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  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Posts
    382
    I took a contractor through the building I am buying. The owner demanded he be present and what a disaster. Of course, the firt question the contractor asked was, "What do you want to do?" I just said, "I want to open a coffee shop." The the owner was going on and on about doing eggs and all sorts of crap. All I could think of was people walking in and smelling bacon. Don't get me wrong... my favorie spot in the next town is a diner, but I don't want to be that. I don't want the seller to know what I am doing in case our deal falls through. I finally pulled the contractor aside and said, "Look, this is what *I* want to do roasting and retailing and maybe offer some lunch items, if that will enhance my coffee business." I don't like refering to my biz as a coffee shop because people think something else, but I guess that's what I'll call it for now.

    If I can make some extra bucks selling wraps and sandwiches, great, but coffee is my passion and what I "know"; not being a greasy spoon.

    In addition to answers to my menu questions, I guess what I really needed was some morale supprt to encourage me to stay the course. You know, everyone (from the building inspector to the zoning guy) wants to tell you what to do and they think they are experts. Thank you so much for your honest opinions, all of you.
    AJPratt
    Pratt's Hill of Beans

    "Don't laugh at the coffee. Someday you may be old and weak, too."

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Hartford and New Haven, CT
    Posts
    991

    Re: "LITE LUNCH" MENU QUESTION...

    Quote Originally Posted by AJPRATT
    I am opening a coffee roasting/retailing business. The thing is, there is nothing around that serves lunch. Would it be a good idea or a bad idea to add some light lunch items? What would you suggest? My goal is not to be a "restaurant" but to be a coffee business and I don't want to do anything to detract from that.
    Maybe there is no demand for it?
    You want cream and sugar?
    NO COFFEE FOR YOU! NEXT!

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Posts
    382
    That's a good thought, but no. There are a couple of bar/dinner places that do very well, but no lunches. The area is growing and I could get in before it explodes.
    AJPratt
    Pratt's Hill of Beans

    "Don't laugh at the coffee. Someday you may be old and weak, too."

  4. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    49
    did you end selling lunch fare and how did it do? I am thinking about carrying a limited lunch menu but, don't want to jump in to deep.
    Sunrise Coffee Co.
    Las Vegas
    sponsor of the fifteen minute coffee zen

  5. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    36
    I added a lunch menu and it turned out to be about 30% of my daily take. We do sandwiches including a breakfast sandwich that sells very well, bagels, toast, hamburgers (they are a 1/4 lb precooked flaim broiled patty that actually draws customers) and the dreaded soup . We are pretty far north and soup, stew and chili sells well around here. We don't have a full kitchen so everything we have is precooked except the eggs, those are steamed. We do however get the premium line of soups and other products wich does set us apart from the competition. We cost a little more but have a much better product and that get the customers in the door. Does that make me a cafe instead of a caffe? Probably, but we still have the best coffee in the area and are becoming a popular stop for people to come, grab a bite to eat and get a great cup of something hot and tasty.

    I can understand not wanting to become a resturant, as odd as it may sound after my last paragraph, neither do I but I also don't ignore the potential market for lite food items. It also helps that Minnesota calls any coffee shop that makes food on site (my initial plan had us baking cookies in-house) a type 2 resturant. That allows us to expand and vary our menu for demand and season without having to jump through alot of hoops after theinitial approval.

    Anyway those are my ramlings on the subject. Any questions just ask.
    Thank you,
    Tom

    Queen City Coffee

  6. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    49
    that's interesting. We are a type to restaurant without a kitchen so, If we were to do it would have to vegeterian sandwiches and salads. We are located in Las Vegas and I don't think soup is a big deal here.

    How do you steam eggs? I tried it this morning and I think I did something wrong because I almost through up. LOL.

    Do you microwave everything to heat it up?

    There is a sandwich shop, brewery, taco shop and Mcdonald's not to far.
    If I were to carry something I wanted it to be once a day, vegeterian, and delicious. or fruits and yogurt, and salads.

    We do fresh baked muffins in the morning but, I am also looking into donuts from a small local donut shop.


    Thanks!
    Sunrise Coffee Co.
    Las Vegas
    sponsor of the fifteen minute coffee zen

  7. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by SunriseCoffeeLasVegas
    that's interesting. We are a type to restaurant without a kitchen so, If we were to do it would have to vegeterian sandwiches and salads. We are located in Las Vegas and I don't think soup is a big deal here.

    How do you steam eggs? I tried it this morning and I think I did something wrong because I almost through up. LOL.
    We use an electric egg poacher, which is technically a steamer as the eggs aren't submerged in water. I couldn't find a commercial NSF one so I talked the local health department into a varaince for a nicer consumer unit. Something like the Cuisinart EEP-6 Electric Nonstick Egg Poacher.

    Do you microwave everything to heat it up?
    Yep, everything but the eggs and toast/bagels those get toasted in a Waring commercial wide slot toaster. We love our microwave, it serves us well. That and the health department won't let us have a hot top without a vented hood with a fire extinguishing system.

    There is a sandwich shop, brewery, taco shop and Mcdonald's not to far.
    If I were to carry something I wanted it to be once a day, vegeterian, and delicious. or fruits and yogurt, and salads.
    That sound like a good idea for your market, healthy choices and easy to prepare.

    We do fresh baked muffins in the morning but, I am also looking into donuts from a small local donut shop.
    Do you do cookies? They can be a nice little revenue generator. We use Otis Spunkmeyer and people love them.


    Thanks!
    Welcome!
    Thank you,
    Tom

    Queen City Coffee

  8. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    49
    We do cookies and brownies. People like their cookies and the muffins sell pretty well. It's a nice little revenue generator and our baker is such an awesome person so, she works with our needs.

    I will start doing danishes in the mornings starting monday. Do you think danishes or donuts are better?

    Maybe I should carry both?

    And how did you introduce your lunch menu? Do you have a large breakfast crowd for bagel sandwiches?

    Do you do advertising and how long did it take before you started being in the black?


    Sorry about the questions and I appreciate all the knowledge that you have imparted.
    Sunrise Coffee Co.
    Las Vegas
    sponsor of the fifteen minute coffee zen

  9. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    36
    Cookies are great! We bake in-house using a dedicated convection oven provided by the cookie vendor and the smell of fresh baked cookies and fresh coffee is great in the mornings!

    I'd do both the danish and doughnut and check the volumes after a month and drop whatever doesn't sell. If they're even and you have the space keep them both.

    We had always hinted that we may do some food so when we added it to the menu no one was shocked. Right now we probably sell 6 to 10 breakfast sandwiches in the morning. About half go to a regular coffee clutch that shows up every morning and goes through 2 or 3 airpots. bagel sales are also picking up, yet another nice little revenue generator.

    We had one new buisness ad and I ran a coupon in the local paper. We've also done some sharity stuff with other businesses that's gotten our name out a bit doing shared ads. Things like donating pounds of coffee to silent charity auctions. Otherwise it's word of mouth and fliers although I have thought of doing door hangers.

    Black, oh man don't I wish! I've only been open 3 months but we're starting to get closer. Every week is better than the last.
    Thank you,
    Tom

    Queen City Coffee

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    St Augustine Fl
    Posts
    157
    This is the problem errrr situation I am having, people are REQUESTING lunch and it is the last thing I want to do. I mean we have awesome breakfast croissants and bagles with sausage egg and cheese and asst pastries, but the lunch is killing me, we sell out every time but I still do not care for it. It is getting to the point that are health inspector is telling us we are on the egge of resturants and hotels in the amount of food we sell. What a pita. LOL
    "the great coffee caper...."

 

 
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