General Question

chelle21689's avatar

Do you have to know how to cook to own a restaurant?

Asked by chelle21689 (6866points) June 13th, 2012

Basically, I ask this because I heard about Les Wexner (a billionare living in my hometown) the CEO of Limited Brands. He started off with only $5,000 and opened up The Limited which was a sportswear clothing store for women. He didn’t design anything but he just owned the store and ran it. After seeing some success he opened other stores and some how made Victoria Secret very successful. I envy him and admire Les wexner!

My family owns a small mall strip with an Asian grocery that has been in business for almost 30 years. It also caters to African, Jamican, and other products. MANY of the Carribean and Asian stores buy products from us for their restaurant. My dad gave the restaurant business to his brother which makes far more profit than us and makes me a bit jealous…plus he doesn’t pay much rent for it. Oh yeah, people drive 2 hours just to shop here and eat here.

I was just thinking how can I do what Les Wexner did and open up more shops? I feel like the restaurant would be far more easier to open because it’s profitable and everyone likes to eat. Sadly, I don’t own the business…my uncle does and maybe my cousins would want it. With the grocery, I feel like it’d be more of a challenge because I’d have to know WHERE the minorities are at. I know a store like this wouldn’t do well in California or NY with PLENTY of ethnic shops =\ Don’t you agree? Also, our shop isn’t super nice like Wal-mart and high tech but a Mom and Pop shop with a decent sized building.

So, what did Les Wexner do? Just buy out companies? It’s so sad that I’m in Small Business management but my university didn’t teach me about this >_< Also, my dad doesn’t agree with opening another location cuz he believes employees would steal from him. He’s very untrusting lol

If you want to read about him here it is

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10 Answers

marinelife's avatar

No, you don’t have to know how to cook to own a restaurant. You just have to have enough capital to hire a good cook. What if you managed the second location of your father’s shop? That would keep down your father’s fear of employees stealing.

Fly's avatar

I’m a little confused as to what your actual question is, but I’ll answer what I can.

No, you don’t have to know how to cook, you just have to have a lot of money to invest in it, good business management skills, and an executive chef who does know how to cook. Starting up a new restaurant is very costly. Here’s an idea of how much it could cost you, but take note that this person opened his restaurants in an area that has a higher cost of living and average income than much of the U.S., so the costs are probably somewhat inflated.

P.S. California actually has a high concentration of Asians so such a business probably would do well there.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
gailcalled's avatar

If it is a small restaurant, the owner has to be able to step into any of the staff’s shoes in a crisis.

Chef gets sick? Who cooks?

Buyer has run off with his best friend’s wife? Who has to get to the wholesale markets at 5:30 AM to do the day’s purchasing?

Dishwasher breaks his leg? Well, you get the point.

Do a summer internship with your dad to see exactly how he manages the mall. This is a golden opportunity and a free one.

Wexner bought Victoria’s Secret after it was a huge success.

Here’s the famous history of its founder and his need to invent this business. Source‘s_Secret

“Victoria’s Secret was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1977 by Tufts University and Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnus* Roy Raymond, who felt embarrassed trying to purchase lingerie for his wife in a department store environment.

He opened the first store at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, and quickly followed it with a mail-order catalog and three other stores.The stores were meant to create a comfortable environment for men, with wood-paneled walls, Victorian details and helpful sales staff… Men could browse for styles for women and sales staff would help estimate the appropriate size, pulling from inventory in the back rooms.

In 1982, after five years of operation, Roy Raymond sold the Victoria’s Secret company, with its six stores and 42-page catalogue, grossing $6 million per year, to Leslie Wexner, creator of The Limited, for $4 million.The Limited kept the personalized image of Victoria’s Secret intact….”

Lightlyseared's avatar

Nope but you’ll probably have to employ at least one person who does.

gailcalled's avatar

And here’s how Wexner started out, small with a little pin money. Source

“Wexner was born to Russian Jewish immigrants in Dayton, Ohio. He attended The Ohio State University, majoring in business administration. He became a member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity.

He briefly attended law school, but left to help his parents run their store in a suburban Columbus, Ohio, shopping center.

In 1963, Les Wexner borrowed $5,000 from his aunt to start ‘The Limited’ (so named because the store focused on clothing for younger women, unlike his parents’ general merchandise store). The Limited opened its first store in the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Upper Arlington.”

(See how easy it is to find out how Wexner got started? Do your own research. Help the chairman of your dept. at university design a suitable course if you think there are things missing from the curriculum. Do a practicum.)

CWOTUS's avatar

As I tell my daughter (who does own a tiny restaurant – on wheels) “A restaurant is a great place to make a small fortune… provided you start with a large one.”

It’s an old joke; I can’t claim authorship.

But if you know the business that you’re running inside and out, and in the restaurant biz that includes provisioning, cooking, serving, catering (including knowing things such as “when is the home team playing in town” and “what time is theater time” and “when do the movie houses let out” and so forth), then you’re in a better management position.

chelle21689's avatar

Okay, so basically he opened his shop and it was good. He opened several more shops and got more money. Then he bought Victoria Secret once he could afford it?

I’m not saying I’m absolutely going to take over my parents’ business but it’s just a thought and dream but some dream that I have no idea where to start! I would love to work for HR position for Limited Brands though. My bf’s sister works there and loves it too.

gailcalled's avatar

You have a built-in university at home.

Perhaps spend this summer learning about profit and loss, salaries and wages, sales and other taxes, and keeping a set of books.

“Basically he opened his shop and it was good.” He brought an armamentarium of skills to his first enterprise. It was not a fantasy, fairy story or the wish granted by a genie.

Why did his first store succeed? Aren’t you learning this kind of bricks and mortar in school?

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m going to ask @gailcalled to be my partner in any new venture that I start.

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