Restaurant Ownership

So you’ve arrived.

The Mecca.  I hear it is the dream of almost every chef to own their own place. A place to call the shots.

YOU, my friend, are either a partner in it, or are married to someone whose in it.

(Insert Standing Ovation here)

No really, this takes SOME dedication and if your restaurant man or woman is at this place in his/her journey, they deserve all the kudos that come along with enormity of this undertaking.

Talk about drive and ambition! Owning your own digs takes some serious cajones!

SO… I think it’s safe to say that most of us reside in the Dating/Marriage and Children step of our Evolution. YOU, my friend are one of the few.

Tell us.. What’s it like?

The closest I have come to experiencing this is via hearing it from other significant others… talking about the 7 days a week/20 hours a day… finding financial sponsors (also called backers), acquiring a space that’s going to bring in the masses (location, location!), square footage cost versus seating capacity.

And that’s even before you really spend any time in the place!

Then begins some of the fun stuff.. The logo.. the menu, hiring your staff (which I’m sure is both exciting and stressful!) Finding someone to tell the news to (i.e. the media)

you catch my drift..

What is that even like… being with someone whose ENTIRE existence is their restaurant?

Tell me… WHERE is the balance?
– How do you manage it with children?
– If you are a partner, how do you keep from killing each other at work if you work with your spouse?

I mean.. By now  I think everyone reading understands that we significant others are STRONG, INDEPENDENT, PASSIONATE IN THEIR OWN PURSUITS, AND PROUD TO STAND BY THEIR MAN/WOMAN!

How does everything you’ve likely learned about yourself, your relationship and your family show itself at this step of your evolution??

Come on… SO many of us are yearning to know!!!


Well, no one needs to tell you what it takes. If you’re at this point, you’ve exercised those muscles, through the aches and the pains… you’ve stuck it out with some dedication and drive to really see results.

So.. I KNOW everyone reading is  interested to know – WHAT prepares you for something like this?

How much chatting with your husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend do you have to do before you even embark on this journey?

Our guess at this point is the tools for success are TIME MANAGEMENT and SELF CARE. I’m sure that your running around, in between your own 9-5, or taking care of the kiddos, maybe your overseeing the construction of your new place..

How do you create enough time management that you can allot for daily self care?


Yes, you might not understand what those at this step of their journey are going thru, NOW, but potentially you will be here one day yourself. Why don’t you make sure you sign in, connect with those at a similar path, and let’s stick together…

What’cha say?!

Restaurant Ownership


    1. julia says:

      My husband, Michael, and i with his parents have owned our own restaurant for almost 5 years. 5 months into the opening we added having a baby into the mix…a miracle and surprise after 13 years of marriage! We spend every minute of every day together,we even live in an apartment above the restaurant!(Just my husband son and I.) some days are definately easier than others. You ask…how do you keep from killing each other at work??…we don’t. we try to be realistic…we speak very openly to one another about what needs to be done. we are both fully invested…he’s the chef, runs the kitchen, develops menus, manages the kitchen staff…you name it. I run the foh…wait tables, bartend, train, do liquor orders, payroll and everything else that pops up. We work very hard everyday and sometimes have a difficult time finding time to celebrate our success. we are fortunate to have an exceptionally supportive family who gives of their time, talent and dollars. I think the biggest misconception to restaurant ownership is that you are your own boss…5 pm is our boss. no matter what happens in a day – the food delivery is late, the bartender dropped an entire rack of glasses, our son has a cold, our cousin is getting married (which we missed of course because it was on a saturday!) when 5 o’clock hits…the doors open. Don’t get me wrong, 99% of the time I love this. However, I have turned in my 2 weeks notice to myself or my husband at least a couple of times each year. (No one will ever accept it!) It is a challenge each day to find balance and a quiet moment. But when I watch my husband on the line deep in the weeds pull his entire team through it with grace and respect and when I watch our servers help create romantic, fun and beautiful experiences for our guests I am proud beyond all measure.

    2. Jennifer says:

      When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me
      when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever
      a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment.

      Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service?
      Appreciate it!

    3. T.A says:

      oh wow, Im not even sure how I found your site. I was looking on pinterest and I got totally lost. It was actually through the bob marley quote on one of your posts, now that I remember. So we opened our restaurant last july 6th 2012. I say that and I still cant even believe it that its been a year. I got pregnant soon after (and everyone and their mothers told us I was going to get pregnant “watch, as soon as you buy a restaurant…yadda yadda”. Well I did. It was a pretty rough pregnancy. My now 5 year old and 9 month old have survived. Im still waiting for the day when I am done nursing so I can get wasted. Just once. I think Ill take a cab to the restaurant and have a couple martinis that my husband named after me that I never got to try and maybe some sake and a few of the new japanese microbrews…Ill say its for the year I was pregnant while he was there 24/7 and for the 4 months of sleepless nights my adorable, wouldnt change it for the world now, boy all by myself.
      I could write a book on the first year, and my personal experience with it all. Im not sure it would be entertaining…although Im sure it would be self medicating. It was his dream to open one. And I remember our first ever date he took me to a fancy shmancy restaurant in Beverly Hills and we sat for hours talking about our dreams and it was so sexy and empowering to hear someone so motivated to own and run his own business. Well we made it. It took 7 years. And the road was caaaraaazy. We found an amazing location in Socal, 2 miles from our tiny pad. Found, what we thought, the most perfect financial cheerleaders. Had another Chef enlisted to come stay with us for 2 months (which ended up being almost 6 months, thats a whole nother story that will blow your mind) to help start it all up so that we could get it up and running within 3 months (who the F does that??? 3 months? um someone that chose the wrong partners thats who). Well we did it. It was so much go go go, but we are slammed busy, making profit, growing strong. Ive stepped back completely. It was so emotionally and physically draining to be a part of anything. I had alot of things I wanted to say, opinions, just every day stuff. For the first 6 months I was doing tip out and bank runs and daily grocery trips and cleaning and ordering chef stuff. I eventually had to actually take a trip to stay with family for 3 weeks and get out of town. My family came to visit as well and I think my dad had a little talk with my husband telling him that I cant do it anymore. I cant be running around all day then pick my 4 year old up from preschool head home about to eat dinner and have him call me to go get mushrooms or ice because the ice machine broke…a million reasons. When I had my scheduled csection on December 23rd I think it was the best vacation I ever had. Im joking (just a little). The restaurant space we found needed a facelift and between all the licensing and the city stuff and grand opening and then the grand reopening after the furniture was shipped and the crates shipped from Indo being stopped at customs then having to push back the opening. My husband still doesnt have a manager. He is Head Chef, Owner, Manager. Oh and dont forget counselor to the waitstaff drama. He has to console crying hostesses at 6pm who’s BF posted on social media that he wants to have a threesome. haha! To our main kitchen guy cant find a sitter so I have to watch 4 of his kids until 2am and non of them speak english. And then just when you think you have a great staff, someone calls in because they are drunk and cant make it in to work.
      Id love to share any advice or stories. So that I dont write a novel, if you have any specific questions that you want to ask to ad to your website let me know!!


      • Nicole says:


        I am telling you, there needs to be the real women/men behind Chefs (a mini series). My husband was at the start of his journey when we first met 6 years ago and together we opened an amazing Tapas restaurant in Indiana (strangest of places), we have been open five years and counting. I am so proud of him and his accomplishments and actually pursing a dream (more a die hard passion), but I feel like I am the fire stoker for our marriage and for our children. What I mean by that is I keep everything running, I mean everything running, besides the restaurant. I get so tired of working as a therapist (literally) and then coming home and taking care of both kiddos after a really intense day (thank goodness I work part-time), all personal financial decisions, every event, school…I mean literally everything falls into my plate and I am overwhelmed. How do you balance this? Being married to a chef is non-joking manner, the passion (the temper), OCD tendencies, the crazy work hours, the basically being as close as you get to being marridedly unmarried. I tell you, I am struggling…Help a sister out!!!!


    4. Katie says:

      So happy I came across your website! Couldn’t have happened at a better time. Feeling pretty confused and lonely in my relationship. Dating a chef turned restaurant owner. We’ve known each other almost a decade but were both always in other relationships or living out of state. We both moved back to our home town around the same time and happened to both be single at the same time for once. It seemed like the stars aligned and we started dating, just as he opened his second restaurant… I told myself okay the first year will be really hard but it will get better. I had no clue what I had signed up for. I’m a busy, independent person and have a lot of responsibility at my 9-5 so I thought this is perfect, finally someone who won’t get mad with my lack of availability or smother me. haha Needing to be independent is an under statement. I served to make money through college and thought I had a good handle on what his schedule would be like. I under estimated all the holidays, important dates and functions I would attend alone. Now we’ve been dating almost 2 years and are talking marriage and it’s hitting me, like I’ve read in other post. Attending functions and family holiday events alone is one thing now but thinking about doing all this and taking care of kids some day and experiencing all these moments with out our “complete” family sounds harder and harder and so lonely. We live together and even now doing all the house work, yard work, grocery shopping, etc. piles up when it’s just myself because I work a lot too. I can’t imagine what it would be like when you add little humans to the mix. Not really sure how I should move forward, glad I found a place I can read some real life experiences since non of my friends date out of the 9-5 world.

      • Kerilyn Fox says:

        Katie – I am so sorry for my delay in response. This website got hacked and I’ve gotten inundated with spam messages and your message got lost in the SEA. I would love to hear an update since you last posted. My apologies. I am SO glad you are finding relief from what I am writing. I ASSURE YOU, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It’s a very demanding industry and it affects not just the chef but everyone his job touches. Including YOU. Since you posted, I’d love to hear an update.

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Restaurant Ownership

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