Small Business After Hours: Running a Restaurant

Many eateries fail fast, and some persist against the odds. What does it take?

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A sidewalk in New Haven, Connecticut.
Photo:Ragesoss (Wikimedia Commons)
John Dankosky talks with panelists Chris Conlon, Nicole Griffin, and Leeanne Griffin.
Photo:Heather Brandon
John Dankosky talks with panelists Chris Conlon, Nicole Griffin, and Leeanne Griffin.
Photo:Heather Brandon
Small Business After Hours took place at Molto Bene restaurant in Ansonia.
Photo:Heather Brandon
John Dankosky talks with panelists Chris Conlon, Nicole Griffin, and Leeanne Griffin.
Photo:Heather Brandon
Producer Tucker Ives engineers the show.
Photo:Heather Brandon
Small Business After Hours: Running a Restaurant
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Small Business After Hours: Running a Restaurant

Running a restaurant is hard. Most fail the first year, and most of the rest fail soon after. Those who make it are rewarded with long hours, lots of bureaucracy, and the knowledge that they’re doing what they love.

At our Small Business After Hours event, hosted at Molto Bene in Ansonia, we talked about the challenges of the restaurant business. How many employees do you hire? What should you pay them? Where do you source your food? How much should you charge for it? Throw in critics on social media, bureaucratic rules, and a struggling economy... there’s a lot to talk about.

Here in Connecticut, we’re increasing the minimum wage, but not for tipped workers -- waiters and waitresses are the very lowest paid of the state’s ten largest low-wage occupations. Restaurants also must provide paid sick leave to employees, and publicize health inspection performance. 

Our panel includes Chris Conlon of Smokin' With Chris in Southington, Leeanne Griffin of the Hartford Courant and ctnow.com, and Nicole Griffin of the Connecticut Restaurant Association