My Starting Resources

•February 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Since last I posted, I’ve gone out to get a few books that I hope will help me with the process of starting up a restaurant business and learning the skills necessary to successfully manage it once it’s open. Sarah was also nice enough to link me to a great website that helps with this kind of stuff, too. So here’s a quick run-down of the resources I have at hand:

The Everything Guide to Starting and Running a Restaurant, by Ronald Lee – the back says that it has advice on deciding the type of restaurant you want, formulating a business plan, designing the restaurant for maximum appeal, creating a unique menu, and overcoming the hurdles all new restaurants have. A quick flip-through shows me that it’s well-organized, with easy-to-scan bullet point lists at the end of most sections.

Streetwise Restaurant Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Successfully Owning and Running a Restaurant – Unsurprisingly, its subject matter overlaps the above book’s a lot. A quick scan shows that it has larger type, but it also has larger pages and a slightly larger page count. The information doesn’t seem quite as dense, as if it’s more of an overview, but I really won’t know until I read it. Since it’s called Restaurant Management, I’m hoping that it will also assist me in the meantime, as I’d like to be a restaurant manager if possible as my interim career while saving up for my own restaurant.

The Startup Nation website – It has a 10-step guide to starting your own business that I’ve already read through. It’s great to have a list of main goals in a logical order to help me stay on track. Actually completing these steps, though, will take some time. Especially the one about formulating a business plan. There is a lot involved in that step. I’m hoping that Sarah, with her super librarian powers, can help me with some of the necessary research. This website also has information on marketing, a community of helpful people, and a section with expert advice from entrepreneurs who have gone before. Pretty nice for a free online resource.

The New York Bartender’s Guide, by Sally Ann Berk – The bulk of this guide is a list of 1300 recipes. That in and of itself is nice, but the first 48 pages before that list don’t seem to cover a whole lot. They go over the very basics of different liquors, wines, and beers, but I don’t see much on bar equipment and how to use it. There is a nice quick list of liquors, garnishes, and glasses that you will want in order to have a fully-stocked bar. It seems more geared toward home bars, though from my short time at a restaurant that served alcohol it looks fairly comprehensive. A restaurant bar would simply have more of each item on hand.

The Upstart Guide to Owning and Managing a Bar or Tavern, by Roy. S. Alonzo – Now this looks useful for any business that plans on having a bar. It has in-depth sections on the various profit centers related to alcohol, a profit center being a step in the alcohol-handling process from receiving to sales where money can be lost if it’s not done correctly and efficiently. It also has a guide, complete with math formulas — I love math! — to assist you with assessing your equipment needs, how much floor space your bar will take up, and more! There is a small list of drink recipes at the back, but not nearly as many as in the Bartender’s Guide, so I’m glad I have both books.

Note on Alcohol: Since we are still in the brainstorming phase, and since the process from starting this blog to actually opening our restaurant will probably take years, we are not as of this moment decided on what type of restaurant we will run. I have no desire to run a pure bar or tavern, and some types of restaurants simply don’t go well with alcohol. It is quite possible that the logistics of alcohol sales won’t even be a factor. Still, I’d rather have the knowledge and not need it than need the knowledge and not have it.

The Big Book of Thai Curries, by Vatcharin Bhumichitr – Another aspect that we’re undecided on is the menu. At the moment, I’ve decided to pick up recipe books that are of interest to me and try making them on my own in an attempt to find dishes I can successfully make and would like to serve at the restaurant. I’ve yet to try a curry dish that I don’t like, so when I saw this book in the bargain bin I scooped it up. No guarantee we will serve any curry dishes, but it’s something to think about. Even if we don’t serve it, I’m sure this will help to hone my cooking skills, and that certainly can’t hurt.

More on Cakes

•February 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

To gear up for the foodening to come in our restaurant blog, I’ve decided to post a picture of a cake I made today. I stole the pattern from Bakerella. This was my very first time using fondant. ^_^

The whole thing is cake and it’s awesome! Even the chocolates. Look out restaurant. Here I come!

Sarah says, “Hello!”

•February 4, 2010 • 2 Comments

So, I am a foodie. I love to bake, cook, and eat! I love finding new recipes and I especially love finding new and unique restaurants. Also, if you give me a cupcake, you’re pretty much my best friend. In fact, in all my thinking about having a restaurant, my only requirement is that we serve cupcakes!

Outside of food, I am a 24yr old Librarian, serving the wonderful kingdom of Libraria. And, at night, I play a lot of board games, listen to a lot of music, and watch a lot of obscure (and geeky) movies and tv shows. Another helpful hint: Star Trek quotes earn you almost as many points as the cupcake.

So, that pretty much sums me up! Let’s get this thing going! So, what’s first?

G2TR’s Introduction

•February 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This is the first official post of the “Two Geeks” blog. If you don’t get the title, it’s kind of a play on words based on that old TV show, “Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place.” If you do get it, bonus points for you. A good friend of mine(I’ll let her introduce herself in her own post) and I have decided to go into business together. We’re starting at ground zero, however, so there is a lot that we have to learn, and a lot that we have to do to make that a reality. This blog’s main purposes are to keep us on task, keep us motivated, share what we’ve learned with each other and our readers, and to hopefully get advice from those who are interested enough to read our blog.

Now let me introduce myself. My name is Derek, I’m currently 28(29 in June), and most of my hobbies are pretty geeky. I like video games, tabletop RPGs, anime, and more. And as strange as it might sound, I really like restaurant work. Most people complain about it, but I find it really satisfying. However, I can’t continue doing what I love while working for someone else. The pay isn’t even close to what I need to sustain even a meager lifestyle, much less provide for the family I hope to have someday. So my only solution is to work, step by step, toward running my own restaurant. This might include getting a better-paying(though likely less rewarding) job for a while, too, because part of our preparations is going to be saving up money, acquiring collateral, etc.