I would appreciate your opinion on what is a fair resolution to a closed store. About 3 years ago I entered a partnership to open a pizza restaurant. The terms were essentially that I would do all the work, but put up zero dollars in capital. I built the store from scratch, developed the menu, got it open and then operated it. I had 2 months to build the store before the rent kicked in, so I worked very hard to do so. Of course, I was not paid for that time. Ownership in the store would be split 50-50. We had agreed prior to opening that my base pay would be in the area of 40K plus Â½ store profits after loan payments back to partner.
For the past year I have worked everyday, seven days per week, from open to close. In the time that we have been open I would estimate that I have worked 85-95% of the stores operating hours. It was never uncommon to work 60, 90 even 150 days in a row. The store never was able to pay me the $800 per week in agreed wages, partly due to weak sales & partly due to paying back the loans, credit card debt & leases required to open. There was never a direct cash investment, everything was borrowed. Instead I have worked for the past 3 years for $300 cash per week, no taxes. At one point I went 6 weeks without pay during a slow January. It was not our intention to pay me this way & all other employees wages are on the books, it was just another way to save money. I had/have no other source of income.
My partners are fair-minded people, but have no experience in operations. One partner managed the paperwork, bookkeeping, payroll etcâ€¦ & the other helped out as best they could given their full time professional career outside of the restaurant. But in the end, except for about 10 hours per week during this past 6-7 months, I have been operating it by myself. As you can imagine, there is tremendous frustration in going to work every day & losing, every day a loser & being unable to fix anything because you canâ€™t step out of the store without closing.
The stress of working everyday & losing money everyday became too much too overcome. I went to store, went home & slept & went back to store. Outside of 3 short trips out of town, I participated in no social activity. My entire life was the store. My partners were not pleased with my attitude or behavior. I became angrier & angrier every day.
We will be able to sell the store, but with a loss of approximately 50K. That is, 50k in assorted credit card debt & loans.
100% of the proceeds of the sale will go to my partner to pay off loans, credit cards etc… Due to everything being a loan there is no equity & obviously I will receive nothing. What I had was 50% of “something” after the store was paid 100% out of store sales. I am completely busted, have no job, broken car, no home (staying with family), need to see doctors—just in bad shape all the way around. I really just wish I could have worked another job, so I could pay some bills & take care of some things the past couple of years, but I had to be at the store all the time.
I have offered to pay Â½, obviously over a long period of time, is this fair? What went wrong here other than store not generating enough sales?