Jared, Eric, and Joy

How Eric and Joy Rose Successfully Took Over a Restaurant

Jared W. Johnson Podcast

In a recent interview, I had the pleasure of speaking with Eric and Joy Rose, who recently bought a restaurant in Salt Lake City. The Roses shared their background, their motivations for buying a restaurant, and the challenges they faced during the negotiation and financing process. In this article, we will delve into the main themes discussed in the interview, providing an in-depth exploration of each theme using verbatim quotes from the transcript. We will also analyze the implications and potential impact of these themes, and conclude with a future outlook for the Roses and their restaurant venture.

Background and Motivations

Eric and Joy Rose both grew up in Cincinnati and had diverse backgrounds before entering the restaurant industry. Eric had a career in the federal government, working with the State Department and traveling extensively. Joy had experience in various fields, including education and acupuncture. Their love for food and adventure, as well as their desire to live overseas, led them to consider owning a restaurant. Eric’s experience in managing projects and working with people, combined with Joy’s culinary background, made the idea of owning a restaurant appealing to them.

According to Eric Rose, “I’ve achieved everything I wanted to in that part of my life and I’m still moderately young. I’m still got some life left in me. And I have other goals. I have other things that I want to do, other adventures and I’ve learned that having fun is just so important. So we wanted to do something that’s been fun.”

Eric and Joy’s decision to buy a restaurant was influenced by their desire for a new challenge and the opportunity to create something of their own. They wanted a business that would provide them with flexibility and the ability to work on the business rather than in it. The couple’s love for sushi and their observation that Salt Lake City lacked a quality sushi restaurant made them consider this particular venture. They were also drawn to the idea of owning a local, unique establishment that would allow them to express their creativity and passion for food.

The Process of Buying a Restaurant

The Roses embarked on the journey of buying a restaurant after realizing that it was time for a transition in their lives. With their children leaving home and their parents getting older, they felt the need to explore new opportunities. They began seriously considering owning a business and were open to various options. Eric’s background in project management and Joy’s culinary experience made them confident in their ability to run a restaurant successfully.

According to Joy Rose, “Everyone around me has been a mentor. I think that everyone has something to give and to share. And you just, you know, learn from even when people fail you, there’s still a mentor. And as you try to pull out the good things in them and what they can do and say, I know you’ve got better and you that you both learn and the problems become the solutions.”

The couple started looking for a business to buy about a year and a half ago. They were initially naive about the process but quickly educated themselves through research and conversations with industry experts. They reached out to a broker, Josh, who helped them navigate the complexities of buying a restaurant. The Roses were particularly grateful for Josh’s knowledge, experience, and honesty throughout the process.

Negotiations and Financing

During the negotiations, the Roses realized the importance of building relationships and establishing trust with the sellers. They met face-to-face with the sellers and their son, discussing their vision for the restaurant and understanding the sellers’ value system. This personal connection helped build goodwill and allowed for open communication throughout the process.

According to Eric Rose, “They were still willing to keep us on even with some of the changes in the financial situation. So that was really key. And I forgot the second point. But that was the most important one, I thought was that building relationships portion, Josh brought us all together at a really good time. It wasn’t before all of the pieces had to be together, but it was early enough that we could kind of understand where each of us were coming from and build up a little bit of trust and confidence.”

The financing aspect of the transaction presented some challenges for the Roses. They initially approached another lender who was hesitant due to their lack of restaurant experience and concerns about post-purchase income. However, they were fortunate to find a lender, Jared, who understood their unique situation and was willing to work with them. Jared helped structure the loan in a way that accommodated their changing circumstances, including Eric’s decision to retire from the federal government.

According to Jared Johnson, “There’s definitely some work that goes on with the brokers almost from being like a psychologist because you have the highs and lows with the buyer and seller, right. And they never seem to be on the same track. So it seems like a lot of times, you know, sellers nervous about selling. Maybe they get an offer so they get excited.”

Implications and Potential Impact

The Roses’ journey of buying a restaurant highlights the importance of perseverance and adaptability. They faced various challenges, from navigating the negotiation process to securing financing. However, their willingness to learn, seek advice, and explore creative solutions allowed them to overcome these obstacles.

The implications of their experience extend beyond their personal journey. The restaurant industry is known for its high failure rate, but the Roses’ success story demonstrates that with the right mindset, preparation, and support, it is possible to thrive in this competitive field. Their emphasis on building relationships, both with the sellers and their lender, played a crucial role in their success.

According to Eric Rose, “We’ve done the 9 to 5 job and it has its benefits and it has its reassurances security, but there’s not as much creativity that you can bring into it. And you’re capped as far as what the opportunities are and where you can deal with. But being our own boss, the possibilities for the future really are. And we I know we, we mentioned this to the owner’s son at one point, we said this is our creative outlet.”

The potential impact of their venture goes beyond their own restaurant. By creating a unique and high-quality dining experience, the Roses contribute to the culinary landscape of Salt Lake City. They bring their own creativity and passion to the table, offering customers a taste of their vision and expertise.

Conclusion and Future Outlook

In conclusion, the journey of buying a restaurant is a complex and challenging process. The Roses’ experience highlights the importance of thorough research, building relationships, and adapting to changing circumstances. Their story serves as an inspiration for aspiring restaurant owners, demonstrating that with the right mindset and support, it is possible to turn a dream into a successful reality.

As the Roses continue their journey as restaurant owners, they are well-positioned for future success. Their commitment to providing a unique dining experience, their dedication to quality and creativity, and their ability to adapt to changing circumstances will undoubtedly contribute to the long-term success of their restaurant.

According to Joy Rose, “We’re in the midst right now of trying to renovate and it has not gone the way we thought it would go. But you go with the flow and you learn from even when people fail you, there’s still a mentor. And as you try to pull out the good things in them and what they can do and say, I know you’ve got better and you both learn. The problems become the solutions.”

The future outlook for the Roses and their restaurant venture is promising. With their passion, experience, and commitment to excellence, they are poised to make a significant impact in the culinary scene of Salt Lake City. As they continue to refine their operations, build their brand, and attract a loyal customer base, the Roses are well on their way to achieving their vision of owning a successful and thriving restaurant.


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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this program are my own and/or those of my guests. They do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of my employer.