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Pros and Cons of Partnerships

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When deciding whether to go into a partnership when starting a restaurant, consider the following advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of Partnerships for Restaurant Owners

Joint Responsibilities, Effort and Expertise

Partners can be a valuable resource, especially if their skill set and knowledge complement yours. For example, if you are knowledgeable about marketing, but have no training in bookkeeping, having a business partner with an accounting background will be very helpful when starting a restaurant. You will have someone to bounce ideas off. Your business partner brings a different perspective to the restaurant, so it is helpful to share ideas and play devil’s advocate when needed. There are many steps to starting a restaurant, so sharing these responsibilities and tasks can greatly speed up the process to launching your restaurant.

More financial Resources

Having a partner can increase your financial resources. Partners can bring additional financial resources to help launch a restaurant.

Increased Networking Opportunity

Your business partner will bring along additional networking contacts and connections in the restaurant industry that you can leverage.


Starting a restaurant alone can be lonesome and scary at times, so having someone to share the experience with can make the process more fun. You can develop life-long friendships with your partners.

Disadvantages of Partnerships for Restaurant Owners

Conflicting Viewpoints

The wrong partner can be devastating. If your partner has a different vision for the restaurant, this can create a lot of conflict and uncomfortable situations. When choosing a partner, be honest and open about what you want from the restaurant and what you expect from each other. Don’t be shy about asking questions and clarifying points.

The Balance of Power

Splitting power and decision-making authority can lead to problems with power. This is a very common problem with partnerships, so make sure you can work well with your partner. You can always develop a partnership agreement, but this process can be very awkward and daunting.

Partnerships do not need to share ownership equally. Partners can provide different levels of funding for the restaurant and acquire different shares in the profits and losses. Decision-making ability and responsibilities do not have to be divided evenly either. Each partner decides how they want to contribute and benefit from the partnership. The most important aspect of a successful partnership is mutual understanding and clear communication.

Partnerships can be arranged in many different ways, including limited partnerships, silent partnerships and general partnerships. A lawyer can walk you through the process of building a partnership, including the development of a partnership agreement.

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