Cafe Society

Reader: If you're not ready to raise money privately, you're not ready to open a restaurant

If an Ohio man can raise $44,000 through Kickstarter to make potato salad, is it unreasonable for the owners of Latke Love to think they can resurrect the eatery through crowdfunding? After closing their Park Hill spot in May, Steve and Tina Shander and Steve's sister, Dana, just launched an Indiegogo campaign titled "Latke Love Needs Your Help To Find A New Home." Their goal is to raise $100,000 within forty days. See also: Latke Love needs some Denver love to find new location

But Business isn't buying, and says:

Seriously, if you're going to be a real business, learn to get a loan if you do not have upfront capital for your start-up. Try the banks. And if you do not qualify, try micro loans. And if you don't qualify for that either, last resort, try borrowing money from friends and family -- write IOUs.

Begging for money from the public is lame. You're not a non-profit organization/charity, therefore you shouldn't be trying to get 'free money' from the public. And you don't want that either because you'll then have a lot to prove and the immense pressure to perform.

If you are not able to raise money privately, then you're not ready to open your own restaurant. $100K is not a small sum.

What do you think of crowdfunding for restaurants? Food trucks? Businesses in general? Would you donate to Latke Love? To a potato salad campaign?

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun

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