Opening a Restauran...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Opening a Restaurant

Page 2 / 4
 

lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1250
March 27, 2013 12:05 am  

OldTart knows what she's talking about. Many businesses are failing simply because WAPA rates are going up and up. The restaurant business is tough enough stateside; here you will work twice as hard and face challenges you simply can't imagine to get those good-looking numbers you're seeing on paper. You say you are tired of the fast-paced life in the states... running a successful restaurant here is NOT going to give you a laid-back life. Not. At. All.

Why not work in a restaurant down here for a year or two, then open your own (if you still want to)? Then at least you will have local connections to help get you started. There are plenty of opportunities every year for people just out of culinary school to work here. From your posts, you seem to be getting way ahead of yourself with details for a business that really might be very far from what you are looking for.


ReplyQuote
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2294
March 27, 2013 12:38 am  

I would TOTALLY listen to Old Tart on this one. You can't get any better advice than 16years of a restaurant in STT. Better off use the money for a kayak, paddle board rental on a beach somewhere. Hell you know what?!? A friggin hot dog cart!! Sell em for $3 and RAKE it in. Little to no overhead and cheap lunch for tourists and locals too! Go simple man, use the $$ to pay for living. 🙂 my .02


ReplyQuote
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12366
March 27, 2013 12:42 am  

I pm'd you dazajj


ReplyQuote
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1037
March 27, 2013 4:49 am  

Wait a second. Have you never worked in a restaurant, are getting out of the military and planning on going to cooking school then moving here and opening a place? One, you're pretty young aren't you? and two, you need to go work in restaurants for a while before even investing in the school, but just like nothing can really prepare you for living here, NOTHING can prepare a person for working in "The Biz". It's no joke.


ReplyQuote
sunshinefun
(@sunshinefun)
Trusted Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 681
March 27, 2013 11:21 am  

The fastest way to leave the Virgin Islands with a million dollars?

Bring three million....


ReplyQuote
sttanon
(@sttanon)
Advanced Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 349
March 27, 2013 12:56 pm  

Dazjj,

Let me start by saying that I am not trying to be snarky, mean, etc......

Restaurants are one of the most risky businesses that one could ever hope to try and start. The failure rate is on a average of 75% within the first 6-12 months of opening the doors. The profit margins even in the best of times are not that much and with WAPA down here, the increase to gross reciepts tax, and just the sheer cost of ingredients what was small to being with is almost non-existant now. Restaurants are really hurting here in STT. You made the comment about STT still getting 30 ships in the off months, that is true. What that also means is that you may have as many as 4 days with no ships during the week which turns places like downtown into a ghost town.

I always recommend to people getting ready to open a place to read Kitchen Confidental by Anthony Bourdain. The book really does a great job of explaining the way that the biz works.


ReplyQuote
VT2VI
(@vt2vi)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 273
March 27, 2013 1:01 pm  

Yep, taco truck. Or drum pan chicken.


ReplyQuote
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1037
March 27, 2013 1:42 pm  

If you've never worked in a restaurant, you sure as heck don't blindly open one and you sure as hell, don't move down here to do it based on seasonal tourism. I hate to be negative, but damn that's a hard road.


ReplyQuote
VIsnorkeler
(@VIsnorkeler)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 551
March 27, 2013 1:44 pm  

TACO TRUCK!


ReplyQuote
VT2VI
(@vt2vi)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 273
March 27, 2013 2:00 pm  

Jamison is right on. After 15 years of chefing it got old. Not because I got sick of cooking. But the pay is terrible, unless your working for a Ramsey or Bourdain. And to attempt it right out of culinary without years in the kitchen is career suicide.

VIsnorkeler, TACO TRUCK!

I love me some good street tacos. Something like that would be a better way to go if you want to be a cook. Much lower over head and no labor or WAPA to pay. Just you your truck and gas to cook with. And instead of 1¢ to 3¢ on the dollar which is close to the average profit for a restaurant even stateside. You could pull down closer to 30¢ to 50¢ on the dollar because you have little over head. Plus if it doesn't work you're out thousands not millions.


ReplyQuote
dazajj
(@dazajj)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 31
March 27, 2013 4:11 pm  

Thanks for the advice everyone, i didn't think that opening up a restaurant in the USVI would have so many complications.... so are there any restauratns that are actually making money!!?? from the way you guys are painting the picture it seems like A) restaurants in St Thomas do not succeed, or B) if they do, it's only for a few years then they go bankrupt. are there any restaurants making money that have been around for over 10 years?


ReplyQuote
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8861
March 27, 2013 4:25 pm  

yes, i live on stx so dont know the names of any except tickles


ReplyQuote
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12366
March 27, 2013 4:43 pm  

There are some restaurants that have been here forever and quite a few that change hands, almost annually, it would seem even with a captive audience . I was thinking of the restaurant at Magens Point Hotel/STT. Can't keep up with the frequency they change ownership/management .

Some retain their same names but new management is brought in, the owners change,etc.
You go to one, have a nice dinner, go back, they're gone, menu is the same but the food sucks.
Never-ending array.


ReplyQuote
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1037
March 27, 2013 4:52 pm  

I work at two places that have been around a long time and aren't going anywhere.


ReplyQuote
VT2VI
(@vt2vi)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 273
March 27, 2013 4:56 pm  

It really has to do with the expenses. Like I said before. Your WAPA bill alone would likely bankrupt you. The average bill for a house or apt runs about 180 to 300 a month. And that with folks watching every light switch and plug in. Imagine having lights TVs kitchen and bar equipment running 16 hrs a day. Plus you can't unplug freezer and fridges over night. Also ask some of these folks how long most appliances last down there. You would be replacing equipment often it seems.

Good luck with whatever you decide. But I wouldn't even attempt it. For me I'm moving there for govt work, and the wife for health care. We want to enjoy paradise, or as close to it as it gets. And I really think within a year or two you'd be selling out and packing it in.


ReplyQuote
dazajj
(@dazajj)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 31
March 27, 2013 4:57 pm  

where do you work Jamison!? and if you don't mind sharing, why do you think the two restaurants that you're currently working at are succesful? combination of good food, good location, good service, and good atmosphere?


ReplyQuote
dazajj
(@dazajj)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 31
March 27, 2013 5:06 pm  

VT2TI, if other restaurants are able to be succesfull why can't others. I think it comes down to having the perfect plan and having money. By the time i'm ready to open this restaurant, i will have been planing for about 4 years.... if there's a way, i will find it. And contrary to popular opinion, there is a way,


ReplyQuote
dazajj
(@dazajj)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 31
March 27, 2013 5:14 pm  

the taco truck/hotdog stands are great ideas, but i'm thinking a lot bigger than that..


ReplyQuote
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1037
March 27, 2013 5:42 pm  

where do you work Jamison!? and if you don't mind sharing, why do you think the two restaurants that you're currently working at are succesful? combination of good food, good location, good service, and good atmosphere?

One is a high end restaurant that has been around consistently for 29 years. It's good for all of those reasons. The other is a bar, but it knows and embraces what and who it is.

Have you ever worked in the restaurant business before?


ReplyQuote
VT2VI
(@vt2vi)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 273
March 27, 2013 6:32 pm  

It isn't that it can't be done. It's that the few that have been there for 30 years already have the support of the locals and or they are in resorts that have rooms as residual income. I'm sure it could be done. I just don't think you could show up one day and do it. You would really need to be down there for a while. Get to know the ins and outs of doing business there. Plus you'll need to follow what WAPA is doing. If its 58¢ today in five years it could be 78¢ a kilowatt.

Look into EDC benefits also. It could help some and offers incentives to open business there.


ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 6523
March 27, 2013 7:01 pm  

Look into EDC benefits also. It could help some and offers incentives to open business there.

I've never heard of a restaurant operation receiving EDC benefits and I do not believe there is any category which even considers a restaurant operation as a qualified applicant.

https://www.usvieda.org/business_tax.php


ReplyQuote
VT2VI
(@vt2vi)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 273
March 27, 2013 7:33 pm  

Well I stand corrected. I had heard that the business wasn't as important as needed to follow certain rules. But thinking about it, it wouldn't be wise to give those bennies to a restaurant. Seeing as 9/10 fail in six months.


ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 6523
March 27, 2013 7:35 pm  

Well I stand corrected. I had heard that the business wasn't as important as needed to follow certain rules. But thinking about it, it wouldn't be wise to give those bennies to a restaurant. Seeing as 9/10 fail in six months.

"You heard" so that was why I provided the link which explains the whole thing in detail so that both you and other interested parties can read it from the horse's mouth.


ReplyQuote
dazajj
(@dazajj)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 31
March 27, 2013 7:49 pm  

thanks for the link OldTart..


ReplyQuote
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2138
March 27, 2013 11:05 pm  

where do you work Jamison!? and if you don't mind sharing, why do you think the two restaurants that you're currently working at are succesful? combination of good food, good location, good service, and good atmosphere?

Most importanty: Good management. It's the common factor in most of the above, and it's what you are probably missing.

And the manager is usually the owner who is usually there most of the time. If you're a bad manager, your place will die fast, even if you buy an existing successful restaurant.

For an added hurdle, make it an indoor restaurant, where you need air conditioning.


ReplyQuote
Page 2 / 4
Search this website
Close Menu