Careers Business Ownership Common Myths of Owning a Restaurant Share PINTEREST Email Print Klaus Vedfelt/ The image Bank/ Getty Images Business Ownership Industries Restauranting Retail Small Business Real Estate Nonprofit Organizations Landlords Import/Export Business Freelancing & Consulting Franchises Food & Beverage Event Planning eBay E-commerce Construction Operations & Success Becoming an Owner By Lorri Mealey Lorri Mealey Twitter Lorri Mealey has nearly a decade of restaurant experience, including owning and operating her own restaurant in Western Maine. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 01/02/19 Many people assume that owning a restaurant is a fun and exciting way to make money and perhaps even become famous. Actually, owning a restaurant means devoting many hours to running a business. While there are definite benefits to being your own boss, there are also drawbacks. If you are considering owning a restaurant, it is important to dispel some of the myths and understand exactly what this job involves. You Will Have Fun While fun is what you make of it, it would be a bit of a stretch to assume that the restaurant business is all fun and games. In reality, it is a lot of hard work and pressure. Owning a restaurant means you will be at work a majority of the time, especially at the beginning. This includes weekends, holidays, and family events. You Will Be Rich Restaurants can earn a lot of money, however, most revenue will need to be put back into the business to keep it running. Expenses include items such as payroll, sales tax, insurance, rent, mortgage, food and supplies, liquor, utilities, and repairs. A restaurant owner can earn a decent living but only if they intend to work in the restaurant. Many people think they will open a restaurant and draw a paycheck without actually cooking managing staff, or waiting tables. This may work in the beginning, but restaurants can’t support those who don't work. You Will Be Inspired to Work Harder The fastest way to ruin a favorite hobby is to make it your living. Of course, doing something that you truly love can inspire you to work harder. Keep in mind, though, that cooking for close friends and family is not the same as cooking for strangers who are plunking down hard-earned money for your food. Even if friends and family say you should open a restaurant, remember, they are your friends and family and not the most impartial of judges. Try catering a few small parties for non-friends and family to get a small taste of the food business before taking the leap into opening your own restaurant. You Will Have a Place to Spend Time With Friends If your aim is to buy a restaurant to spend time with friends, build a bar in your basement or throw a party. Don’t invest thousands of dollars into a business you will not be overseeing because you are spending time with your friends drinking, eating, and watching football. In addition, if you act like you do not care about your restaurant, neither will your staff. You Will Be Famous It is unrealistic to believe that you will become famous if you own a restaurant. Restaurant owners are not in the business to get famous but to earn a living. However, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of being in the restaurant business, as celebrity chefs are everywhere these days. They have two or three network shows, cookware lines, commercials, food lines as well as popular restaurants. But like everyone else, they started their careers by putting in long hours. However, even if you don't make it to the big time, with enough hard work and good management, you can be a celebrity to your staff and customers.