Dave Query has built an amazing restaurant group at Big Red F. His restaurants are extremely popular and very successful, and if you’re in Denver or Boulder, you’d be missing out if you didn’t visit them. Dave is genuine, honest, colorful and smart as heck.
During his interview for Restaurant Owners Uncorked, he talked about why university towns are great places for restaurants, why it’s critical to be cautious about who you choose as investors, how important his staff is to his group’s success and much more. Here’s some great insight from Dave about what to look for when considering potential investors for your restaurant…
Wil: “If you are looking for investors, what do you look for and what do you avoid?”
Dave: “Well, it’s like going out on a first date. If you’re in your mid-twenties, or thirties, and you’re dating with something bigger in mind, that’s the same as finding an investor. So when you get those weird hits, and those weird personality charges, and those weird ego comments, run fast and run far, because that stuff will only get worse.
There’s an interesting dynamic in any industry when it comes to raising money. There’s this whole song and dance thing that happens between investee and investor, where when you’re hungry for money, you’d wash the guy’s car, mow his lawn or do whatever you can do get his or her cash.
And then as soon as they write that check to you, the dynamic changes, to where they’re genuinely concerned about your health. They’re interested if you’re finding enough time to take off. They’re worried about your marriage and your health. They want you to spend time with your kids.
It’s a funny switch that happens with intelligent, integrity-ridden investors who are in it for the bigger picture. You’re always going to have these people that are just totally cash-driven, and they really couldn’t give a shit what your personal life is like. But I’ve been fortunate enough not to have any of those kinds of people involved in my businesses.
So you’ve really got to think about your long-term success when you’re interviewing these investors, because much different than a tech firm or something that you might be investing in, this is a very interactive investment for these people. They’re in your place, representing your brand, walking around the community, telling people that they are your partner and an owner.
Man, if they’re not walking the high line that you expect them to, then you could be in a really bad situation. Let’s say three years into it one of them gets a nasty coke habit and is out nightly hitting on all of your hostesses, you’re just like, ‘Whoa dude, this is all wrong.’ And they’re an investor. They’re an owner! You’re so screwed at that point.”
If you’d like to learn more tips and practical advice more from Dave and nineteen other owners who’ve proven they have what it takes, grab a copy of our book on Amazon – paperback ($14.99) or Kindle version $9.99).