A Message from Our
Co-founder Max W. Kuebler
Oftentimes, whenever anyone wants to start a business, it seems that friends and family have a negative reaction. Perhaps this has happened to many of you. Regardless of the type of business you want to start, there will be naysayers. I, personally, have opened, operated and successfully sold three of my start-up companies and all of them were very profitable. However, in the beginning, my friends and relatives, many of whom worked regular 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours, discouraged me and said it would be a mistake to venture into that business. (Of course, those who owned their own companies thought it was a great idea.) Boy, were the others wrong.
Now with the opening of Cancun Grille, I sometimes hear the same negativity. Rather than have it discourage me, my reaction to it is quite the opposite. True, some of this comes from comments we all heard in the 1950s and 1960s that restaurants have a high failure rate. But keep in mind that in those years not many people dined out as they do today, especially with both spouses working outside the home.
But getting back to these negative comments, all I can say is, ‘just wait a minute.’ The failure rate for restaurants probably is not any higher and perhaps even less when compared with many other businesses. Moreover, even other companies, including restaurants, probably failed or simply closed down for several reasons. Now, let’s see why some restaurants either fail or simply close down. Here they are:
- Did the owners simply close down their business to retire?
- Were the companies under capitalized?
- Was the business in a bad location, or did demographics and the influx of certain nationalities change the demand?
- Did knowledgeable people run the organization?
- Were the owner(s) working from a professional business plan?
- Was the food just plain awful?
- Did they serve too small of portions?
- Were the prices too high?
- Was there poor management?
- Was the help bad?
- Were the hours of operation wrong for the area? (i.e., late hours in an industrial area where people went home at 5 p.m.)
- Were the restaurants simply not clean or untidy?
- Was the service terrible?
- Was the staff unfriendly and unaccommodating?
- Was the establishment too noisy? (i.e., bad acoustics)
- Was there ample parking?
- Were the kitchens messy?
- Were the bathrooms unkempt?
Now, let’s look at the numbers for one or more of the above reasons to close down or simply fail. Articles I’ve read in restaurant publications inform us that there are 900,000 eating establishments in the United States. According to reports, 20,000 shut down, moved, simply closed or just plain fail each year. That’s 20,000 out of 900,000 or a close-down rate of 2.222 percent. Think of it, 2 percent. That’s nothing. Now, add the startup rate to this, which is approximately 8 percent. That’s eight percent of 900,000 or 72,000 openings a year. Approximately 90 percent of all openings come from others in the restaurant business that are expanding through company-owned or franchise operations.
Now ask yourself this. Can they all be wrong? Hardly. After all, they’re in the business and making enough money to expand. Now add to this the estimated 50 million tourists from other countries who visit the U.S. every year. New York and California are the most popular tourist destinations. One out of three travelers who visits the U.S. each year is from Canada, and Canadians crave Mexican food. The second most common country whose tourists visit the U.S. each year is Mexico with 8.5 million travelers. They also love Mexican food. Get the picture?
So, the next time you hear a negative comment or a few discouraging words, take a look at the bigger picture, and you’ll be amazed to find out how wrong the others really are. Here’s to success!