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Meet the people... the Texas sports bar owner

Interview with...

Dustin Evans
CV:
Worked with several major restaurant chains opening new outlets
Business name:
Underdogs Sports Pub
Goods/services:
Sports bar
Location:
Houston, Texas
When bought:
A year ago
Price paid:
Undisclosed

Dustin on life before buying the Underdogs Sports Bar...

"I was with several big chain restaurants, with Brinkers for five years in a training team and in several other positions there. 

"The main one was opening up new restaurants. I did 33, 34 new stores with them and left for a bar called Fox and Hound when they were getting started, opening 25, 30 stores. 

"I was there for the last 15 stores until the opportunity came up for me to own my own place and start making money for the right people."

On what prompted him to become his own boss…

"I thought about opening my bar a few years into working at Fox and Hound. 

"When I was looking at the potential revenue stream we were generating for them I thought that, if I were able to capture that same effort, it would be very beneficial for my development and becoming my own employer."

On how it compares to working for someone else… 

"I found that the biggest change from working for myself versus working for a corporation like I did was having to actually spend my own money. 

"That's been the biggest thing: when something breaks you have to be creative. Or if you want something you have to work for it a little bit harder than having an open check book."

I found that the biggest change from working for myself versus working for a corporation like I did was having to actually spend my own money

On how bar ownership has affected social and family life... 

"Opening up my business has affected me a little bit. 

"Emotionally, I've been a lot happier working on my own and answering to myself. I've hired a bunch of my friends, so we've had a lot of fun doing what we're doing. 

"Financially it's been more of a burden. Getting everything up and running has taken a little bit longer than I had anticipated, so there's been a lot of financial burdens outside of the business."

His advice to other would-be bar owners…

"Have the proper funds. We don't have any debt, but we also are funded daily through our sales, which is good in the long run. 

"The growing pains are a lot longer and harder to bear during the slow periods and growth periods and neighborhood changes. I would suggest having a lot more capital under your belt going in." 

On what it takes to become a successful bar owner… 

"Sadly enough I think the best person to run a bar might not be the best person to own a bar. From my experience, as long as I've been in the business, the best guy to run the bar is the life of the party, the guy who's the mayor of the bar, who meets everybody and makes everyone his friend. 

"On the other hand, that same owner doing that same thing is great for the bar, but could hurt the business aspect much more. Having the self-restraint not to drink and not be drunk in front of your employees are huge factors that most bar owners don't know or realize."

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