Successful restaurant partnership requires a clear business plan, complete trust in each other and clearly defined roles.
Opening a restaurant, like any other venture, involves effort, sacrifices and risks. A person must possess right access to funds, good social and management skills, besides being knowledgeable, creative and passionate about food. This can be overwhelming and might become too much for one person to endure and that’s when considering a partnership can be a good idea. Restaurant partnerships, just like any other partnerships, have its ups and downs. Successful restaurant partnership requires a clear business plan, complete trust in each other and clearly defined roles. The partners must have similar vision and goals. If not, there will be clashes and the restaurant will not survive.
To ensure the restaurant's success, it is important to do a few things right at the beginning of the partnership:
It is very important to find the right person with the right skills and expertise for your restaurant business. Even if you are partnering with a close friend or relative ensure that he/she has the desired skill set and resources to be a good business partner. Make an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses, what opportunities exist if you decide to partner and then take the plunge.
It’s very important for both the partners to utilize each other’s strength to achieve long-term success in business. Partner with people whose talents complement your own. There should be vision compatibility. The restaurant business may benefit if one of the partners has the last word on important issues or major decisions that require a quick solution.
In a restaurant partnership, it is crucial for partners to have a similar vision, mission, values and goals. Each partner should write a statement addressing those four categories. These answers should then be compared against one another and if the partners agree clearly on these statements then only, they should move on to the next step of partnership.
The partners should have clear and defined tasks and each partner should be accountable to themselves, to each other and to the business. Frustration and disappointment in many partnerships occur due to a lack of clarity around job roles. Partner up with people who are willing, to be honest, transparent, patient, respectful and appreciative of your decision and you do the same for them.
It is very essential to communicate regularly about how the divisions of responsibilities are working out between them and if it is benefitting in achieving the restaurant’s goal. It is always better to discuss issues early so that they do not ruin your partnership or your work relationship.
Hospitality businesses like restaurants are no different from traditional businesses. Even if the potential partner is a close friend or a relative, a comprehensive partnership agreement should be drafted with the clearly defined financial structure of the partnership (profit share investment, etc.). Usually, one partner looks after the back office while another looks after the front end, or one partner is just there to assist in finances while the other operates the business. Every minute detail must be documented and reviewed by a lawyer and signed by both partners to avoid any future conflict.
Starting and managing a restaurant alone can be stressful and daunting if you’ve not done it before. In a partnership, you can benefit from companionship and mutual support. Any business partnership formed without necessary planning is doomed to fail but with proper consideration and thoughtfulness, a partnership can be a huge success. There is a better chance of the success of the restaurant through a partnership than any of the partners running their restaurant business individually.
Krish Nayak is the Co-founder of Taiki (Japanese & Korean) Restaurant in Indiranagar, Bengaluru. It was founded by Krish Nayak and Apeksha Kamath under Vara Food Works. The restaurant features modernist Japanese architecture. Though it is housed in a narrow space of 10'x120', the mirror walls and skylights give a sense of soothing space. The signature dishes include the delicious Fiery Chicken Gimbap, Korean Fried Chicken, scrumptious Thai Curry & Jasmine Rice, Yaki Udon, Prawn Tempura, Jjigae - Korean Stew and many more.