Daily Archives: January 29, 2008

The making of a restaurant: Zahav, Philadelphia

Anyone who can turn out a few decent dishes at home has heard the suggestion: “Why don’t you open a restaurant?”

Now, I have an ego that makes it touch-and-go whether I can fit in standard elevators. Sometimes I have to take the freight lift. But at least I have had the benefit of watching what people have to go through to open a restaurant. That’s why I know better.

The health regulations. The employee regulations, worker’s compensation insurance, liability insurance, snow removal, dishes and linens, leases, maintenance, sewerage backup planning. Hiring good people who will carry out your vision and not steal from you overly much.

We haven’t even mentioned the food.

So it was with great interest that I noticed a blog on the Philadelphia Inquirer site called “The Making of Zahav: Step by step, inch by inch, dollar by dollar, following a Philadelphia restaurant from inception to opening.”

The writer has better access to the inside calculations then you’re likely to see in almost any coverage of the restaurant business. I recommend you start from the end, which is the beginning, and work backwards to the present day.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a high-end restaurant and wondered why there aren’t more successful members of the species, I think you too will be fascinated.

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