I love lists. There is nothing more helpful then having a prioritized list of things to accomplish with a set order; perhaps it’s my task oriented nature that makes such lists appealing. As a cook the list presents itself as one of the essential tools of the kitchen in its form as an ingredient list, comprising an integral component for the vast array of recipes and techniques in the cooks’ arsenal.
Contrast these observations with the process of opening a restaurant. Your business plan lays out a “list”; a form and method on how the entrepreneurs will proceed to raise the necessary capital, layout of the proposed space, designing of the interior and exterior of the restaurant, coordinating construction, applying and securing all of the necessary permits to conduct business, establishing merchant accounts, sourcing equipment, recruiting a staff, and not to mention crafting the respective food and beverage programs! An ideal situation would have these items, and countless more not mentioned, itemized and prioritized on a nice neat list that allows the entrepreneurs to tackle each issue in a logical order of priority and move on to the next. The problem is, opening a restaurant is not an ideal situation… Ever! In reality the process is more akin to putting out the most important fires from complications that have arisen and making necessary adjustments. Inevitably these fires do not present themselves in the order that is on “your list” but is rather a random act bearing no rhyme or reason!
When opening a restaurant, or any venture, make a list, get organized and then prepare to “piece it all together”. What you will have, most likely, will not be a replica of your lists, business plan, etc but something unique and totally your own. And that’s the beauty of the list: whether the end product is an exact replica of the beginning list is irrelevant… for without the list you would not have the necessary roadmap to begin your journey in the first place! -TR