Building a team of Angels

ChefCalavinoChefCalavino Posts: 2subscriber
edited August 2016 in Growth Funding
We are a small restaurant group in Atlanta Ga. looking to maintain our growth after the unexpected death of our secondary investor/lender due to a single car accident Memorial Day weekend.

It seems there are a lot of Angels in the wings if one is building a technology platform but even scalable restaurant models are, rightfully so, difficult to find funding for.

I opened my first business at 17 after 4 years at my first job and at the age of 19 lost it in a fire Christmas of 1987 while traveling to Key West to set up a store front.

At the age of 26 in 1996 I opened my first restaurant in Atlanta and named it after my Grandparents. I opened it in an area that was considered less than desirable and dangerous with every penny I could get by selling the small annuity I received in 87 and I had an amazing 10 year run and am cited as the cause for the booming business and residential district it became by residents and local politicians alike.

Because developers were being slightly vultvreistic in both their purchasing and selling tactics I began using my profits to offer fair prices to the men and woman that had spent their lives in the neighborhood and leaving some equity in the he for my subsequent buyers. Thru this process I was still making a nice profit on the houses as well as having a 2 hour wait nightly and being profitable at the restaurant.

Until the market crashed and I was not liquid at all while building 8 houses.

So, we lost everything again and eventually stayed viable by opening a 20 seat restaurant with a George Foreman Grill, 2 used electric hot pots a couple of very used refrigerators and old wooden pallets we used to build all of our walls and furniture because we could not afford any.

We were in that location for 6 1/2 years and built up a large following until we were given the opportunity to rent a 50in/25out restaurant in a freestanding building tucked away in a well know Atlanta neighborhood as well as 2 other nearby venues.

We have now been offered the opportunity to purchase the building for a reasonable price and are seeking new sources of funding.

Thank you for any thoughts/leads
Chef Calavino
Chef and owner for the past 24 years in Atlanta Georgia looking to scale.

Comments

  • Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness Birmingham, Mich. Posts: 1,021administrator Site Admin
    Hello, Chef Calavino!

    Sorry for the late reply. While I am not going to be of much assistance myself in terms of providing funding, I am hoping that I can start to engage the conversation for this topic. Perhaps somebody who can help you out will respond. It seems like you have some successful experiences, and I would like to see you get your business going again.

    When trying to secure funding, there are some things you need to have in place. For example, a pitch deck to show to your potential investors. Do you have a pitch deck ready to go? Your pitch deck should be compelling. It should introduce your company and team. It should also talk about your market research and explain what you are offering potential investors. It has to be engaging and keep thier attention, though. You can read a detailed article on the anatomy of a pitch deck here:

    https://startupnation.com/start-your-business/anatomy-pitch-deck/?utm_source=community&utm_medium=12079&utm_campaign=existing-topic%20

    The next article is a couple years old, but is still relevant. It lists three easy steps to help you secure funding -- all of which deal with credit and ratings:

    https://startupnation.com/start-your-business/fund-your-business/find-funding/3-easy-steps-to-help-your-new-business-secure-funding/?utm_source=community&utm_medium=12079&utm_campaign=existing-topic%20

    My last piece of advice is this: If you are having a difficult time finding angel investors or venture capitalists, have you given any thought to crowdfunding websites? Kickstarter.com, Indiegogo.com, GoFundMe.com or Crowdrise.com are all great platforms. On, Kickstarter, be advised that you have to reach your goal to receive any of the money. Different platforms have different policies, so make sure you are aware of whatever those may be. A crowdfunding campaign is a lot of work, and it may fail, but if it hits, then you are golden.

    With crowdfunding, you typically need to give something tangible away for certain donation amounts. I'm not sure if this is a requirement, but nearly every crowdfunding campaign I've seen does this. It is kind of like a return on investment for these everyday people helping you out. For example, if somebody donates $50, you may give them a gift card for two free entrees when you open your resturant, or if somebody donates $500 you may name a menu item after them along with a gift card. Something like that. Oftentimes, those gifts are considered tax deductible. You may also be able to sell shares on crowdfunding platforms. One last article regarding crowdfunding:

    https://startupnation.com/grow-your-business/what-small-businesses-should-know-about-crowdfunding/?utm_source=community&utm_medium=12079&utm_campaign=existing-topic%20

    Sorry for all of the links, but I think each will be beneficial for you. I hope this helps!

    Best,
    Ryan O'Bleness
    Community Manager
    StartupNation, LLC
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