Thank you for taking the opportunity to talk to us about the Crazy Piano Persian Grill.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
In my line of work I meet a lot of new and interesting people. They always ask me about myself and I never know what to say but somehow I like to keep the conversation going. So I guess you could say that I’m pretty outgoing and forever up to new experiences. I feel like my restaurant is a representation of who I am. Outgoing, Fun and full of flavor. Also it is kind of hard not to be a big foodie as a restaurant owner. I’m always looking forward to try and eat something new. I also really like experimenting with my food: not in terms of blowing it up in a laboratory but more like in the kitchen with different flavors and adding my own little twist to it. When you don’t find me in the kitchen or at my restaurant (which is very rare) I’ll be in the gym working out or checking out cars. I’m a family man and my wife and daughter are my life and I’m so thankful to having such a supportive backbone. A restaurant owner usually comes with a lot of stress and struggles. But I would like to say I’ve been pretty optimistic. For as long as I can remember I wanted to run my own place. I finally got the chance when I opened Crazy Piano Bar and Grill
In your own words, what do you do?
I manage people and time. I enjoy the role of proprietor. I like to take control but I do know when to release the reins a little and allocate authority when required.
What lead you to your current business?
I feel that every beginning starts with a dream or a wish. Mine just so happened to begin with the dream to introduce my food to Peterborough. To bring something different to a small city as well as something close to my heart. And that lead to the birth of Crazy Piano Bar and Grill.
Could you walk us through your process of developing your business?
Developing a business requires a lot of sacrifice and hard work. It all starts with a dream or an idea, but ideas are worth nothing without execution. First step is always planning and doing research. Once I was sure this business will succeed if executed well, the next step was to incorporate the business and make it official. Once I had the leg work done, it was then time for the actual work. That’s when my sacrifice started. I had to raise capital, look for employees, purchase cooking equipments, recipes, furniture, marketing and so much more! The process is endless. I’ve been in business for over a year now and the process has still not end, the business evolves every day. Aside from running the business, I have to set a few hours everyday to work on developing the business.
Did you encounter any particular difficulties in the beginning?
I learned it the hard way that in business if anything can go wrong, chances are, it will. You must always be prepared. I’ve worked as a chef before hence I know how to cook like a pro! But this is my first business; hence the biggest problem I encountered was management. Cooking was only half the job the other half was managing a business. This was something I’ve never done before; I was a newbie in the business industry trying to compete with some long time players in my town. I did not know where to begin or end. I wouldn’t say I have completely overcome it, but now I have experience and know how things work. I might not be the best at it, but experience taught me enough to survive. I think practical experience is the main key behind running a business successfully. I’ve read business books before starting my business and thought I was ready, but I could not stress on how wrong I was. I realize now, running a business by reading books is like flying a plane by reading instruction manuals. That’s just now how it works. You need actual experience in order to actually successfully run the business. My learning has just began, I still have a long way to go!
What are some important lessons you’ve learnt about business?
Before I started the business when anyone asked me why I wanted to start a business my answer was “Because I don’t want to do a 9 to 5 job, I want to have my freedom of working whenever I want” OH BOY! I cannot tell you how wrong I was. After being in the industry I learned that being a business owner does NOT give you work schedule flexibility. Being a business owner means busting at work 24/7. Being a business owner means you need to always focus on your business whether you’re watching a movie, out with family, traveling or even celebrating a special occasion! It doesn’t matter you need to always have some attention to your business. Your business is like baby, just like how you’d love him/her and take care of him/her all the time, you have to do the same with your business. Specially during the initial stage, similar to a new born baby, managing a new business can be stressful, exhausting and would require your attention 24/7.
Any tips for achieving success?
If you’re looking to make quick money, business should be your last option. It takes a lot of time for a business to be successful. There will be times you’ll feel like giving up, you’ll wonder if it’s worth it! DO NOT GIVE UP. You never know how close you are to your goal. You need to have a lot of patience and be willing to sacrifice your personal life for your business.