Expansive, not expensive

A few years ago, I attended an interview for the role of Head Chef in a new contract that a prominent London caterer was rolling out a few months later. Despite my reservations about the kitchen being shoe-horned into a tiny space, it was going positively until we talked about menus. After a whole series of questions about my food and cooking philosophy while reviewing the menu samples in my portfolio, my interviewer asked me if I could draw up a menu that they could consider for the opening of this site.

Based (mostly) on the answers he gave me to my following queries, I pulled my application from the interview process:

What is your projected spend per head?
What type of dining clientele are you expecting?
Will it be busier for lunch or for dinner? (Perhaps requiring separate menus.)
Casual dining or destination dining?
How many staff will be in the team?
How many covers do you project in an average service?

To every one of these questions, his answer was the same: 'We don't know'.

I was not surprised then to read they were eventually pulling out of this contract as it was losing money. Going into a new project without the answers to these and other fundamental questions is an expensive way to do business. That was a lesson I had already learned the hard way. Maybe they should have ask me about that in the interview.