Restaurant wars

Owning a restaurant is a daily war. The kitchen trenches, each day is a new battle. Let me tell you a secret, you will almost lose the war.

The facts and figures the almost identical all over the world. Most restaurants will close their doors within the first 12 months. 3 out of 10 will survive the first couple of years and 1 out of 10 will last more than 5 years. Even with these shocking figures, places keep popping up all over the world.

Think of a startup company. Small team with one goal, to succeed and have a great product. Each day, they come to work, trying to move forward in the hope of solving certain issues and fix bugs. Now compare this to the average restaurant or coffee shop near your home. Each day they face exactly the same challenges, all over again. Produce needs to be fresh, kitchen staff at their best, customer request that never cease to amaze, and countless surprises. So basically, it’s the same day all over again, every day.

If all these struggles are not hard enough, allow me to add another crazy factor you never thought of. Welcome to the Middle East. Welcome to Israel and our insane food and beverage industry. In less than two decades, Israel has become a culinary empire. Amazing restaurants, endless options, and some of the best cocktail bars in the world. But in this crazy region, especially in radical times, the challenge for restaurant owners is greater than other western countries. The international figures for the F&B industry show 15%-20% profit margins in good venues. These numbers rely on a good and solid business, taking into account things such as economy fluctuation, yearly weather changes. The Israeli market has one more key factor, security issues. Riots and bombings or even worse, events such as the 2014 summer missile attacks that crippled the economy have become something restauranteurs have to deal with.

An Israeli business plan will include the possibility of a major security event on an average of once every 3 to 4 years. Since the 2014 summer missile attacks, Israel’s F&B industry has been struggling to get back on its feet. Now, a new wave of riots is threatening owners and putting jobs at risk. This post has nothing to do with religion, ideology, or solutions about the peace process. This is a comparison between restaurants worldwide, and those who love this business but are struggling in a war that has nothing to do with the love of food. Hope this will change soon and days of peace and prosperity will allow owners to focus on their products, process, and people.