This is a much tougher business once on the inside trying to run it compared to looking at it as a customer on the outside.
It is long hours, hard work with very high food and employment costs. There are usually high site costs in rent and rates plus often a usual substantial refurbishment to open. There is very little margin for profit in this sort of business.
The only way restaurants make money is to keep very tight control of the food costs and wages and by being busy and operating near full use of the available covers (customer chairs) all the time. They also need to make sure they keep track of the VAT liability and PAYE so these are paid on time. Once you get into arrears of these costs you quickly get into financial trouble.
We do close several restaurants every year (usually liquidating them). More often than not they are run by owners who are new to the business and just do not have the experience to make them work.
There have been a number of high-profile failures in this sector in the last few years and this trend will continue.
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Licensed Insolvency Practitioner