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Reader Profiles
What Our Readers are Building, Buying & Remodeling

Find Out What You Can Learn from Restaurateurs in the Startup and Growth Phase

Around the country, independent restaurateurs are starting new businesses, expanding current concepts, from casual to fine dining, in some cases from the ground up, other times by occupying existing spaces. Here, we look at the challenges, opportunties and successes of our readers.

An Opening 'Like There's No Tomorrow': Enoteca of Ketchum, Idaho
To heck with Mayan myth, as a soft opening becomes an auspicious success for a Sun Valley restaurant. . . . keep reading
Built to Last: The Pub of Nashville, Tennessee
Nick Sanders prefers to open in mixed-use, master developments in groupings with three or four other independent and interesting restaurants. And he prefers to begin with an empty shell. . . . keep reading
And Baby Makes Three: Wagshal's of Washington, D.C.
'We didn't want to replicate what we have, because that can be risky, so we asked ourselves what would happen if the Deli and the Market had a baby'… . . . keep reading
No Such Thing as a Free Lunch: The Prairie Canary, Grinnell, Iowa
Diana Lambdin Meyer
'In the end, The Prairie Canary will thrive or fail because of me, my concept and my energy.' . . . keep reading
Restaurant Dream and Bureaucratic Nightmare: First National Green Room, Stillwater, Minnesota
Story by Diana Lambdin Meyer
In more than 20 years of working nearly every position in every restaurant in historic Stillwater, Minnesota, Stan Schmitt thought he knew everything he could about the restaurant business in this Minneapolis bedroom community. He was ready to open his own place in his hometown and a fabulous spot was available on Main Street. . . . keep reading
Open for Business: Elli Bistro, Gulf Shores, Alabama
Story by Diana Lambdin Meyer
The BP oil spill took its toll on restaurant owners all across the Gulf Coast, but in the aftermath opportunities prevail for savvy entrepreneurs. One of the losses was a sports bar in the Pelican Place shopping center in Gulf Shores, Alabama. As the oil cleanup wound down and tourists returned to the Gulf, Lane and Ginny Gilbert saw the opportunity. . . . keep reading
On a Roll: M.O.Eggrolls, Los Angeles
Story by Diana Lambdin Meyer
Location, location, location is the one decision most new operators anguish over the most before opening their restaurant. But for Michael and Emily Israel, location is a decision they have made every day since they opened their delicatessen, M.O.Eggrolls, in Los Angeles in September 2011. . . . keep reading
Stoked for Success: Surf Taco of New Jersey
Story by Diana Lambdin Meyer
The Sheetrock covering the walls inside Surf Taco in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, was obviously not done by a professional. It's really rather rough looking. And those big fat TVs mounted on the wall are so outdated. In fact, the entire restaurant appears to be not much more than a shack. . . . keep reading
At the Crossroads: Nica's 320 of Kansas City
Story by Diana Lambdin Meyer
First Fridays in Kansas City's Crossroads Arts District brings an estimated 10,000 energetic individuals with high expectations to the 20 block area. They come for the art, for the atmosphere and as much as anything else, they come for the food. . . . keep reading
On the Right Tracks: Magnolia's of Patterson, New York
Story by Diana Lambdin Meyer
Each day hundreds of commuters to New York City fill the train platform in upstate Patterson, New York, directly across the street from Magnolia's, a cozy comfy place that's under new ownership as of September 2011. . . . keep reading
Taking the Business By the Horns: Bull and Buddha, Pourghkeepsie, New York
Story by Diana Lambdin Meyer
The concept that is Bull and Buddha in Poughkeepsie, New York, began on a family vacation through Thailand when Alex Libin was a teenager. A spur-of-the-moment purchase by his parents resulted in a seven-foot-tall, 4,300-pound gold statue of Buddha that then resided in the family garage for the next several years. . . . keep reading
A Prize Package: The Coach Sports Grille of Madison Heights, Michigan
Story by Gary S. Worden
"I got back a dead and dirty restaurant," says restaurant owner and manager Cynthia Krstich. After a 40-year run, the old Coachman Lounge in Madison Heights, Michigan, needed a lot of help and repair, as the owners of the building took back the building and took over as the restaurant's new management. There was much to do. One of the first items on the agenda was to mix the old with the new in a name change. The "Coachman," as locals knew it, had some good recognition value but there was a need to let both new and current customers know things were changing for the better. Now called The Coach Sports Grille, the restaurant, just outside the Detroit metro area, was ready to head down a new road of improvement. . . . keep reading


"I wanted to take time from my busy schedule to thank you. I recently signed up for your site [] and I'm finding it to be the most complete, BEST restaurant resource I have ever discovered. Wow! What a great tool. I wish I had discovered this 8 years ago. At the age of 23, I ventured into the restaurant business. I was able to grow my business to 3 restaurants. Despite a degree in Quantitative Economics, I still found your financial seminars informative and educational. I was excited to learn new elements that all my years of education never taught me. The combination of depth and simplicity are what make it really fantastic. I'm now making it a requirement for my managers to watch them."

Steve Weissmann - Sandpiper Restaurant - Bodega Bay, CA

"Your website and magazine have been extremely helpful to our growing business. We are just about finished with the construction of our new location. I have learned so much from your articles, the online seminars, the discussion forum and the spreadsheets are an invaluable asset. I continue to learn something new every day."

Belinda Self - Ginza Japanese Restaurants, Inc. - Winston Salem, NC

"You are giving me a great education. I can't soak it up fast enough. The articles, templates and especially the online training are heading me in the right direction to having a great business."

Martin Hardy - City Bagel Café - Siloam Springs, Arkansas

"I am now in my second year of being a member. My only regret being that I did not find you in my prior 8 years as I would have saved a lot of money and grey hairs from your tips and formats. Thank you for indirectly saving my restaurant & for the growth I now see."

Marc Cedron - Printer's Alley Bar & Grill - Memphis, TN

"Your web-site and magazine have helped our independent restaurant grow from 1 restaurant with revenue of $350,000 to 3 restaurants bringing in $3.5 million in only 4 years."

Donald Spahr - Spahr's Seafood - Thibodaux, LA

"So far, we’ve revised our accounting system and introduced the prime cost concept. My prime costs are dropping because of focusing on both inventory and labor together. This will improve my contribution margin by $120,000!"

Brian Fitzgerald - Paddy's Brewpub & Rosie's Restaurant - Kentville, Nova Scotia