Why I’d rather open a restaurant than do an Internet startup…


OK. That isn’t actually a true statement.  I have no desire to start a restaurant, but it certainly got your attention, didn’t it?

I was reading an OP/ED piece on the WSJ that was titled: “So You’re Thinking of Opening a Restaurant ” written by the Zagats where they basically advise their friends not to open restaurants.  They discuss the struggles that people face when opening restaurants.  One thing that struck me were the similar pain points that we both face in starting a business. They also discussed the traits that a restauranteur needs to be succesful.  I have made a little table of comparison to Intenet entrepreneurs.

Restauranteur Startup Entrepreneur
Being a good leader Same here
Being a good host Being customer focused
An eye for interior design Ability to create usable products
Savvy at purchasing Good bargainer at getting those hosting bills down
Good at social media We invented it
Ability to work long hours Ditto

Basically the skills that were described for potentially being sucessful in the restaurant world map to the skills of any good entrepreneur which totally makes sense.

The one thing that actually sounded far more attractive to me were the sucess / failure rates of restauranteurs.

According to this article, there’s a 60% probability that your restaurant will fail within three years or less.

Compared to the (reported) up to 90% failure rate of Internet startups it makes opening a restaurant sound pretty attractive!  Sad. But true.  Perhaps I should start sharpening my knives for a culinary adventure?