Poncho No.8 was started by two friends, Frank and Nick. After developing a healthy obsession with Mexican food they felt that setting up a business to make and sell the stuff was a pretty straight-forward decision.
Here is Frank’s account of starting it up…
1. What are you currently doing and how is it going?
Recently opened a burrito bar – Poncho No. 8
Amazing. Best decision of my life was quitting my job. It gave me the added vigour to pursue my dream of running my own company. Making more money than I was at GS, so that side of things is fine. I work hard and I work a lot but it’s fun and exciting and interesting and different every day. And the best bit is that I’m not sat behind a desk, and I’m not working for someone else.
2. What did you do before this?
Equities sales-trader at Goldman Sachs (GS), just under two years.
3. How long have you dreamt of doing what you are doing now?
15 months (ish)
4. What inspired you to do it?
Chipotle in the US. Business trips opened my eyes to the world of burritos! Also, my parents are in catering. Moment of Truth was when I quit my job at GS in February!
5. From a practical perspective, how did you plan for it?
Ate a lot of burritos, counted how many customers existing burrito bars did per hour/ day. Learnt as much as possible about the London food scene as possible. Planned a timeline of where I wanted to be and when.
6. How are you funding it?
I funded it with personal savings from GS, along with capital investment from selling equity.
7. What was the hardest thing about making this happen?
i) People (estate agents, suppliers, builders, etc) not listening because you haven’t got an existing business or because you’re young. Persistence helps.
ii) Balancing/ timing everything. Doing everything yourself is great, but balancing timings can be difficult, especially as it comes to crunch time!
8. What has been the best thing about having made this happen?
Knowing you’ve created something special. We employ people who may otherwise be out of work. We provide another lunch option for people who need it. We own and run a Brand.
9. What advice would you give to other people who want to do something similar?
Plan it thoroughly. If it feels right, and you know it’s right, take the plunge and go for it. Speak to people in the know. Glean them (subtly and politely) for information. Learn from them. Learn everything you can about your field.
10. What resources (books, websites, articles, events etc) have you found really useful?