I've worked in the restraunt bus. for about 15yrs, mostly waiting tables, but learned alot. Now own a mortgage and a home building company,but started a pizza/sub rest. about 7 months ago. It's definately fun, I do the owner job (check on daily, pay bills, books, etc.) but hired an experienced manager to run it (don't have the time). I could tell you all my downfalls but it would take all night. 7 mos in bus and barely breaking even right now. But, don't let that discourage you. A few pointers that I didn't realize that hurt the hardest at first are:
1. 8.25% of your monthly sales have to be paid to comptroller by the 20th of following month or they'll charge you 10% penalty. (I didn't even figure in sales tax when trying to figure out bottom dollar sales to break even at first)
2. Every month you have to pay in to the IRS 941 taxes (payroll) that is probably alot more than your initial budget figures, and quarterly you pay workmans comp dues.
3. When doing food cost, don't forget togo boxes, cups, lids, straws, bags, napkins, parm & crushed pepper, 54 cent pizza boxes etc. IT WILL KILL YOU!! 1/2 of my sales is to go (i don't deliver) but it's call up and take out (even though I have seating for 30) lunches seem to sit down, dinners take out.
4. Have storage!! You'll double your food cost running to the local grocery to buy stuff you should have stocked enough up on from your distributer.
5. Kinda in line w/4. SAMS IS GOD. On the small scale pizzeria, most of the times Sams paper products beats your dist. prices. and your not waiting on the truck!!
6. Ebay is king!! If you need it or want it. Search Ebay first. They are usually cheaper than your locall supplier for equip. and if your lucky, your local dist. will match Ebay's price and you don't have to worry about the whole Ebay thing.
7. Insurance!! I pay$108 per month for non delivery liability only, add delivery and workmans comp ins. and your at $400. I never even looked into this when doing my initial budget.
8. Hire people that have experience. You'll pay soo much more trying to train an employee w/no experience in the rest. bus.(friends kids, etc) and probably have to fire them anyway then you would finding one w/experience.
9. Something breaks every month. It doesn't matter how big or small, something breaks!! $175 to recharge a cooler, $15 in door hinges. $10 in LIGHT BULBS!!, $5 in A/C filters, Pizza Peels, Cutters, Can Openers, Pizza pans get bent, Soda machine heads, Toilet stops flushing, Table gets loose, it doesn't stop!!
10. It's a blast to be your own boss!!! you might stress more, but you are your own boss!! You did it for a reason, w/good advice from someone who's done it before you, you know what you're getting in to. Step up and do it!! Just consider everything up front and you'll do good.