The Main Reason Why Restaurants Fail & Go Bankrupt (Owners)
The stupidity of opening a restaurant deep inside Toronto with more than 20 tables is insane. How much is the rent? 30k to 65k a month? Plus a big staff? If you are going to open a restaurant deep inside the city you better do what some smart mexican restaurant owners are doing. They open a small restaurant with 6 tables in a busy street and their little places are always packed, you see a line waiting rather than a table empty. Their rent is no more than 5k a month, its manageable. Even a busy hot dog cart vendor makes more money than some struggling brick n' mortar box restaurants since the hot dog vendor doesn't have a big staff or big bills to pay. The only way you are going to survive with a big box restaurant deep inside Toronto is if you sell expensive plates of exotic food and have a steady clientele that will fill up your tables nightly, a wholesale operation that gives you enough profits to pay your big staff and your $65,000/month rent. Only someone with lots of luck and deep pockets can pull off this stunt.
The people opening restaurants on a grand scale in places where others have closed are not businessmen, they are fools with borrowed money. This is the reason why banks are hesitant to lend money to eager entrepreneurs with no brains, no matter how many snake oil stories they sing about it. I'm going to give you the advice I gave my uncle for his successful little restaurant.
1. Find an ethnic area, wether jamaican, filipino or latino.
2. Open a small restaurant of only 3 to 4 tables.
3. Sell ethnic food plates.
4. Food must be visible and cooked already, people don't like waiting, most of your customers are going to be lunch-goers.
5. Sell drinks that are popular back in your country, like "moss peat" in Jamaica or "horchata" in Mexico.
6. Sell sweet treats that are also made only in your country.
7. You can sell CD's or even novelties from back home if you want, believe me, it sells.
8. You and your wife or your brother can manage the little thing, no outsiders that you have to keep employed.