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Old 01-28-2018, 11:32 PM   #1
patman
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Default The Bridge diner - Wolfeboro

My wife and I have been to The Bridge twice recently, lunch about a week ago, and breakfast today.

Short version: It's good! We'll be back again.

Longer version:

I'll leave the history lesson out, but the diner across the street from Bootleggers in downtown Wolfeboro is open again as The Bridge. (Formerly the Wolfeborough Diner) It's the same layout as the former incarnations, counter stool seating as well as booths.

The hours are Wednesday - Sunday 7am-2pm, closed Monday and Tuesday

They run a breakfast menu until 11am, then switch to lunch fare until close. Sundays they do the breakfast menu all day.

For breakfast today we both ordered 'The Bridge', which is 2 eggs, toast, a meat side (sausage links or patties, or bacon) and a second side of homefries, hash browns, or beans.

Coffee was good, and refills were offered at appropriate intervals. The food arrived surprisingly quickly, and was very good. Total for two (before tip) was just under $20.

For lunch on the previous visit, we had a grilled cheese/tomato/bacon sandwich with a side of fries, and a tuna melt sandwich, with a pickle spear and a side of chips. The bread was very good, as were the sandwiches as a whole. The sides were generous and tasty, and the service was very good.

We really enjoyed both visits, and we'll be back!
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:32 PM   #2
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Default Bridge Diner

I am so glad a new diner has opened there. I look forward to eating there in the summer.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:01 PM   #3
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Closed for the winter...
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Old 01-06-2019, 04:59 PM   #4
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Someone told me the other day that the Diner was for sale. Anyone know anything about that?
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:16 PM   #5
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Yes, it is for sale. I think Melanson's has it listed. It is the business only.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:19 PM   #6
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5 North Main, Wolfeboro, NH
Wolfeboro, NH
5 North Main Street
Price$150,000
MLS Number 4726160
Commercial Listing Agent Name David Armour
The Bridge Diner is a Wolfeboro landmark. Located in the heart of downtown Wolfeboro and frequently visited by locals, celebrities, and out of town dignitaries. Come be a part of the fabric of this great community for...

Listed by David Armour of Melanson Real Estate
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:05 PM   #7
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5 North Main, Wolfeboro, NH
Wolfeboro, NH
5 North Main Street
Price$150,000
MLS Number 4726160
Commercial Listing Agent Name David Armour
The Bridge Diner is a Wolfeboro landmark. Located in the heart of downtown Wolfeboro and frequently visited by locals, celebrities, and out of town dignitaries. Come be a part of the fabric of this great community for...

Listed by David Armour of Melanson Real Estate
Yes, it is posted in the Granite State News for $150K.

I am not sure how they determine the price but I'm confident that at that price it will likely sit on the market for a long, long time.

As another said, it does not include the Real Estate. I am not sure who actually owns the real estate ??????? Maybe the current owner does not physically own the actual real estate.

It's been thru a couple of owners over the past few years so I don't know if they can make a go of it or not. The new owner would have to open it up for dinner in June, July, August and September if they really want to push the income potential.

A previous owner had tried opening at dinner time about six years ago (and even had a beer + wine license) but the experiment didn't last for more than a season or two.

Hopefully whoever gets it will make a go of it no matter how they run it.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:20 AM   #8
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Yes, it is posted in the Granite State News for $150K.

I am not sure how they determine the price but I'm confident that at that price it will likely sit on the market for a long, long time.


.

Whoa! Agreed on the price--maybe if they dropped a "0"? Not many stand-alone restaurants have equity value beyond the movable equipment and (in this case nonexistent) real estate. That's why so many simply close when the owner has had enough.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:20 AM   #9
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Whoa! Agreed on the price--maybe if they dropped a "0"? Not many stand-alone restaurants have equity value beyond the movable equipment and (in this case nonexistent) real estate. That's why so many simply close when the owner has had enough.
The easiest step in a restaurantuer's life is getting the restaurant open, and that isn't as easy as many may assume. We've seen a handful of attempts in our local market lately that have drawn out for better than a year. Now they are open and they have to build a customer base. This can take years. I can remember days/nights in our early years when we only had one or two tables total, spending $50-$75 each. At the time we needed to do $1000 a day to break even. For most cars, the only reason to come into our parking lot was to do a U-turn. It's demoralizing to endure. Buying something turnkey can springboard someone into immediate positive cash flow.

There are three methods for valuating the restaurant that does not own the real estate it operates on or the equipment he uses to operate. The one I believe to be fairest is 20 to 30% of gross sales providing the restaurant has been operating for better than three years and has a positive cash flow.

An element I don't see any of the Harvard business professor addressing is impact of the restaurant's position with social media. Opening a new restaurant today has the new challenge of climbing the standings. If I were a buyer, the first thing I would look at is what the restaurant's yelp, trip advisor, Google, and Facebook ratings and standings are. I know from experience that even with a less than idle location, heavy traffic comes to those that are on the top of these list. How much is that traffic worth?

It takes more than $1 million to open a McDonald's franchise. You won't own the real estate and the failure rate is very low.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:29 AM   #10
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I usually saw a line at the diner on weekends at least. I think you could do a pretty good business there. I wouldn't be surprised if you could do $500 or 600,00 in sales in a year so the 30% seems fair. I don't know any of this. Just thinking.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:04 AM   #11
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I usually saw a line at the diner on weekends at least. I think you could do a pretty good business there. I wouldn't be surprised if you could do $500 or 600,00 in sales in a year so the 30% seems fair. I don't know any of this. Just thinking.
Itís easy enough to find out. Look for the business name on the food service license and then check with New Hampshire lodging and meals tax records. Divide that amount by .09 and youíll arrive at their net sales.

Donít overlook longevity of over 3 years and positive cash flow.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:22 PM   #12
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An element I don't see any of the Harvard business professor addressing is impact of the restaurant's position with social media. Opening a new restaurant today has the new challenge of climbing the standings. If I were a buyer, the first thing I would look at is what the restaurant's yelp, trip advisor, Google, and Facebook ratings and standings are. I know from experience that even with a less than idle location, heavy traffic comes to those that are on the top of these list. How much is that traffic worth?
I find that people post to social media more often when they have a problem with a single experience or when the restaurant does not suit their (lifestyle)?
JMO, but people tend to post complaints about businesses more often that positive comments.

When was the last time that (you, we, or anyone) went on vacation in another State and posted something positive about a restaurant you visited? It would have to be amazing I am sure.


Sites like Yelp or trip advisor (or this one) are no different.

Just look at the negative reviews from people that have never visited this restaurant because they do not want to pay more than $1 for a cheese burger.

Should this be a negative review on Yelp, Trip Advisor et al.? I bet for a new restaurant with little to no reviews this restaurant will fall short of positivity when entered into a Google search.....

https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums...ad.php?t=24055
https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums...ad.php?t=24078
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:26 AM   #13
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I find that people post to social media more often when they have a problem with a single experience or when the restaurant does not suit their (lifestyle)?
JMO, but people tend to post complaints about businesses more often that positive comments.

When was the last time that (you, we, or anyone) went on vacation in another State and posted something positive about a restaurant you visited? It would have to be amazing I am sure.


Sites like Yelp or trip advisor (or this one) are no different.

Just look at the negative reviews from people that have never visited this restaurant because they do not want to pay more than $1 for a cheese burger.

Should this be a negative review on Yelp, Trip Advisor et al.? I bet for a new restaurant with little to no reviews this restaurant will fall short of positivity when entered into a Google search.....

https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums...ad.php?t=24055
https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums...ad.php?t=24078
I agree people are more likely to voice an opinion when they've had a bad experience however, they are also very likely to voice their opinion when they have been wowed by an experience. Then there are also those people who are likely to voice an opinion on every experience. I'll use the reviews for The Downtown Grill in Wolfboro to back up my stance. Search for the downtown Grille on Google and you will encounter over 400 reviews when you combine Google, yelp, and trip adviser. The average rating of the 400 reviews is just a bit shy of 4.5 out of 5. This means somewhere around 350 people have gone out of their way to write a positive review about the Downtown Grille. When you do a Google search for restaurants in Wolfboro you'll find that the Downtown Grill comes up high on all the aforementioned sites. This provides a tremendous advantage when a tourist comes in the town searching for a place to eat. The restaurant at the top of the list gets first consideration. The restaurant second on the list gets second consideration, and so on. Is anybody going to go home from vacation saying "and we ate at the 34th best restaurant?"

Let's not forget we are in New Hampshire. I was cautioned when I moved here to not expect people to race to my door right away. That is proving to be so true. I have people coming in now who tell me they've been driving by for nine years and wanted to stop but didn't until today because they saw the reviews.

In my opinion reputation is a major factor when considering the acquisition of a business. In the old days ones perception of reputation was limited to the circle of friends they mixed with. Thanks to social media we can now get a broader sampling of public opinion.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:47 AM   #14
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I don't think reputation matters much for the Bridge Diner since it has changed hands a few times in recent years. But the location is good for walk in traffic. BTW the price is reduced.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:59 AM   #15
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I don't think reputation matters much for the Bridge Diner since it has changed hands a few times in recent years. But the location is good for walk in traffic. BTW the price is reduced.
The reputation for having "a few businesses in recent years" is a reputation that may not be positive from a buyers perspective. If the location is good but no one seems to be able to make it work there, my first assumption would be that the landlord is charging to much for rent.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:02 PM   #16
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The reputation for having "a few businesses in recent years" is a reputation that may not be positive from a buyers perspective. If the location is good but no one seems to be able to make it work there, my first assumption would be that the landlord is charging to much for rent.
That could be. I don't remember what happened to the most recent owners but the ones before that left to run Sandy Point and we all know how that turned out.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:54 AM   #17
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I have my own business also, auto repair. I find that social media allows people to be influenced more by their immediate mood than they would be in person. Many people, including me, would never say the things to someone's face that they write on a forum. But if you're attacked you tend to respond. Also some subjects just bring out the worst in all of us, like politics.
If I have a customer complaint I would much rather have them come back to me and allow me to make it right rather than just ripping me on social media.
It's much easier to walk away from confrontation in person than to walk away from it on your key board.
Twitter, IMO, is the worst social media site for this. Just nasty stuff that I don't think most people would ever say to someone's face.

Last edited by Biggd; 01-09-2019 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:07 PM   #18
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I have my own business also, auto repair. I find that social media allows people to be influenced more by their immediate mood than they would be in person. Many people, including me, would never say the things to someone's face that they write on a forum. But if you're attacked you tend to respond. Also some subject just bring out the worst in all of us, like politics.
If I have a customer complaint I would much rather have them come back to me and allow me to make it right rather than just ripping me on social media.
It's much easier to walk away from confrontation in person than to walk away from it on your key board.
Twitter, IMO, is the worst social media site for this. Just nasty stuff that I don't think most people would ever say to someone's face.
Your attitude is refreshing, and when I have a concern with a business I'm more than happy to work with them to resolve the issue. I love to see businesses succeed. When a business is constantly trying to improve, they generally succeed and everyone benefits.

Unfortunately, not all business owners share your philosophy. Using auto repair facilities as an example, some shops, especially those that aren't particularly competent or, worse yet, dishonest, don't want to deal with customer concerns. That was my experience with the first auto shop I used after moving to NH. They were really nice when they were selling me tires, batteries, and doing state inspections. When a repair went wrong, however, and I tried to negotiate with the owner the guy unloaded on me.

In my opinion, posting bad reviews for businesses like that provides a valuable service to the community.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:20 PM   #19
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Your attitude is refreshing, and when I have a concern with a business I'm more than happy to work with them to resolve the issue. I love to see businesses succeed. When a business is constantly trying to improve, they generally succeed and everyone benefits.

Unfortunately, not all business owners share your philosophy. Using auto repair facilities as an example, some shops, especially those that aren't particularly competent or, worse yet, dishonest, don't want to deal with customer concerns. That was my experience with the first auto shop I used after moving to NH. They were really nice when they were selling me tires, batteries, and doing state inspections. When a repair went wrong, however, and I tried to negotiate with the owner the guy unloaded on me.

In my opinion, posting bad reviews for businesses like that provides a valuable service to the community.
I agree but the younger customers today are quick to post first instead of confronting the business owner with their complaint.
I had one customer give me a bad review because I changed her oil and forgot to reset her oil reminder light because it wasn't on at the time, not all cars have them. A few weeks later it came up on her dash that she need an oil change. So she wrote a review saying I never changed her oil and ripped her off by charging her for an oil change. All she had to do was call me or come by and I could have reset the light in seconds. An honest mistake didn't mean that I ripped her off.
Also, if one of my employees does something stupid, I'm the owner and it's my job to make it right.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:04 PM   #20
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I agree but the younger customers today are quick to post first instead of confronting the business owner with their complaint.
I had one customer give me a bad review because I changed her oil and forgot to reset her oil reminder light because it wasn't on at the time, not all cars have them. A few weeks later it came up on her dash that she need an oil change. So she wrote a review saying I never changed her oil and ripped her off by charging her for an oil change. All she had to do was call me or come by and I could have reset the light in seconds. An honest mistake didn't mean that I ripped her off.
Also, if one of my employees does something stupid, I'm the owner and it's my job to make it right.
This is a perfect example of the point I was trying to make with my prior post.


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I find that people post to social media more often when they have a problem with a single experience or when the restaurant does not suit their (lifestyle)?
JMO, but people tend to post complaints about businesses more often that positive comments.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:32 PM   #21
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This is a perfect example of the point I was trying to make with my prior post.
I also notice people tend to follow the crowd. If they see a bunch of negative posts then they tend to chime in with their own negativity. Just like online bullying.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:57 PM   #22
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I agree people are more likely to voice an opinion when they've had a bad experience however, they are also very likely to voice their opinion when they have been wowed by an experience. Then there are also those people who are likely to voice an opinion on every experience. I'll use the reviews for The Downtown Grill in Wolfboro to back up my stance. Search for the downtown Grille on Google and you will encounter over 400 reviews when you combine Google, yelp, and trip adviser. The average rating of the 400 reviews is just a bit shy of 4.5 out of 5. This means somewhere around 350 people have gone out of their way to write a positive review about the Downtown Grille.

Unfortunately, we have seen time and time again, what I consider "false" reviews for various businesses that do business in the Lakes Region area. Some were employees trying to help their business and chose to post fake reviews and others are actual "business owners" trying to sell themselves. There have been several over the course of the last year on this very forum.

To have 400 reviews for "The Downtown Grill" in Wolfboro, NH suggests to me that there is some padding going on. Known or not by the owners, I take that into consideration too. In fact, it takes away from the positive.

Edit: This is not specific to that particular restaurant. I am not familiar with them. It is a general statement for ALL businesses.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:24 PM   #23
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Unfortunately, we have seen time and time again, what I consider "false" reviews for various businesses that do business in the Lakes Region area. Some were employees trying to help their business and chose to post fake reviews and others are actual "business owners" trying to sell themselves. There have been several over the course of the last year on this very forum.

To have 400 reviews for "The Downtown Grill" in Wolfboro, NH suggests to me that there is some padding going on. Known or not by the owners, I take that into consideration too. In fact, it takes away from the positive.

Edit: This is not specific to that particular restaurant. I am not familiar with them. It is a general statement for ALL businesses.
It's a shame you have such a cynical opinion of people. I agree that there's a certain amount of content (good & bad) that can't be trusted on social media, but I think it's a much less significant amount then you perceive. To suggest a restaurant in this region can only amassed a total of 400 reviews on three web sites, each used by 100s of millions, is to rely on fake postings, leads me to question your credentials for cyber forensics. Hospitality by far receives more Internet reviews than any other business.

Nonetheless, I didn't bring reviews up in this thread to debate their validity, I introduced them because of the impact they have on taffic and the value of the traffic generated by them.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:40 PM   #24
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It's a shame you have such a cynical opinion of people. I agree that there's a certain amount of content (good & bad) that can't be trusted on social media, but I think it's a much less significant amount then you perceive. To suggest a restaurant in this region can only amassed a total of 400 reviews on three web sites, each used by 100s of millions, is to rely on fake postings, leads me to question your credentials for cyber forensics. Hospitality by far receives more Internet reviews than any other business.

Nonetheless, I didn't bring reviews up in this thread to debate their validity, I introduced them because of the impact they have on taffic and the value of the traffic generated by them.
Despite your slam at me in your first sentence, I am guessing by your second sentence that we should just agree to disagree.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:18 AM   #25
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Despite your slam at me in your first sentence, I am guessing by your second sentence that we should just agree to disagree.
Perhaps my opening statement was interpreted a little harsher than intended. I apologize for that. Your remark that a restaurant with 400 reviews must be padding hit a nerve with me, as my restaurant has significantly more. The closer to the top of the list a restaurant is the higher percentage of customers they will get from that website thus increasing the likelihood of their customers writing reviews.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:30 PM   #26
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Downtown Grille is great. It has a big local following and huge business in summer. I donít doubt it has many ratings and they are high. The new owner is so friendly and outgoing and is trying new things. It is a great place.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:47 PM   #27
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I'll use the reviews for The Downtown Grill in Wolfboro to back up my stance. Search for the downtown Grille on Google and you will encounter over 400 reviews when you combine Google, yelp, and trip adviser. The average rating of the 400 reviews is just a bit shy of 4.5 out of 5. This means somewhere around 350 people have gone out of their way to write a positive review about the Downtown Grille.
Hi baygo--Coincidentally, I had an excellent pesto chicken salad wrap at Downtown Grille just yesterday. This is especially impressive in the off season when balancing revenue, service levels, and fixed costs is all the more difficult. I seem to remember that you are a restauranteur. If DG is yours, KUDOS!
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:12 PM   #28
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Downtown Grill was recently sold by the original owners. I believe one of the new owners is someone who worked there.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:12 AM   #29
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Hi baygo--Coincidentally, I had an excellent pesto chicken salad wrap at Downtown Grille just yesterday. This is especially impressive in the off season when balancing revenue, service levels, and fixed costs is all the more difficult. I seem to remember that you are a restauranteur. If DG is yours, KUDOS!
Yes I am a restauranteur. No I don't own DG. I actually have never even eaten there. I just selected them arbitrarily from Wolfboro reviews. Glad you enjoyed your sandwich.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:48 AM   #30
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Breakfast & lunch is a tough business. You are there late (6,7,8) cleaning and prepping for tomorrow and back early (5a) getting ready for the early birds! Even though they are busy during the season (and profitable Iím sure) it takes a toll on you physically & mentally. Had a friend who did it for 3 years and had to sell because of physical damage to his knees & hips and the fact that he never saw his family.


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Old 01-07-2019, 09:24 AM   #31
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I'd rather buy AJ's Bait and Tackle which is for sale for the sames price.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:30 AM   #32
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Breakfast & lunch is a tough business. You are there late (6,7,8) cleaning and prepping for tomorrow and back early (5a) getting ready for the early birds! Even though they are busy during the season (and profitable Iím sure) it takes a toll on you physically & mentally. Had a friend who did it for 3 years and had to sell because of physical damage to his knees & hips and the fact that he never saw his family.


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A lot of it deals with location, good quality food, and service. Olde Bay Diner in Alton Bay, Farmer's Kitchen in Farmington, and The Eggshell in Loudon, to name a few. I think Donna Jean's in the Weirs probably fit in this category too. Some, not all, have a lower overhead because they do not own their buildings, so no taxes, maintenance, e.t.c, only the rent/ lease. The locals will support these businesses, carrying them through the slower months.

Just my humble opinion, and my love of breakfast and lunch dining. (Almost forgot Kitchen Cravings in Gilford, certainly a cut above the norm. ).

Dave
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:44 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upthesaukee View Post
A lot of it deals with location, good quality food, and service. Olde Bay Diner in Alton Bay, Farmer's Kitchen in Farmington, and The Eggshell in Loudon, to name a few. I think Donna Jean's in the Weirs probably fit in this category too. Some, not all, have a lower overhead because they do not own their buildings, so no taxes, maintenance, e.t.c, only the rent/ lease. The locals will support these businesses, carrying them through the slower months.

Just my humble opinion, and my love of breakfast and lunch dining. (Almost forgot Kitchen Cravings in Gilford, certainly a cut above the norm. ).

Dave
While I agree with you on location, quality and service, I feel compelled to point out an error in your logic. Renters pay ALL the same overhead as owners. They also pay the landlord's profit. They are also at the mercy of the landlord when it comes time to negotiate a lease extension. This doesn't mean that owning is always better than renting (tax write-offs, less initial capital), but controlling your own premises is one more step to remaining in business long term.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:19 AM   #34
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It is human nature. I worked in a service business for 35 years and people always complained if we had an issue (rarely) but very very few ever complimented for work done below budget or quicker then anticipated. Very frustrating but I always felt that people generally assume that they are paying for superior work/service so donít expect kudos. Everyone remembers a screw up but no one remembers a above and beyond!


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