Thinking Of Serving A Simple Lunch Menu Too...

Business By littlecake Updated 28 Jun 2010 , 6:17pm by sweetartbakery

littlecake Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:30pm
post #1 of 8

many days in the beginning of the week it's dead...and i'm an awesome cook icon_redface.gif ...it seems such a waste for the place not to be used.

anyone else doing this?

any words of wisdom?

7 replies
indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:20am
post #2 of 8

- what other food places are around you?

- Do you rely on foot traffic or drive-by traffic?

- If drive-by, remember that one of your major competitors is not "another food place", it's "another food place with a drive-thru".

- Can you afford or are you willing to stock/prepare food "on spec"? Meaning, you can get all of that salad/sandwich produce and fixin's in, but unless you do a volume that will use up the suppliers' min buy, you're likely to have a lot of waste...... it's why I never contemplated becoming a sandwich shop, as some suggested to me.

- Would it be carry out only or would you have some eat-in? If eat-in, check with your health dept on any changes you might have to make with your licensing and/or shop design. what I'm talking about here is restroom access. Since I had no eat-in business, it was ok to have a restroom at the back of my kitchen. Had I offered any eat-in service, I would have had to install a handicap accessible restroom at the FRONT of the shop for customers. The estimate on this expense was $9000.

- Have you run the numbers via a business plan to see how much you'd have to sell per day to justify being open for the lunch crowd?

- Marketing plan to let people know?

littlecake Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 1:38am
post #3 of 8

i was hoping you'd answer!

i wanted to do only drive thru....and do burgers..no sandwiches...real simple...i've been looking for a grill on craigslist....i wouldn't be doing it at my present location, but the one i'm going to renovate.

one of the biggest employers in town is just 2 blocks down from the building i bought, i thought that i would be a close place for them to come.....theres a drive thru directly across the street from me, and they are hoppin like crazy at lunchtime.

my son and his wife moved here from tennessee a few months ago to help me with the business...so i've got extra hands now.

i was thinking the biggest expense would be the vent hood...they may require a bigger grease trap.

there was a place on "drive ins diners and dives" that had a very simple menujust a few things, and they seemed to be going great guns.

word of mouths spreads like wild fire in this little town, i thought i'd just build it up like i did the bakery...being a smallish town, a lot of people already know me...and i have a good rep for tasty cakes.

i don't do real fancy cakes, as i'm in it for the $$$$$ and not to fulfill any artistic expression...so my cakes are for the most part fast and simple.....

did you notice a big difference in the electric bill with a walk in ftidge?

thanks debi!

indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 1:43am
post #4 of 8

Having a big employer close by is a big plus! And you've conquered one challenge by already having the extra help lined up.

I had a friend who ran a small restaurant (I ate there every day when I worked a regular job, right before I opened the shop. I referred to it as "my satellite office"!) and she gave a "neighborhood discount" if the person worked within 10 minutes or 10 miles from her place. It really was a great education for me to sit there everyday and watch how she ran the operation. A great education!

I only ever had a walk-in 'frig so I dont' have a before-and-after bill to compare. (But I can tell you they are AWESOME(!) to have!! icon_biggrin.gif )

cheatize Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:13am
post #5 of 8

Will the burger odor affect your cakes?

minicuppie Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:18pm
post #6 of 8

Don't forget that burgers smell heavenly in a lunch spot but not so much in a bakery. Ditto the onions and other things like the greasy odor left behind by a fry lader. With summer coming on I have been searching out places that have salad plates with scoops of chicken and tuna salad and maybe even pimento cheese and egg salad on it. Fruit salad is a big hit with the ladies who lunch, also. You know them...they are the one's that take a few dozen cookies and a carrot cake home for supper!

poohsmomma Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:27pm
post #7 of 8

I was wondering the same thing as cheatize. Would the cooking grease smell affect your cakes?

sweetartbakery Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 6:17pm
post #8 of 8

good thread. I am waiting for my final approval from the code guys before opening, but I plan to have a bakery that has sweets, breads, and a light lunch. I got around the hood by choosing to only offer things that don't need a grill. depending on your inspectors, you can prob get a panini maker with out a hood system. that is what i'm doing. I'll serve more fancy style sandwiches on my own breads... no hood. my hood was going to be 10,000 and it isn't worth that for just for the few extra bucks the lunch will bring in. let us know how it goes. I am in a super small town too, and us small towners like little spots for lunch. Another point on restrooms (again, may depend on your state), but I didn't have to have a bathroom out front because my space is only 1000 sq ft. they said a regular bathroom towards the kitchen is fine. it did have to be handicap though, which isn't a big deal. just my thoughts. so many factors. call your local code inspector and maybe an engineer. my engineer is the one that figured it all out for me.

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