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  Canada Immigration Forum > About Canada > Business > Please give your views.
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Please give your views.




Hello Group

I would like your views on something I plan to do. I appreciate any inputs you can give me.

At present I am working as an IT PM in Toronto. I am planning to take a break from this profession and open a small south Indian vegetarian takeout/restaurant which has been my dream for sometime now. I am now faced with a few options for which I would like your views on;

City :

I have been in GTA for the past 4 years. We have a house and my wife has a stable job as well. Recently I visited Vancouver and fell in love with that City. Since I am planning to start a business I thought it would be good to move to Vancouver because I hate the 5 month-bone freezing cold in Toronto. On a long term basis I would like to live in a city that is pleasant throughout the year. But I am not familiar with Van. I do not know any one there. I can go there and get a contract IT PM job for 6 months and learn the city during this time and then start a business there. But it will be like starting from scratch. I am also not sure if Vancouver is a good city to open a South Indian Veg restaurant. Vancouverites , pls give your views.

On the other hand, except for the weather, GTA looks good for this venture. I have a support structure, contacts and most of all my wifes stable job. From this point of view GTA is less risky to pursuer my business venture as compared to Vancouver.

What do you guys think.

Veg vs Non-Veg

I am a vegetarian myself and hence my instincts are to start a veg restaurant. But from business feasibility perceptive, do you guys think I can be successful with serving only veg food especially if I open up something in Brampton. I know there are couple of veg south Indian restaurant in GTA that are doing well, but they are located in prime locations which I may not be able to afford. What is your opinion on this.

Appreciate all your help.
rsk


 
rsk12

Senior Desi
Member since: Dec 06
Posts: 275
Location:

Post ID: 153699 16-11-09 13:28:48
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Fido
Senior Desi
Member since: Aug 06




Posts: 5286
Location: Canada


If your product is good and you are able to market it in a sustained manner , chances are veg Indian food would succeed as much as a non veg joint .... eg : Udupi / Sarvana Bhawan / GuruLuxmi etc .... Being a vegetarian yourself , you might be more at ease in starting a veg joint ....

This is a major adventure which can consume a lot of time and money plus lost opportunity cost of working as an IT PM ... Wishful thinking is one thing and the practice of implementation and actually running the affairs slightly different ...

Have you sit down , made some feasibility studies in terms of finance , efforts and logistics needed and the time period you would need to break even ? Do this study , chart out the pros and conses and a little bit more real picture would be infront of you which would in turn encourage/ discourage you ....

If you feel GTA is less risky , start with GTA ... then may be over a few years , you can open a branch in Vancouver and relocate there ..... Since your wife has stable job here , it may be risky to venture in something new and let her also leave her job .

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Fido.

 
Post ID: 153713 16-11-09 16:44:07
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paramhams03
Senior Desi
Member since: Feb 06




Posts: 164
Location: Mississauga


Enterprise is good. Pragmatism is still better. Please think hundred times before you upset the applecart. Try to find a balance between your aspirations and your needs. I assume that you would have discussed this thoroughly with your wife (with a totally open mind) as she is likely to be the one to shoulder the responsibility for quite sometime and the psychological stress that go with it.

I do not know how comfortable you are financially. But granting that you are more than comfortable, it is not a bad idea to venture out into doing something. Having said that it would be better to start an enterprise, where your expertise could be capitalised upon than to start something wherein you would have to learn from the scratch.

I am somewhat in a similar position, ever planning to start my personal practice in my field, while not being able to resist the temptation and security of sizeable monthly compensation.

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Post ID: 153728 16-11-09 20:25:09
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rsk12
Senior Desi
Member since: Dec 06




Posts: 275
Location:


Thank you for your comments guys. I have decided to stick with GTA for now and venture into Vancouver in a couple of years. I am very aware of the risks involved in leaving a full time well paying job to pursue this. But I have reached a stage in my life where what I am doing does not interest me anymore. I only do what I do for the money but I am so miserable doing it. When I wake up every morning I have this feeling like oh God yet another day of doing this job and I dont think I can live with that feeling until I retire. All my life I have never taken any risks and hence never realized what it would be like to take the risk and win. Actually I am in a good situation to take the risk as my wife is working and we dont have any kids to support. I am very passionate about cooking and I am a pretty good cook myself. I am thinking of starting something very small and go from there.

Am I nuts here guys.


thanks
rsk


 
Post ID: 153763 17-11-09 12:15:34
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Smiley
Senior Desi
Member since: Mar 03




Posts: 1185
Location: USA


Here is my suggestion

Follow your dreams. In the end we regret things that we never tried and not the things we failed at .

You get the point. Tread carefully but do it

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We will find a way or we will make one

 
Post ID: 153771 17-11-09 13:53:05
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fass2008
Senior Desi
Member since: May 08




Posts: 431
Location: Mississauga


rsk,
I do not live in Vancouver so cannot speak to any of your questions regarding that. However I do like food and so would like to comment on what I find faulty with the Indian veg places here and maybe you could use some of this consumer feedback :) in your planning:
Even though I am a non-vegetarian I would definately go to a veg restaurant, especially if it is Gujarati or South Indian cuisine or even better if I could access the best of Indian veg cooking (all kinds) under one roof. I have been looking out for a good Gujarati Thali place but dont find one.. the idea of take out for a thali doesnt appeal. I have been to Sarvana Bhavan and though their food is good paying $7 dollars for a sada dosa a rip off. For take out the concept of Indian veg fast food is also very appealing: Wada pav, Chaat, Samosa Pav, Jhunka Bhakar etc (think Bombay street food) and not expensive. If you aim for good, cheap and plenty of variety I think you cannot lose.

As for the risk, if you are unhappy with what you are doing right now, by all means try something that you think will make you happy if your choices do not hurt anyone. You only live once (that you are aware of) - dont have any regrets.

best wishes,

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Immigrant Parents in Canada http://groups.yahoo.com/group/immigrantparentsincanada

 
Post ID: 153776 17-11-09 15:04:37
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tamilkuravan
Senior Desi
Member since: Jun 05




Posts: 5756
Location: God's own country

Some points
Quote:
Originally posted by rsk12Thank you for your comments guys. I have decided to stick with GTA for now and venture into Vancouver in a couple of years. I am very aware of the risks involved in leaving a full time well paying job to pursue this. . I am very passionate about cooking and I am a pretty good cook myself. I am thinking of starting something very small and go from there.
Am I nuts here guys.
rsk


yes. You are nuts for sure. Desi restaurant business pays just min. wage or even less. See how many Desi restuarants have gone bankrupt. Desi's are people who tend to save money and it is not a good venture at all, more so for a software engineer.
However, if you must start a restaurant, I shall give you some tips. Look at the niche market.
For example, if you start a buffet with Mutton , Chicken, Beef, Fish etc... and set the price at $14.99 or $16.99 (Like Tandoori flame etc..), Desi people will come to eat atleast $25 (and steal spoon, forks , napkins) for the bill of $ 16.99. Plus a lot of food goes waste.
Next, if you take the case of the Rexdale mall (where a lot of poor people live), your expensive restaurant business will not survive.
Take the niche market of Guru Dhanalakshmi. You know how easy and cheap it is to make Dosa batter. yet a dosa there is $6.99 + tax. Sambar / chutney is also very inexpensive to make. Most restaurant use the food bank / waste vegetable outside the food bank (excess inventory) for atleast some of their provisions and thus Guru Dhanalakshmi has a sound business model. So may be as suggested, you could take the business model of dispensive Bhav Bhaji (with the Bhav from the food bank - excess inventory) and thus you can suceed very well. Also we know that filter coffee costs us very little to make but it is highly respected by North Indians (the majority in the GTA). So you could give free filter coffee to all customers thus enticing them.
String hoppers is another speciality of south indians (esp. with the hot and spicy Cauliflower) and also vada, Bhajji etc.. However our Sri lankan friends have made this so common and so cheap ( $3.00 + no tax for 25 string hoppers + free sambal+ Free sambar or coconut milk) that it is not worth the money for any South Indian to make it.
Also have you thought of hiring cooks / supervisors and instruct them during night time while continuing your day job?
Hope this kindles your mind.

Peace by a PD

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I am a Gents and not a Ladies.

 
Post ID: 153794 18-11-09 01:05:45
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paramhams03
Senior Desi
Member since: Feb 06




Posts: 164
Location: Mississauga

Business
Hi rsk,

You are not crazy at all if that is what you mean by 'nuts'. Well, what you appear to be looking for is the fulfilment of what is called self actualisation needs, which is the ultimate craving for any individual, according to the great ABRAHAM MASLOW. Well, if you do what you like and passionate about, with enough information and expertise, for good measure, there is no way you would fail, if you conduct the business imaginatively.

If you are comfortable financially and do not have any great commitments, it is certainly not a bad idea to venture out. In the kind of job that you are in, my understanding is that you could always get back in, as and when you want.

Well, I really do not have much to offer except that I am a connoisseur of good food. But that is no expertise for me to offer anything on business which is a different cup of tea. But make your own research. Any information would be worthwhile. Try to talk to people who are actually in the business and their experiences.

May be you could go to some restaurants and ask the managers for advice indicating it to them that you do not propose to start one in their area of operation.

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Post ID: 153800 18-11-09 07:55:57
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morning_rain
Global Moderator
Member since: Feb 05




Posts: 1920
Location: British Columbia


Quote:
Originally posted by rsk12

I am also not sure if Vancouver is a good city to open a South Indian Veg restaurant. Vancouverites , pls give your views.

Veg vs Non-Veg

I am a vegetarian myself and hence my instincts are to start a veg restaurant. But from business feasibility perceptive, do you guys think I can be successful with serving only veg food especially if I open up something in Brampton. I know there are couple of veg south Indian restaurant in GTA that are doing well, but they are located in prime locations which I may not be able to afford. What is your opinion on this.

Appreciate all your help.
rsk



Hi rsk:
sorry it took me a while to respond to your post, its been very busy at work. I am in the Vancouver area and can give you my opinion. First, there are a few south indian (veg and non veg) restaurants here and until recently Saravana Bhavan was one of the best. It was packed with people every day, not just indians either. Then, something changed in the taste of the food (new cook or new ingredients??) Anyway we go less often but I hear its still busy. It is located downtown. There are some in surrey that are good, but I think location makes a huge difference.
Secondly, I wouldnt compromise my own food principles. I too am vegetarian and wouldnt feel happy serving non- veg food to others. BC has a large number of vegetarian restaurants (Indian, asian, chinese, etc) that do well. It is the quality and taste of the food that matters most.

Vancouver is known as the #1 Vegetarian friendly city in Canada. People here are generally very health conscious as well and many people are becoming more aware of the healthy ingredients in south indian food and it is very popular.(goveg.com)

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~ Morning rain



 
Post ID: 153805 18-11-09 11:05:19
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meghal
Senior Desi
Member since: Jul 04




Posts: 1651
Location: (0,0,0)


rsk

Ever thought of starting a small restaurant serving south indian food in any of the food courts in GTA malls?

All food courts serve all kind of delicacies - american/chinese/mexican/thai but I am yet to see a single desi restaurant in food courts. As a vegetarian, you are stuck with few choices.

Yes. I would love to see some Indian flavour in otherwise bland food court food


 
Post ID: 153816 18-11-09 16:01:36
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Contributors:
fass2008(1)  Fido(1)  ftfl(2)  goodraja(1)  jaidev(1)  JRF(1)  meghal(1)  
mkannuri(3)  morning_rain(1)  paramhams03(2)  pokiri(1)  ritz3645(1)  rsk12(4)  Smiley(1)  
solovaz(2)  sumjo(3)  tamilkuravan(1)  Vandematram(1)  
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