Entrepreneurship & Small Business

We need help, my sister and brother in law are being 'shaken down' at her restaurant

  • Last Updated:
  • May 25th, 2018 9:36 pm
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Jul 3, 2017
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eonibm wrote:
Mar 6th, 2018 6:10 pm
Then later they ask for more and more and more when the biz is more successful. These are not people you 'negotiate' with.
That's a business negotiation. You negotiate for a lower rate now, they come back at you with a demand for more money later when you're more successful.
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Aug 2, 2010
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Exp315 wrote:
Mar 6th, 2018 6:52 pm
That's a business negotiation. You negotiate for a lower rate now, they come back at you with a demand for more money later when you're more successful.
Um, I was saying don't negotiate at all so it ain't a biz negot
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Dec 27, 2013
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OP did you buy a gun? what's going on.
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tranquility922 wrote:
Mar 6th, 2018 5:12 pm
So it's 'game over' for OP/his family? ... As it stands from OP's recount, they don't seem to be following-up, so pretty much a 'shrug'.
I didn't say it's game over, but the OP might have limited options. What, specifically, should the police do? They certainly can't stake out every restaurant that claims they've been threatened.

And say you tell them to take a hike and don't negotiate at all.

What do you do when a "random" hooded teen thug throws a brick through your restaurant window at night?

Your camera didn't see their face. Who will police arrest?

Ok fix it. And the next month it happens again. Fix it again.

Your insurance warns you that if there's a third event they'll cancel your coverage.

The third month a fire alarm is pulled or a "random" fight breaks out on a Saturday night, or you have "coincidental" problems with your linen service or cheese delivery or union or city inspectors or cooks or waiters. Or a stranger tells your kid on the walk back from school that "your parents have a great restaurant! Tell them I said hi."

Then what, specifically, do you do?

By all means, don't give in to their first offer. Play hardball if you can. But be realistic as to what the end might be.
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FrancisBacon wrote:
Mar 7th, 2018 6:59 am
I didn't say it's game over, but the OP might have limited options. What, specifically, should the police do? They certainly can't stake out every restaurant that claims they've been threatened.

And say you tell them to take a hike and don't negotiate at all.

What do you do when a "random" hooded teen thug throws a brick through your restaurant window at night?

Your camera didn't see their face. Who will police arrest?

Ok fix it. And the next month it happens again. Fix it again.

Your insurance warns you that if there's a third event they'll cancel your coverage.

The third month a fire alarm is pulled or a "random" fight breaks out on a Saturday night, or you have "coincidental" problems with your linen service or cheese delivery or union or city inspectors or cooks or waiters. Or a stranger tells your kid on the walk back from school that "your parents have a great restaurant! Tell them I said hi."

Then what, specifically, do you do?

By all means, don't give in to their first offer. Play hardball if you can. But be realistic as to what the end might be.
Well, maybe I'm being idealistic but that sucks they can 'get away w it' because it's too impractical to catch them. What good is the police then?
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tranquility922 wrote:
Mar 7th, 2018 1:39 pm
Well, maybe I'm being idealistic but that sucks they can 'get away w it' because it's too impractical to catch them. What good is the police then?

The police are great but they're not perfect.
Also, it's far from certain that they can get away with it.
But it's also far from certain that just refusing to pay will work.

Like a lot of things in real life, and in business, you'll have to fight. And maybe you'll win, and maybe you'll lose, and likely you'll be forced to make an accommodation. Somehow.
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FrancisBacon wrote:
Mar 7th, 2018 6:59 am
I didn't say it's game over, but the OP might have limited options. What, specifically, should the police do? They certainly can't stake out every restaurant that claims they've been threatened.

And say you tell them to take a hike and don't negotiate at all.

What do you do when a "random" hooded teen thug throws a brick through your restaurant window at night?

Your camera didn't see their face. Who will police arrest?

Ok fix it. And the next month it happens again. Fix it again.

Your insurance warns you that if there's a third event they'll cancel your coverage.

The third month a fire alarm is pulled or a "random" fight breaks out on a Saturday night, or you have "coincidental" problems with your linen service or cheese delivery or union or city inspectors or cooks or waiters. Or a stranger tells your kid on the walk back from school that "your parents have a great restaurant! Tell them I said hi."

Then what, specifically, do you do?

By all means, don't give in to their first offer. Play hardball if you can. But be realistic as to what the end might be.
That's why I like my ecommerce businesses. There's no window to throw a rock through. In fact I don't even have insurance. I guess though I could get a massive DDoS attack like Github did recently.
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FrancisBacon wrote:
Mar 7th, 2018 1:59 pm
The police are great but they're not perfect.
Also, it's far from certain that they can get away with it.
But it's also far from certain that just refusing to pay will work.

Like a lot of things in real life, and in business, you'll have to fight. And maybe you'll win, and maybe you'll lose, and likely you'll be forced to make an accommodation. Somehow.
I know that's a very realistic way to view things but one must take a stand, otherwise, why not just give in to drug cartels, etc?
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eonibm wrote:
Mar 7th, 2018 4:30 pm
That's why I like my ecommerce businesses. There's no window to throw a rock through.
Nah, you just pay indirectly. Your goods come through a port? (dockworkers)
You use the roads? Or live in a house? (See recent Montreal construction inquiry?


tranquility922 wrote:
Mar 7th, 2018 4:36 pm
one must take a stand, otherwise, why not just give in to drug cartels, etc?
Are you really willing to fight it all the way until your business is bankrupt? Who's going to feed your family?

Easy to say unless it's your 10 year old that gets a nice compliment from a stranger.
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tranquility922 wrote:
Mar 7th, 2018 6:12 am
Exp315, you gotta be kidding...
When running a small business you learn to be practical about most things.

Customer behaving totally unreasonably? Your instinct is to stand your ground on principle and get irritated with their irrational behaviour. But your business sense says "it's just business, Do I want to keep this customer or not? Will their opinion influence others, rightly or wrongly?". If it makes sense, you'll say "Very sorry about that problem. It wasn't our fault, but we'll gladly help you out with that."

Lawsuit targeting your business? Of course you want to fight it if you know you're in the right, and you'll probably win eventually. But your business sense says that the fight will cost you more in legal fees and detract from your own time and attention. If there are no other consequences to consider, you'll negotiate a settlement and move on.

Supplier broke a contract and screwed you over? Personal instinct says "Never do business with them again!", Business sense asks "Are they still the best option?". If so, make a better contract with more protection and keep buying from them.

Government department screwed up some accounting and demands an incorrect payment? Sure, you'll try to get it corrected - but at some point you have to consider that the fight with giant bureaucracy is more trouble than it's worth to your business. Pay them and move on.

How is a shakedown from the local protection racket any different from a business point of view? Evaluate your options, choose what works for your business. If you think that the police can take care of it, by all means go that way. If all the other businesses in your neighbourhood are paying, and they tell you these guys are serious and the police can't help, then either negotiate the lowest payment you can or move.
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Exp315>
You and I clearly have different principles. Unfortunately, yours only serves to perpetuate this behavior.
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eonibm wrote:
Mar 7th, 2018 4:30 pm
That's why I like my ecommerce businesses. There's no window to throw a rock through. In fact I don't even have insurance. I guess though I could get a massive DDoS attack like Github did recently.
Anonymous would like a word with you...
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tranquility922 wrote:
Mar 8th, 2018 1:41 pm
Exp315>
You and I clearly have different principles. Unfortunately, yours only serves to perpetuate this behavior.
I didn't say that I supported this situation in any way. As a Canadian I am totally outraged by it, and I wish the police would do something. If it were me, I would likely close my business and move before paying protection money.

But I'm not naive enough to believe that the world always works the way we want, and I know that in business you have to be prepared to compromise and do the practical thing sometimes. Stand on principle and make a fight of it if you wish. Someone else more practical will probably step forward to take over the fire-bombed remains of your restaurant after you've finished crying to the police and they've shrugged and told you they can't do anything.

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