it looks like my run is coming to an end,

We have an interested buyer that hopes to take over operations on December 1st
So, my plan is to take a month out on the Harley to ride across the country and visit as many of you guys as I can.

When someone sells their business my question always is. What do you do for income? I don’t know of any pizza place that sells for enough to live the rest our you life and I don’t know any operator who has packed away the needed cash to live the rest of your life fat and happy.

I have have saved money thru the years and have created a business worth a lot of money. I have few monthly bills and no debts. If I cashed out today I would just barely have the money needed to keep going for the remainder. Plus I would be bored and would spend more money doing dumb stuff.

So what am I missing? What am I doing wrong?

Glad for you, maybe one day i can “retire” to lol

I guess I’m just done with always needing to be the adult in every situation,
I do plan to relocate to a warmer climate (The Mohave Desert is my first choice), maybe even start another biz out there, or just be somebody else’s employee for a decade or so.
when I wrote my business plan, i included an exit plan with a 10 year exit point. I’m a few years early. I just don’t want to be that guy who is in his 60’s still doing it.
after 7 years in, I figured I’d have a very professional reliable crew that could run the place without me physically being there any time the open sign is on, but It just hasn’t happened…
I have a great core crew, but we cannot seem to build on that solid base with the local labor force (farce) being what it is.

The property we purchased never had an operator that could exceed 18 months without them failing. I am the 4th operator in this property, and we rocked it!
I plan to take a few months after my training commitment, then I’ll jump on the bike and tour the country for a few weeks while I think about what I may want to do for the next 10 years.

Could I retire on what I have saved plus my monetary gains from the sale, maybe, but not as comfortably as I would want to live. There are a few things I want to accomplish before I get too old to do it.
Ride a motorcycle to Alaska & back, Ride the “Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge” , get my pilots license back up to date, and hopefully get my helicopter certification too.

I had to decline an offer this last summer for me to spend 6 months in Sweden training a kitchen crew how to do BBQ, I was offered $24K USD, free travel, a home to live in, a vehicle to use, and even them shipping my motorcycle overseas and back so I could screw around riding parts of Europe on my off days. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to find another gig like that, as doubtful as that is, I can still hope.

I am leaving a profitable operation to the purchasers, our growth each year is still great, we sat down and crunched numbers and we both agree that there is no reason that they cannot exceed $1-Million in annual sales by their 3rd year here. Maybe I can find another failed location wherever I end up, and turn that into something too, I’ll figure it out when I get there.

I’m not leaving the forum, because I do like to stay on top of trends in the food industry, and for all I know I may be the same thing again but someplace else.

I appreciate your contribution to this site. Best of luck to you as you begin your next journey.

Thank you very much. I do still plan to participate here, and visit some members establishments this coming summer.

By culinary background has been heavy in French & Northern Italian cuisine, to the horror of my “Cooking friends” I started a BBQ joint that was also supposed to have wood-fired pizza, & fried chicken at start-up. They all asked why I would do something like that when I could do fine dining, I pointed out that there is just not enough 'Comfort Foods" available and I want to dominate that market in my area. I never did get the pressure fryer that I wanted, it took 3 over years for our pizza to come online, so maybe the new owners will finally complete my plan by adding fried chicken?

Guys, I opened a restaurant with a total opening budget of less than $6,000.00 . I broke every rule in restaurant financials, it was a sink or swim situation that required me to be instantly successful within 72 hours of opening our doors or we would have failed in spectacular fashion. I had no working capital, I had zero money for advertising or signage, everything I had mostly went to licensing, insurance, some smallwares I needed, the lease and initial inventory. But I already had several large catering events booked for that summer to fall back on.

Something funny that I just learned from a reviewer this weekend; That we do a New York Style pizza, Who knew? I sure didn’t! I just did a hand tossed thin crust pizza that I liked through my own experiences of eating pizza in the midwest, with trial and error until I got what I wanted and one that tested good with our BBQ crowd. I’ve always made our own sausage, we’ve used whole-milk cheese from day one (personal preference) I’ve never been to New York, I just made what I liked and our customers liked.

I have learned a ton of stuff from this forum, I hope I have contributed enough to help others out too. Now the real sweet spot, seeing my name in the last printed version of PMQ Magazine . Thank you!
(I’m the BBQ guy who also does pizza)

I got Choo…SELL ICE!

Ha! One of the business opportunities I am considering out there is “Dry-Ice Blasting” . So your comment is very relevant and also humorous.
It is a great way to clean kitchen equipment and walk-in coolers/freezers. There’s no lack of potential clients in and around las vegas. Plus dry ice blasting is a great restoration procedure

Dry ice blasting was one of the methods used for decontamination at Three Mile Island, it was nice that the media evaporates and leaves you just the removed material to clean up so it did not increase the volume of waste. It is a great technology.

My wife and I keep talking about opening a boarding kennel at our home after we get burned out on pizza. We both love dogs, and our area is seriously underserved in this area. Once we went on a 4 day cruise and the bill from the kennel was more than one cruise ticket. We have 5 acres behind the house and no zoning issues. hmm.

I’m a genius!

If you ever come through Naples on your way to,hoka hey look me up. I’ll ride at least to the keys with you.

The first ever Hoka Hey challenge was Key West to Homer Alaska, No rider is privy to the route until the day it starts, so Naples may very well be a possibility ,If I find myself anywhere on the gulf coast, I’ll take you up on it. I do want to take 4-6 weeks for a cross country trip at my pace very soon, and riding to the keys is in my plans, I still have friends near Sarasota and in Stuart so either way, chances are good that we’ll meet and hopefully get some miles on together. I’m getting very anxious to do this handoff and get some “ME” time

If you are going to head to Alaska you will likely pass through my fair city. I am 80 miles from the start of the Alaska Highway. My son-in-law is an avid biker and I am sure he would be happy to get 1 or 30 of his buddies to ride a stretch with you.

Outstanding! I am marking that into my digital notebook right now (my iPhone)

This is almost like handing off a beloved pet, I busted my butt to get where we are, Everybody around here (the bankers that all refused to do any financing for me) all had me marked for failure but we still pulled it off and proved them wrong.
the one goal I would have loved to see is for us to have been featured on Triple-D, maybe the new owners will have it happen to them, Heck, Maybe they can take it nationwide, who knows?
Many people say I am making a bad decision at this part of our existence, but I am going with my gut instinct to stick with my exit plan even though it is 3 years ahead of schedule.

Congrats homie, really happy for you! Glad you’re going to stick around the Tank as I really love hearing from you. I hope to do what you did at some point and am about to launch a couple food/tech startups here in SF that could be YUGE if we do it right, YUGE! When I sell, I’ll be doing exactly what you’re doing and traveling it up! Good for you and enjoy yourself :slight_smile:


Always been my favorite member, learned so much from you(fryer oil, charbroilers, pizza dough, marinades)
I hope you do stay posting in here.

Good luck rejoining the free world!

Restaurant work is like a mental disorder, it’s almost an addiction. You’ve got to have rocks in your head to want to do it (Hence my screen name) but it can be so satisfying when you get things running right, and the most common complaint you hear is “We wanted to stop in, but there was no place to park and the line was out the door” My answer was, “So, get it delivered…”
I want to see my successors do well, I’d really love to see them with multiple locations.
My best guess is that I will end up in the restaurant industry again within the next 5 years, I’ve always thought that pizza & chicken was the ultimate combination, so I’m already in the “Just Looking” stages of doing exactly that somewhere near Las Vegas. Then I’d have zero excuses on not attending the pizza expo!
BBQ is out of the question in that area of the country due to the lack of readily available, affordable hardwood to cook with. Maybe I’ll do a charcoal broiled bird, and for my pizza oven, I want a stone conveyor to remove variables from bake times to lessen consistency issues.
My realtor just called, the buyer got his financing (as expected), the countdown begins!
Heck, maybe I’ll get into the BBQ competition circuit more consistently this next summer, who knows

Congrats GotRocks!

Thank you

congrats! Everything comes to an end and it is a wise man who realizes when that time comes. Walter