So I’m back, six weeks after opening and Manjit’s is busy. People popping in on the way to the cinema, quick snack before the pub or just plain old night out for dinner. From the start Manjit and Michael decided to only open for dinner and only Thursday through Sunday – very wise as they are new to the restaurant game.

Part 1: The transition from street food to restaurant
Part 2: Financing through crowdfunding
Part 3: How to open a restaurant

A lot of restaurants are not busy on Mondays and Tuesday, resetting a restaurant after a weekend can be a nightmare. Suppliers letting you down, making all the food from scratch and restocking the bar. So from the start, to limit opening to four services is a good idea, you can always add more services but when you start closing extra days its normally a sign a restaurant is having problems and trying to reduce costs.

So what’s different, well the menu is still based around the core menu we developed but as business grows so does confidence, the menu is now accompanied by ‘specials’ built around produce that’s available. Using things from their local guys at the market. There has been lots of interest from food critics who have had a great experience, and written great things, check out Leeds Confidential (17/20) and Yorkshire Post (100%), lots of repeat customers and let’s face it that’s what is needed. And all the people who put in at the crowd funding stage have all claimed their rewards.

Running a restaurant is tough, spinning lots of plates (joke) and not knowing if at the end of it you will make any money or even be here next month. Why do customers come back? It’s not just about the food, that is important but it’s the complete picture, it’s the service, the staff, the drinks, the food, the price and of course the owners. We need more Manjit’s and Michael’s, more independent restaurants, and yes I did support them to get this far but they already had the ‘want’ and the passion, I just garnished it.

Kindly contributed by Steve Midgley Consulting Development Chef, 30 years experience in fine dinning, creating fantastic experiences at Michelin star restaurants.


13 Limberline Road,
Hilsea Industrial Estate Hilsea, Portsmouth,
Hampshire PO3 5JF

© Dennis Edwards for Foodservice 2022