How Slim are Restaurant Margins?

Detailed P&L breakdown of a restaurant in Boston. If you are thinking about opening your own restaurant, proceed carefully.

Also, this:

Merchant fees are a biggie on the expense front. A lot of these fees are associated with our favorite delivery apps, which tend to take a pretty sizable cut. For Mei Mei, Uber Eats is walking away with 30 percent of the revenue, DoorDash and GrubHub are pocketing 25 percent, and Caviar is taking 17 percent — Li says that’s thanks to being grandfathered into a pretty good deal. “One thing we tell people is that if you can help it, pick up your food. If not, maybe ask the restaurant what delivery service they prefer you use.”

Restaurants are always an iffy business. Unless able to charge high premium, most restaurants struggle even at the good times. That si why if anyone is starting to open a restaurant, open high end. Do not compete on price.

It appears a lot of the restaurants in my area won’t survive the response to the virus. They’re doing their best to cope. One resteraunt and bar - Bandits - has their dining area and bar closed per the governor’s orders but you can order take out - and have a drink while you’re waiting for it.
It has surprised me some because lots of things could shut a place down for two months. Heck, a fire in the kitchen would by the time the fire department, health department and insurance investigators got through with you. But lots of places run so close to the wire that they can’t absorb a two month shutdown.

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Any MV folks like this joint?

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Thought everyone on here is vegan :sunglasses:

Nostalgia is nice but often times old doesn’t mean it’s well-run or capitalized.

Hard to get nostalgic about a hamburger joint.
People are nostalgic for the Oasis, but not for their food. Same with Zotts… terrible food … just history.,

Maybe not a just burger joint but people do feel nostalgic about old school diners. I feel like everyone town has a place or 2 like that.

I can think of a few places where I go just because they been there long time or I grew up with it but they are not that good…

Vals Burgers in Hayward
Fifth Wheel Food in San Leandro
Pelton Cafe in San Leandro
Ole’'s Waffle Shop in Alameda
Jim’s Coffee in Alameda

I have been to Val’s. Definitely a classic. But I just don’t get exited about burgers. Best in Tahoe… Burger lounge and The Bridge Tender.
I do truly miss Spengers. Probably the oldest most famous restaurant in the East Bay
Cheap drinks good food that could feed an army
Brennan’s too is gone. The end of an era

128 years of history…over

Oh man.
Clarke’s is one of a handful of things about CA I really, really miss. If you never had one of their steakburgers you really missed something.
If you asked for rare you got it bloody red and cool in the center. The only place that came close was Main Street Burgers in Los Gatos.

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Margins in the restaurant industry are notoriously small. Like tiny, actually. For reference, margins for banking, accounting, and legal services come in around 18–25%, healthcare 12-15%, and software 15–25%. Restaurants? 3–9%. Ya, like single digit. These razor thin profit margins have left restaurants with zero reserves. So when a crisis hits ( like right now ), they are pretty much screwed. Restaurant owners’ only options are to swallow their pride, beg, and hope for help — or throw in the proverbial dish towel. Did you realize how many restaurants don’t even have one months rent in the bank? It’s bananas!

Don’t open a restaurant. Maybe we simply have too many. Single digit margin is no good very bad.


Many restaurants don’t have good food. Those should stop operating. People should learn to cook at home.

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