9So You Have $25,000 to Spend

As promised, here is the chapter about opening a restaurant for an investment of $25,000. I did it multiple times myself, and now I will share how you can do it, too. You have many yellow pads and documents filled with a lot of information and guidance from reading this book. Now let's put all that to work for you.

It was at a point in my life as a long-time, successful publisher of Food & Beverage Magazine that I thought of opening a restaurant with just a small $25,000 investment. I've read enough, I've learned, and I've watched enough failures and witnessed many successes in the hospitality industry. I asked myself, “Why do I want to open a restaurant?”

The Answer Is …

I wanted to do what I loved as a kid, and that was hanging out at my favorite restaurant. There was a chain of hamburger restaurants, Little Tavern, on the East Coast in Baltimore, Maryland; Arlington, West Virginia; Washington DC; and surrounding areas. There was one in Georgetown, close to American University (where I attended college), and that became one of our hangouts when I was 18 years old.

My friends and I would go to the Georgetown bars (the drinking age was only 18) and then finish the night at Little Tavern. We would buy a bag of hamburgers stacked with ketchup, mustard, pickle, and onions—simple little sliders on the greatest buns. We always had a great time there. It was very small; I don't even think they had tables. Little Tavern had stools, and most of its business ...

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