How Much Does It Cost to Open a Restaurant?

Over 350 independent restaurant owners share their startup costs and financial performance.’s 2018 cost to open a restaurant survey report details startup costs and financial performance of new restaurants. has released the report of their 2018 Cost to Open a Restaurant Survey. The report summarizes input gathered from over 350 independent restaurant owners and operators regarding their startup costs as well as their financial performance.

A copy of the survey report is available at:

The median restaurant startup cost was $375,000. This equates to a median cost of $113 per square foot, or $3,586 per seat. Many factors affected cost including remodel vs. new construction, free standing building vs. tenant space, and whether the restaurant was full service, limited service, bar or tavern, catering business, or takeout and delivery.

“New construction was more costly than remodeling. The median cost of building a restaurant from the ground up, not including real estate, was $650,000,” said COO Joe Erickson.

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Wine Scholar Guild Relaunches Champagne Master-Level

The Wine Scholar Guild is excited to announce the launch of a revitalized and enriched Champagne Master-Level program led by a panel of globally recognized industry experts in January 2019.

Champagne captures the hearts, minds and palates of wine lovers around the world like no other wine. It is one of the strongest territorial wine brands in the world, and no wine specialist can consider their education complete without having in-depth knowledge of this fascinating region.

The Champagne Master-Level program was originally launched in 2015 and was an immediate and huge success. As Clara de Nijs, a Wine Importer in the Netherlands, notes, “When I came across the WSG Champagne Master-Level course, I found what I’d been looking for.”

Champagne is shaped by its history, but stays successful by continually reinventing itself. The Guild embraces that determination to learn and improve and has re-vitalized the curriculum to ensure that it stays current and relevant. The new curriculum reflects the trends and the debates of today. Continue reading

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The American Pavilion in Cannes Accepting Student & Culinary Applications for 2019

The American Pavilion at the Cannes International Film Festival offers university students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend most prestigious film festival in the world.

Festival’s only officially sanctioned worldwide student program open to film, business, hospitality/events majors.

Culinary students and professional chefs invited to participate in the American Pavilion Culinary program.

The American Pavilion, celebrating its 31st year as the leading hospitality and business center at the Cannes International Film Festival, is now accepting applications from both U.S. and international university students and culinary students/chefs to participate in The American Pavilion Cannes Worldwide Student Programs taking place May 12th  – 26th, 2019 in Cannes, France.  The only officially sanctioned student programs recognized by the Cannes Film Festival’s governing body, the internship/educational programs include the AmPav Cannes Film & Business Program, the Cannes Hospitality & Event Management Program and the AmPav Cannes Culinary Program.

“The American Pavilion Worldwide Student Programs’ participants have the unique opportunity to meet and interact with entertainment professionals at the Cannes Festival and Market — a privilege normally reserved only for industry experts,” noted Michael Bremer, director of the AmPav Student Programs. “For most, it’s their first experience in the film business and as a result many have gone on to illustrious careers.”   Continue reading

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GoDaddy and Ayesha Curry Join Forces to Empower Entrepreneurs

GoDaddy Inc., the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures, has signed Ayesha Curry, one of the most successful food entrepreneurs in the world. Together, GoDaddy and Ayesha will work together to inspire entrepreneurs, makers and independent do-ers to turn their ideas into reality online.

“I’m an entrepreneur myself and know how hard it can be to turn your passion into a business. My strategy has always been to stay true to myself and my vision by building an intimate connection with my community, and GoDaddy understands the importance of community by making it easy to get any idea online and discovered,” Ayesha said. “GoDaddy is all about helping people advance their dreams, build businesses and make their big ideas real. Together we can reach millions of people around the world who are looking to convert their passions into reality.”

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San Francisco International Wine Competition Now Accepting 2018 Entries

38th Annual Blind Judging of Global Acclaim Returns

Entries are now officially open for the 38th annual San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC), the largest and most influential event of its kind, which will be held this November 17-19 at Hotel Nikko (222 Mason St.) Since its debut in 1980, SFIWC has set a high bar for standards of excellence in wine judging, gaining international recognition for its commitment to impartiality and integrity.

James Beard Award-winning Anthony Dias Blue serves as the executive director for SFIWC and its newly-formed parent company, the Tasting Alliance, which also includes the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) and New York World Wine & Spirits Competition (NYWSC). Results for the 2018 NYWSC were announced last week.

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Governor Brown Signs Bill to Permit Sidewalk Vending Across California

On September 17, Governor Brown signed the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (Senate Bill 946), prohibiting criminal penalties for sidewalk vending and treating vendors like other businesses in the state.

“With Senate Bill 946 we can start seeing sidewalk vendors for who they are – women and seniors, single parents, and micro-business owners taking that first step to starting their own business,” said Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). “Governor Brown’s signature validates that thousands of sidewalk vendors are an important part of our economy, whose hard work supports their families and gives California its unique flavor.”

SB 946 allows municipalities to establish permit programs for vendors, and they may require sidewalk vendors to obtain a business license and abide by state tax laws, just like other businesses.

Vendors who were previously convicted under local anti-vending laws may petition the court for dismissal of the sentence.

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Legalizing Sale of Home-Cooked Food Will Boost California’s Entrepreneurs

Statement by Mark Herbert, California Director for Small Business Majority, on why the California Senate vote yesterday to pass a bill that would permit chefs to sell meals made in their home kitchens is a victory for entrepreneurship.

The California Senate’s vote yesterday to pass AB 626, which would allow the sale of meals prepared in home kitchens and improve public health safeguards around the existing informal food economy, would benefit many of California’s entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, immigrants and people of color.

Without the fear of fines, AB 626 would permit thousands of existing home cooks to openly access business education and training on safe food handling practices. Small-scale microenterprises are an important tool for those who want to grow their business but don’t have access to sufficient capital to enter the commercial food industry. What’s more, this bill would protect consumers by ensuring public officials have access to the kitchens where the food is prepared and protect their rights to use existing public health reporting mechanisms if concerns arise.

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“Open That Bottle Night” Preview and much more at the 2019 Symposium for Professional Wine Writers


Apply now for one of thirty fully-funded fellowships

Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, founders of “Open That Bottle Night” and renowned wine journalists (, formerly Washington Post) join a robust faculty of writers, editors, and coaches at the 15th annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, to be held February 19 to 22, 2019 at Meadowood Napa Valley. “Open That Bottle Night” falls on February 23, 2019.

For the fourth year in a row, the Symposium will offer thirty fully-funded fellowships for accomplished writers in the wine, food and wine, and travel and wine fields. The three-day event includes workshops, panel discussions, tastings, and one-on-one-coaching, all supporting excellence in wine writing and providing mentorship and networking opportunities.

The Symposium faculty includes Richard Bradley, editor-in-chief and chief content officer, Worth; Esther Mobley, wine critic, San Francisco Chronicle; Tracey Ryder, co-founder, Edible Communities; Julia Cosgrove, vice president & editor-in-chief, AFAR Media; Erin Kirschenmann, senior editor, Wine Business Monthly; Ali Bouzari, culinary scientist, author, and co-founder of Pilot R&D and Render; Ellen Fort, editor, Eater SF; Mary-Frances Heck, senior food editor, Food & Wine, Irene Edwards, editor-in-chief, Sunset Magazine; Karen MacNeil, author and wine educator; and Jordan Mackay, author and journalist. Continue reading

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