Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Business of it all........

All right.......I get emails all the time from folks all over the lower 48......literally. I'm talking about in areas of the country that you (a southerner) wouldnt dream of caring about BBQ. They (emails) have progressively gotten more and more frequent. I really like answering them and being of any help when I can. Its people in the same shoes I was a couple of years ago just looking for simple answers.
When I first started this blog almost two years ago I didnt know a dadgum thing about running and/or managing a restaurant. I mean nothing. I invited my buddies to come along for the ride to either watch it succeed or watch me financially set my life back to the stone age. I had no idea that anyone other than friends would care to read about what was going on. That being said I quickly discovered another reason that pushed me to keep it going. When I started it I really could not find any information "out there" as to how to do it. Oh there are a butt-load of "how to start your own restaurant" books out there, but most of them are useless. I wanted to talk to somebody who did it. I wanted to find out what worked and what didnt. I had so many questions that I could not get or find answers to. It was tough knowing where to go and/or who to talk to. So I figured I would document my own experiences to maybe help somebody else out someday looking to do the same thing.....whether I made it or not, and I can tell you that I am far from being out of the woods!
So one thing I am going to start doing is mixing in some posts about what I've learned about the actual business side of things....numbers, percentages, etc.. Using this info can save someone a lot of wasted money and misery. I only plan to discuss what I have experienced. For example, I dont sell liquor.......the "devils nectar" as we call it in the Church of I cant really blog about that. Beer on the other hand........we sell over 20 different kinds so I have insight as to what mark-up works for me, what sells, etc.. In case that last statement sounds like an oxymoron to you let me just say that yes it is and at the same time no it isn't.....but thats for another blog somewhere else. My goal is for the info on this blog to be useful and helpful to someone. Does that sound "cheesy" to you? Well if it does go crank your car, wrap your lips around the tail pipe and breath in for a while........let me know how that works out for you.


T said...

I'm glad I found this site. I'm hoping to open a small BBQ Joint in Maryland but don't know how to really get started.

I have the product, great Barbecue.

I've read books on starting a restaurant and I've been to some of the bbq conventions also

Pat Martin said...

appreciate you reading & posting a comment. I hope this site helps you a lot, that is/was my intent on starting it because i could not find info for myself when i was starting out.

What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!