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Posts Tagged ‘Noodle in a Haystack’

All they wanted was to open a noodle shop. Their tangle with S.F. bureaucracy has them regretting they tried

Posted by M. C. on November 15, 2021

Reading this is a pain because of the subscription ads. But the answer is obvious. Do what Washington does with failed programs, increase the budget and pass a thousand page set of new regulations to make things simpler.

The reason bureaucracies like this are started in the first is to make it hard for the competition.

Heather Knight

Yoko and Clint Tan taught themselves how to cook ramen that was hailed as “mind-blowing” by The Chronicle and recognized at the World Ramen Grand Prix in Japan. They taught themselves how to run the beloved Noodle in a Haystack pop-up out of their Daly City kitchen, serving thousands of customers over five years.

So when fans urged them to open a restaurant in San Francisco, they figured they could do that too. But it turns out even the most determined entrepreneurs are no match for the city’s hidden pitfalls and notorious red tape.

All the Tans wanted to do was take over a small restaurant space that was available and serve ramen to 10 guests per evening, three nights a week. They figured that turning one Japanese restaurant into another Japanese restaurant would be straightforward, but little about opening a business in San Francisco ever is.

Now they’re $100,000 in the hole, far from opening and full of regrets.

While acknowledging they’re like “deer in the headlights” when it comes to navigating the city’s byzantine permitting process, they still wish they had more guidance. Or, perhaps, that they’d hired a professional permit expediter to get the job done for them.

Even reporting on their attempt was confusing, as city officials and restaurant experts didn’t always have the answers.

See the rest here

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