The Life of a Restauranteur

Yes, it’s been a while since I posted here.  If you’ve been following Fourpenny House online, on Facebook, or Instagram you will have seen the big push to get funding complete and begin construction while still doing all the baking, brewing, and experimenting needed to get the menu in place.  And there’s meeting potential vendors, doing market research, and a crap-ton of social media.  How did I get into it?

Here’s how you switch careers:  say to yourself, “I’m going to be (x).”  I did that back in the spring of 2003 just after I was laid off, when I decided to become an architect.  Fast-forward ten-plus years and I was a licensed architect.  Then I got laid off.  Twice.  This time my career change snuck up on me.  I’d been working on the restaurant idea until it developed into a project, and projects need time and money.  When it came time to start spending real money I decided to become a restauranteur.  Which means I get to do all the fun stuff and have my own place and do all the tedious stuff and all the boring stuff and all the stressful stuff.  Being a restauranteur means being a developer.  You have to find money, raise money, borrow money, find money, spend money.  The person who controls the water supply for a city must feel like this.  Stuff goes in, stuff goes out, any imbalance will cause chaos and disaster.  But now, for the first time in my life, I’m in charge of my fate.  Not a boss or a congressional appropriations committee or some terrorists who decided that nobody wanted to travel abroad anyway.  Me.  Which is equally stressful and empowering.  But at the very least, when I wake up in the morning, I know that the direction I take is my own, the orders I take are my own, and my success and failure are ultimately up to me.  Isn’t that the American dream?

As I gear the blog back up to regular speed I’ll weigh in on the personal challenges of starting up a restaurant, which so far are completely different than I expected.  And everyone tells me that running a restaurant means 25-hour days, cleaning poop out of a urinal on your birthday, and a complete implosion of everything in your life other than work.  And the pay stinks.

Funny, that’s just what they said about architecture.

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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3 comments on “The Life of a Restauranteur
  1. Babs says:

    How did this country get its start without big dreams and those willing to take big risks to make it work? Yeah, we have ups and downs in our government now but I wouldn’t live anywhere else! Hang in there and have confidence that there are plenty who support you and your dreams!!

  2. Rick Brooks says:

    The key, of course, is not to do everything yourself. It’s hard to get people who are as passionate as you are about a project or business. But it sure does help to have other stakeholders you can count on through thick and thin. Then you can celebrate as well as suffer together; create and reshape and rethink and refresh everything when it seems almost impossible to manage it all. Besides, you will need that extra penny…

    Good luck!

  3. Douglas says:

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    Congratulations Peter for taking those risks, I commend you for that, and much of what you have achieved so far for yourself and for your family.

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