4 million rubles.

Open an institution “for yourself”
If you are counting on the profitability of the institution, it needs to be built not for yourself, but for the guests. Visitor preferences should come first, even contrary to yours.

In my practice, there was one project that never started. Our client was going to open an institution with an area of ​​600 square meters with 200 seats on the Gulf of Finland. Approximate investments in its construction amounted to about 100 million rubles. But the restaurant was conceived as vegetarian and non-alcoholic. Just because it is this way of life that its owner leads. It is difficult to imagine a company that goes out of town, goes to an institution and does not want to eat meat and drink wine. But thanks to such guests you can get a full fit. It has been three years since the project was frozen.

Blindly follow the trends
At risk are entrepreneurs who launch an institution with a highly specialized cuisine and focus on one dish or product. In 2018, in St. Petersburg, it became fashionable to open scarves – one of them appeared in the city center near the metro, and invested about 50 million rubles in the project. The point was located in one of the main trade corridors of the city, where renting one square meter costs from 2.5 thousand rubles. For comparison: on Rubinstein Street, the main restaurant artery of St. Petersburg, bets start at 3,500 rubles.

Less than six months passed, and the establishment was closed due to losses. The fact is that ramen is more likely for gastro-enthusiasts, lovers of Japanese cuisine. This audience can often be found in food markets. Restaurant owners with this concept should not rely on daily traffic near the metro, especially with an average check of about 800–1200 rubles [383 catering outlets were opened in St. Petersburg in 2019, 60% of them are mass-market restaurants with an average check of 400 up to 1000 rubles, according to the analytical company “Best” – approx. Ed.]. The offer was inadequate to the purchasing power of the guests.

Rent premises without checking
Most catering establishments stop working due to incorrect selection of premises. One of our customers bought a room in Moscow for his son – an Italian restaurant.

There was no ventilation duct, despite the fact that he was in the plan of the developer. I had to buy a gas converter unit worth more than a million rubles

Before concluding a lease, you must independently conduct a basic check of the premises for technological and engineering readiness. It is necessary to clarify the layout of production, storage, administrative and other premises and obtain documentary evidence.

Incorrectly calculate power consumption
According to our observations, every second restaurateur incorrectly calculates the energy consumption of his future establishment and, as a result, rents a room with insufficient allocated power. For example, 15 kW instead of 40 kW. In the first case, you can install ventilation, lighting, but from the main equipment there will be a coffee machine and a dishwasher, that is, there is only enough power to open a coffee shop. With 40 kW there are already other possibilities: a double burner stove and even a grill. This is a cafe or bistro.

If it is incorrect to calculate the required power, traffic jams will regularly fly out in the restaurant due to network congestion. In such conditions, cooks will not be able to fulfill the entire volume of orders. But first of all, air exchange suffers.

Five years ago, my acquaintance stopped going to one of her favorite restaurants, because one day, because of a poorly working hood, her coat from karakul smelled of food.

We calculate the losses: the lady visited the institution four times a week. In a month she left there about 40 thousand rubles. The institution has lost 2.5 million rubles in five years

In order to calculate the approximate power, you need to draw a restaurant plan on paper together with a specialist. “Arrange” all the necessary equipment in compliance with sanitary and engineering requirements, as well as design ventilation and lighting. The energy consumption of devices is summed up and multiplied by 0.8 (unevenness coefficient of use), because in a restaurant they usually do not use absolutely all equipment, lamps, etc. at the same time. The resulting number will show peak power consumption.

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