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Thread: Looking ahead?

  1. #1
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    Looking ahead?

    Well here is the deal. My wife has decided to build/manage a restaurant.

    Now let's get down to the facts of the matter. This is my wife's money not mine. No doubt however, some of my money will find a way into this adventure. For those of you who know my wife she is not a typical Thai. She thinks ahead.

    We managed to finally buy this shophouse in P-lok for 2 million baht. Not a bad location, in between HomePro and Big C. Parking, I think is crap, but for Thais is, well normal.


  2. #2
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    Here is a view of where I think a pavilion could go.


  3. #3
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    Above pics show the facts. My question is now how do I make a go of this business? I honestly think that I could grab about B40,000 monthly from a well run eating shop.

    The problem remains. What would you do, if you were the boss of a restaurant. How would you make a go of the business?

    More pics and thoughts to follow. As life turns I will not be back in Thailand until June.

  4. #4
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    p-lok I assume is Phitsanulok.
    I thought you lived in esarn? Will she be running it herself?
    Cheers johpam

  5. #5
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    I should add that this land is right next to a 5 star resort soon to be finished. Hopefully, D&G will be able to serve both Thai and 'farang' dishes.

    Shit, the more I type and think, I will be working until the day I die...

  6. #6
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    Not to be a smart ass, but hire a seasoned restaurant manager... At least at first... It is very easy to lose one's arse in this biz... Learn the ropes from the pro, then once things are running smoothly, ease him out...

    The failure rate for restaurants in the US is around 60%...

    The Restaurant-Failure Myth - BusinessWeek

    In Pattaya, it's more like 50% in the first 2 years...

    Pattaya People newspaper Thailand - One in Two New Restaurants Fails Within Two Years, Barter Can Help Beat The Odds

    These numbers may not be applicable to your location, but you get the idea...

    You could always throw up a bar in the back, setup some karaoke rooms and go native...
    Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  7. #7
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    This is going to cost me money. Constructing a place to eat in Thailand may be out of my realm...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muadib View Post
    You could always throw up a bar in the back, setup some karaoke rooms and go native.
    That's the problem...

  9. #9
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    Come on TD posters. What would you do if you were the boss of a hog trough here in Thailand. How would you design and run the place?

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    I had a restaurant in P-loke with the ex.

    My experience:
    The first 2-3 weeks not too many guests but I insisted on staying open until midnight. I would sit downstairs with the ex and listen to her bitching about closing-nobody coming blah blah. Thais talk a lot so word will get around and it really did.

    Be at the market (railway) not later then 04.30, stuff is cheaper then, they want to sell the second batch so the first has to go fast

    Wholesale on the narrow street out to Banglakam is cheaper then in the 'city'

    Coce and Pepsi will show up during the first 2 weeks, listen to their offer, (I got the better with Coce, Pepsi wanted 3k deposit for the fridge)

    The cops will show up, make sure that they are from your district, if so, they eat for free, that goes up a bit later on

    The tax vultures will show up. In my time it was 500 Baht profit a month is free, so I told her that we are working on a loss atm and we'll contact them as soon as we make a profit (never happened)

    Beer makes money, whiskey doesn't but soda does (they drink hectolitres of this s**t), soft drinks is al right too

    In a quiet moment sit down and calculate how much you pay for a plate of food and how much you charge, make sure you don't fall of the chair

    After just 3 month the whole thing got blown out of proportion and we had to hire 4 staff.

    More as/if I remember

    Good luck, wish I was there

  11. #11
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    I would sell it....or rent it to someone else to do and include free meals in it.

    The hours you have to put in to make a quid.....no thanks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty View Post
    I would sell it....or rent it to someone else to do and include free meals in it.

    The hours you have to put in to make a quid.....no thanks.
    He's far off with 40k/month, closer to 40k/week

    Can't get lazy though

  13. #13
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    I would listen to Maudib. Also, you know that you're only going to be able to do Thai food, as the locals around there aren't the most metropolitan of people. The food will have to be exceptional (for Thai palettes) and the prices reasonable for it to succeed.

    It seems like a bit of a daft thing to do unless your one stands out in the crowd, but good luck.

  14. #14
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    Yeah I should add that it was the ex's idea but my money and she's a very good cook.

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    What Marmers said. Doing food in a sea of homogeny is difficult. Need a niche....something else all the other similiar types aren't offering. Need a lot of patience. Best of luck to you.

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    How about MacLonalds ?

  17. #17
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    Will it have GoGo girls?
    If not then it is doomed.
    Rent property out. Or sell.
    Make easy money not hard money.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillbilly View Post
    Come on TD posters. What would you do if you were the boss of a hog trough here in Thailand. How would you design and run the place?
    Make sure all the dishes on the menu have numbers.

    I think it's difficult to make 40k a month, this is big money in rural Thailand. If you managed to do it, you'd have ppl opening up next door trying to copy you.

  19. #19
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    A small niche could be a few Vietnamese dishes; seems to go down well at the shophouse near to me with the locals.

    I would start to look at what profit margins you expect to achieve. Beverage is easy to calculate - cost/retail. Food however is the more difficult one to control - first carefully select your menu with what you believe is the most popular and don't make it too large to begin with.

    I believe up in the sticks the food supplier will be a local market of some sort and I could imagine cheap. Once happy with your supplier (it is best to start with as few as possible before sourcing cheaper or higher quality products until you are completly satisfied with your menu and the costing is uniform) I would start the pricing.

    i.e Spicy thai beef salad - you use xx grm onion, xx grm tomato, xx grm mint, xx oz lime juice, xx grm cucumber and xxx grm Thai local beef. Then price all those amounts up by dividing with the price per kilo to get the total cost of each dish.

    As the outlet will be just open it will have to price aggressivly and as your in the sticks I could imagine the profit margins low. Divide the cost of each dish with the possible retail price to get your profit margins % (cost/retail x 100 - 100). When you've done this for all dishes get the average percentage to know what profit you will be making for all the food in the outlet. note - food =

    This is important for when it comes to stock control. Count the value of stock in the outlet at the start of the month, add the value of orders within the month and take away the value of stock in the outlet at the end of the month to give you the cost of goods sold. Divide the cost of good sold with the sales that month and you'll get you percentage for profit from there. this will have to be in line with average profit percentage when you did the original costing. If the percentage is too low for profit - someones nicking from you, the suppliers are cheating you or your portion control is shambles etc.

    Whisky and beers are piss easy to control as they will be sold by the bottle and it's easy to find out if someone is cheating you. As long as you have a good auditing system as above (and of course the most trusting cashier).

    That I believe is number one when setting up, have full contol over your pricing and from there you can improve the dishes over time with feedback from customers. The better dishes you can start to stretch the margins slowly as you discover customers love those particular dishes whilst also improving the quality of the poorer dishes to ween peeps onto them before pricing up a bit.

    Sorry for the thesis, it's how I do it. Everything as to be strictly controlled around price, quality and control over the food/monies.

    edit* just looked up the thread, think I went overboard

    Try a Vietnamese, Chinese Niche and call it wah yoo fak in wan

  20. #20
    ding ding ding
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillbilly
    How would you design and run the place?
    Given that the economy is going down the pan I would go for 25 baht made to order plate food. Cow pad moo and grapow moo, that kind of thing with noodles available as well. Put a roof on that bit of land and toss in a few low cost tables and chairs once you got the ground concreted.
    Make it a no frills joint but have it nicer and cleaner than the probably grubby nearby establishment.
    The key to success is having a reliable chef knocking out decent food. Cant go wrong.
    Originally Posted by Smeg
    ... I like to fantasise sometimes, and I lie very occasionally... my superior home, job, wealth, freedom, car, girl, retirement age, appearance, satisfaction with birth country etc etc... Over the past few years I have put together over 100 pages on notes on thaiophilia...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pot View Post

    Try a Vietnamese, Chinese Niche and call it wah yoo fak in wan
    Or if you want to be polite simply call it 'wok u want'

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    Ok...name the restaurant time....

    Flied Lice.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat gusG's Avatar
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    Gin maak maak

  24. #24
    ding ding ding
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    Gin Khao ree-ang?

  25. #25
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    I had a place and got fed up.

    What would I do different?

    I would have a smaller menu and focus on doing the things I did have on the menu top notch but low cost / high profit.

    I would not sway and dance at every customers whim -ie change my recipe or add to the menu for one person.

    Not hire relatives.

    Not allow Thai to even know I had a anything to do with the place.

    Target more tourists and less local farangs.

    Don't become friends and hang out with customers.

    Tell the BIB and the Thai government to get lost when they come around with their hand out for tea money or just to hassle me.

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