Do You Know the Art of the Deal?


Jessica Yoon
Hilda Staples, Mark Stone, Marcus Samuelsson, and Richie Nakano at ICC 2015
Hilda Staples, Mark Stone, Marcus Samuelsson, and Richie Nakano at ICC 2015

Creativity and finance are not the best of friends when it comes to running a restaurant. During the Art of the Deal panel at this year's ICC, Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Mark Stone of Petrus International, Hilda Staples of Bryan Voltaggio Family of Restaurants, and Richie Nakano of Happa Ramen fame gave their best advice on how to make good restaurant deals and most of all how to avoid bad ones.

Marcus Samuelsson: You're out in the wild until you meet someone who has complementary skill sets. But once you do, it's a game changer.

Hilda Staples: Get to know your landlord. If you only communicate with them through a real estate agent or broker, it's going to be a difficult ride.

Mark Stone: You're always going to be asked for personal investments and collateral. Just make sure that you don't put everything on the line. If it doesn't work out, you don't want it to spread like a disease.

Richie Nakano: Surround yourself with good people. Give yourself the things you deserve and don't forget to put it in writing.

Marcus Samuelsson: Partnerships are always tested, during good and bad times. Have a clear idea of what success means and looks like to you.

Hilda Staples: It's very exciting to be courted, but if you're a chef-driven brand, you're not a franchise. Executing quality is hard and takes longer than people think.

Mark Stone: Make sure to include realistic milestones when writing a deal. Negotiate. It's a two way street.

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