Industry: Restaurants & food services

No profits, no loans: How to survive

November 9, 2009: 5:18 PM ET

Finding alternative revenue streams is a necessity for business owners trying to weather the recession.

Kyle, Sarasota, Fla.
We've run a dinner theater for three decades, and make most of our money during the tourist season between Thanksgiving and Easter. The rest of the year our audience is local residents. We've been operating at a loss for the last couple of years, and are unable to get a bank loan. We own the land and the theater building, and have put them up for sale with no success. We even closed the theater for two months this summer to save money. We don't know what to do.


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    Ana, Dartmouth, Mass.
    I'm thinking about making some truffles (chocolate and peanut butter), putting a flyer together, passing it to friends at work and selling to them. I'm making them at home.  Do I need to get a business license or a food license?

    Jul 23, 2009 3:01 PM ET
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    Richard Ryan, Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina, Charleston
    I own a small restaurant that grosses around half a million a year. I am going into my third year and I currently employ six people. Most of them live off this job. I am holding a meeting today to explain why everybody will have MORE

    Mar 19, 2009 11:10 AM ET
  • When the lease outlives the business

    After a business falters, its legal obligations live on - but your personal assets can be protected.

    Dianne Fernanadez, Keva Juice, Vacaville, Calif.
    My son and I opened a small smoothie business two years ago. We did great until the economy fell. We opened it under an LLC, and he has since bought me out. Now, he has to take money out of his personal account to support it every month. He MORE

    Jan 6, 2009 5:38 PM ET
  • $400k and a tropical dream

    Our Caribbean experts weigh in on which island is best for an expat's bar biz.

    Edd, Philadelphia, Pa.
    I'm interested in starting a bar or café somewhere in the Caribbean. I have around $400,000 in startup capital and 20 years of experience managing restaurants. I am trying to find the best and easiest island on which to start my business.

    Dec 3, 2008 9:50 AM ET
  • How can we balance life and work?

    Experts share tips and tricks to prevent work from eating family time.

    Claudino Petruccelli, Owner, Petruccelli Pasta, Ridgewood, N.J.
    My wife and I are selling our food business. Although we're exhausted emotionally and physically, we want to start another company - but not to the detriment of our three young children. How do successful owners manage their businesses without wrecking their home lives?

    Nov 25, 2008 10:21 AM ET
  • Costs soaring? Overhaul your business

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    Ahmad bin Saripan
    I manage a food-processing business, and our sales are declining as costs and the price of raw materials escalate. How can I improve and grow the business?

    Nov 3, 2008 10:15 AM ET
  • Do I need a license for my business?

    Brenda Zimmerman, Caldwell, West Va.
    I am starting a very small home based business. I will be using downloaded images, photographs, etc., to make edible images for cakes. Do I need a business license?

    Oct 9, 2008 9:20 AM ET
  • Balancing a restaurant's finances

    Harold Baring, Los Angeles
    What are the ideal ratios of restaurant operations?

    Aug 7, 2008 9:33 AM ET
  • Divorcing your business partner

    If one partner wants out, the other has a fiduciary duty to negotiate an exit strategy that won't damage the business.

    Kath, Darwen, Utah
    I am a partner in a restaurant and food-services business. I want to leave the business partnership, but my partner won't buy me out. She says she'll close the business and restart it, leaving me with nothing. I am only asking for the money I put MORE

    Aug 1, 2008 9:30 AM ET
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