So having a great idea for a business is one thing, but figuring out the logistics to execute said idea is entirely another animal. There are a lot of things to figure out and I mean A LOT. For starters, do we want to be a play centre with a side of restaurant or do we want to be a restaurant with an attached play area? After some initial discussion, we decided that JJ Kai is definitely a restaurant. The last thing we want is to be in competition with the Early Years Centre or any other parent drop-in facility. We want to be a place where hungry parents can come to eat yummy, nutritious food (with a spattering of good old comfort food, of course), while watching their child have fun. Why? Because it's better for us, the parents! Let's call a spade a spade, shall we? Parents want some comfort time too, and trying to take your little one out to a restaurant that is anything but a total kiddie environment is an exercise in 'Kill Me Now'. Not that changing your kid's diaper on the back of a toilet tank isn't fun, but, jeez.... okay you get my point.
So there it is. This restaurant is for us, the big folk. That said, we will have a play area with safe toys, books, both for them and for us (pleasure reading and baby related books), songs, and lots of other stuff we haven't worked out yet. We have some big plans for different directions the place could take and different services we could offer (please feel free to comment and suggest anything and everything).
I'll update you on where we are so far. We have involved the brother of a friend who knows the business very well from the point of view of numbers, money and general start up. Having him on board is pretty important 'cause neither Davina nor I have ever done anything like this. After a really good first meeting, which involved a lot of tea, we have an idea of how much all of this will cost. At this point I need to step away from the computer and scream in terror. Back in a mo.
Moving on from my panic attack, we have to decide whether to buy or lease. Clearly buying is the way to go, but since I have no immediate work history, no assets and appear generally untrustworthy on paper, getting approved for a mortgage may be difficult. Although, turns out, that if you buy a commercial building with living space up top, then it is potentially zoned residential which requires a significantly smaller percentage down and blah, blah, blah, so the possibility of buying remains.
We could also lease. Paying someone else's mortgage isn't exactly appealing, but hell, I've been doing it with my apartments my whole adult life. Try doing the math on that one sometime, for those of you who rent, and see how you feel.
The third option is finding an existing bar which has a full kitchen but is only open in the evenings. Maybe we could rent it out during the day. An interesting possibility. That would significantly lower our costs.
Where else are we? We need a business plan. No one is going to loan us money without one. To that end, we have an appointment next week with a business plan company to find out what they can offer us for the exorbitant amount of money they will most certainly charge us to create said business plan. But I have a feeling that going up that learning curve ourselves could take just this side of forever and sometimes, it’s just worth it to pay a professional.
Also, we did a tasting the other day. We invited about 8 friends over with their little ones and did a sort of a sample menu. We got a lot of great feedback from that and are thinking we should really do that again. We could try different foods, and let’s face it, dinner parties are fun!!
I think that’s it for now. A bit of stream of consciousness thing happening here. The future entries should be a bit more focused as these early entries are kinda getting the world (all 6 people following the blog), caught up to where we are so far.