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Celebrity Chef & Restaurateur Bobby Flay Has The Best Business Advice For People Who Want to Open Their Own Restaurant

If there’s anybody who’s earned the right to give out advice to aspiring restaurateurs, it’s probably successful celebrity chef Bobby Flay. From a high school dropout to a multi-millionaire owner of a chain of restaurants, the 54-year-old has definitely come along way in life and he’s got a treasure trove of experiences to glean from.

The No. 1 Advice

Flay opened his first restaurant, Mesa Grill, in New York City back in 1991

Speaking in an interview with CNBC, Flay immediately got to the point and said that the no. 1 tip he has for people who want to open their own restaurant is to be both ‘overpatient’ and ‘overcapitalized’.

As a lot of people already know, getting into the restaurant business entails a lot of capital. In fact, the ‘Throwdown! with Bobby Flay’ host said that it would often take double the amount of money to open up a place than what entrepreneurs initially think. And it would also take double the amount of time to build it, he added.

According to a survey done by an online website for restaurant operators, it would take an estimated $375,000 to get an independent place started.

Adding to these challenges are many more speed bumps along the way. Flay knows this by experience. Back in 2013, the celebrity chef’s first restaurant had to close shop when his landlord raised rent prices by up to four times. His Las Vegas location remained in operation though.

Small Victories

Gato, Flay’s Mediterranean restaurant in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood, opened in 2014

Another tip the chef parted to aspiring restaurateurs may not be new to people’s ears. Flay tells CNBC that the key to ‘real success’ is simply believing to one’s self. However, he clarified that this also means looking for ‘small victories’ and refraining from trying to ‘conquer the world’.

Going into more details, Flay revealed that when it comes to opening a new place, he takes the daunting task of building a whole menu ‘one dish at a time’.

Meanwhile, it seems that the celebrity chef isn’t ignoring the fallbacks, too. Talking about the restaurants he had to close over the years, he said that similar to Broadway shows, his restaurants have had their runs.

Path to Success

The chef currently hosts the television cooking competition, ‘Beat Bobby Flay’, on the Food Network

Flay’s love for cooking manifested young. In fact, he was the one who arranged his mom’s grocery lists and even cooked up some complicated snacks after school. Perhaps because of his intense culinary interests, the young Flay didn’t really enjoy formal schooling much and dropped out at just 17 years old.

He got his first job in the restaurant business as a busboy at the Joe Allen Restaurant. Moving up the ranks, he was eventually sent to the International Culinary Center.

Now, he has around six restaurants and 15 locations of Bobby’s Burger Palace. What more, he’s garnered widespread fame after appearing on numerous Food Network shows.

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