THE FOOD DREAMERS
We all eat. Most of us have eaten at restaurants. Some of us have dreamed of owning our own restaurant. This is about those people. The dreamers.
Many of our forefathers came here in search of the American dream. Some wanted to own their own business; some wanted to be their own boss. Some had a dream of being able to passionately create menus and dishes that were incredible and delicious.
However, it is very hard to open a restaurant. It is even harder to own and operate one. Houston currently has over 11,000 restaurants. I have read this city has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the world, and 60% of small, independent restaurants close within the first year. Location means everything, but a great location costs money, lots of money. In addition, a business owner must consider build out, kitchen equipment, staffing issues, vendors, and permits. They must get building permits, Fire Marshall permits, certificate of occupancy permits, alarm permits, sales tax permits, food handler permits, etc, etc. Prospective restaurant owners must have a lot of money to invest and be willing to survive without any income for well over a year.
Restaurant owners must always be at their restaurant. It is their passion. It takes all their time. They must be willing and able to do everything. They handle public relations, marketing, advertising, pay sales tax, accounts receivable, cooking, waiting tables, washing dishes and cleaning bathrooms. They must pay attention to every detail, know what is going on everywhere and must be able to adapt at a moments notice.
Despite the challenges and headaches, many in our area have opened restaurants. Incredible family owned and operated mom and pop eateries. Many have taken their dream and believed in themselves enough to turn their dreams into reality. They have become role models of mine. The American dream still lives and there are many, many examples of it in this North Houston area. I love stories of beating the odds, stories of persistence and stories of mouth-watering, succulent food. We have plenty of those stories to choose from all around us.
In the past three years I have owned two Italian restaurants and an Italian food truck.
I know the challenges, the pitfalls, the heartaches and the joy of owning a restaurant. However, this is not about me. This about you, about all of us, especially the dreamers in our midst who pave the way for others. This is about the American dream!