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View Full Version : I want to start a vegan restaurant - input please



Kaseyljay
Feb 24th, 2011, 04:37 PM
I read some similar threads, but here's my question. Where do I start completely? I'm just baffled because I don't know what t do at all. I'm not a rich millionaire who has the money to start a restaurant/ cafe, I've never owned a business, never managed a business.... We have one vegan restaurant in Orlando but its downtown and I've asked them to put one closer to the college area of Orlando, and they did reply back, but they aren't going to do it. If you don't know downtown is a good 30-45 minutes from the east side, and I know a bunch of the student body of UCF would appreciate a resturaunt that could serve them and their dietary lifestyles. So I understand I needs grants, donations, and everything under the sun, but can I get some input please.

twinkle
Feb 24th, 2011, 05:20 PM
You might have some luck setting it up as a social enterprise, getting volunteers and having a committee if you want a nice veggie restaurant in a location handy for you but don't want all the risk... I was recently checking out this blog after the Forest Cafe was mentioned on the Edinburgh thread on this forum - http://blog.theforest.org.uk/ and I know there are successful catering businesses such as Veggies in Nottingham which are run largely if not wholely by volunteers. If you've got a lot of veggie students I would think that'd be a perfect pool of possible helpers. I'm not sure people would donate unless it was for something along those lines, or set up with profits to go to charity.

Other than that I've no clue, having never run a business, but I expect there are people on here who have.

Welcome, by the way :)

harpy
Feb 24th, 2011, 05:31 PM
Good idea - hope you find a way to do it.

When I was a student the college had a small bar and cafe on the premises that we ran ourselves - maybe if there's something like that you could offer to take it over and run it as a vegan (or "healthy" :rolleyes:) restaurant , then you wouldn't have the expense of getting and equipping premises etc. in the first instance. If it took off it would probably be easier to get people to back a bigger enterprise.

Round here there used to be a sandwich bar that in the evening turned into a Malaysian restaurant - the woman with the restaurant rented the shop from the owner who only needed it at lunchtime. Later she did open her own restaurant but it was a low-cost and low-risk way of getting started.

Kaseyljay
Feb 24th, 2011, 05:34 PM
Thanks These are great inputs. Yeah we have one vegan Kitchen here, but like I said it's so far from the student body. So I'm pretty positive I could get a good size committee of students for it.

Owlish
Feb 25th, 2011, 06:04 AM
Maybe take a few business and tax classes first. Even if you don't earn a degree, they would still give you a foundation and a leg up.

Clueless Git
Feb 26th, 2011, 09:32 AM
I read some similar threads, but here's my question. Where do I start completely? I'm just baffled because I don't know what t do at all. I'm not a rich millionaire who has the money to start a restaurant/ cafe, I've never owned a business, never managed a business.... We have one vegan restaurant in Orlando but its downtown and I've asked them to put one closer to the college area of Orlando, and they did reply back, but they aren't going to do it. If you don't know downtown is a good 30-45 minutes from the east side, and I know a bunch of the student body of UCF would appreciate a resturaunt that could serve them and their dietary lifestyles. So I understand I needs grants, donations, and everything under the sun, but can I get some input please.
Hello Kasey :)

I made my living running other peoples businesses for them for a part of my career and now have my own small 'lifestyle' business.

Anyways, at risk of "teaching granny to suck eggs" here ...

The best single thing to do when thinking of starting, or expanding, a business is to start writing a business plan. Have you done that yet?

Am I correct in assuming that the existing downtown vegan restaurant is someone elses business and not your own, btw?

deer
Feb 26th, 2011, 09:37 AM
I was once looking for vegan restaurants in London and found this: http://www.pogocafe.co.uk/about-us/
As I understand they use mostly voluntary workers.

Korn
Feb 26th, 2011, 11:21 AM
Where do I start completely?
...by finding a really good cook? :)

vava
Feb 26th, 2011, 02:42 PM
I would get a job or work voluntarily in the vegan restaurant you mentioned. You will be amazed at how much you learn about business by working in them and you will probably gather lots of important information on your way. Things you know you should do and things you know you will never do. Good luck.

Clueless Git
Feb 27th, 2011, 09:41 AM
I would get a job or work voluntarily in the vegan restaurant you mentioned. You will be amazed at how much you learn about business by working in them and you will probably gather lots of important information on your way. Things you know you should do and things you know you will never do. Good luck.
Thats a very good idea too!

You should, maybe, ask these people if they would be willing to advise and help you. If they would kinda 'mentor' you a bit, Kasey?

The worst they could say is "No" and your going to have to get used to hearing that a lot if you start a business anyway.

Kaseyljay
Feb 27th, 2011, 04:46 PM
Lol of course I'll work on that?

Kaseyljay
Feb 27th, 2011, 04:47 PM
They have those? Awesome. Thankyou

lastx
Feb 28th, 2011, 02:04 AM
I don't work in the catering trade but know a good number of people who do. I don't want to sound negative but they all say the best advice is not to go into the trade unless you have experience and a large pot of cash. You really need experience which you could gain by working in a similar business in the geographical area you want to trade in. This will give you guidance as to viability and also some idea of managing stock, staff, local health inspectors etc. A course in running a small business will also help with financial management and colleges sometimes run these in the evening. You will also need capital. You ideally need enough money to be able to survive a year with no income and still cover your overheads. Most restaurants fail through a lack of working capital and vegan restaurants seem to have a higher attrition rate than most. My advice would be - go out and get some experience, put together adequate funding and only when you have these, go for it.