What am I and would this work????

ddchef

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Jul 18, 2009
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Hi Everyone,

I just found this site and have been reading over the forums and there seems to be a lot of good information out there. I'd love to get some feedback on my business ideas so here it goes

A little background first...I've been a chef for over 14 years and the last 6 have been working privately. I'm now looking to relocate back to where I've bought a home and not really interested in getting back into the typical restaurant job. I've found a bakery that is located on a busy road and has been vacant for the last 3 years, i can get in on the cheap and get a lot of vehicle traffic but only in one direction. My idea is to open store that in the morning sells coffee and breakfast foods (breakfast sandwich's, two types of donuts, muffins, and bagels) I hate to say this because everyone on this forum will probably give me s@%t but similar to Dunkin Donuts but that actually tastes good. Then in the afternoon sell lunch foods, not a million items but a few things that are done really really well, with a daily special that is the same each week.

I'm targeting the crowd that usually goes to Dunkin for the am, and the crowd that goes to the pizza place or sandwich shop in the afternoon. In general its the working laborer crowd. This area is in the northeast and sees a big increase in population from june-sept. Which brings me to the finale part of the business and more of my specialty Catering and private dinners. This location I'm looking at has a full kitchen with walk in cooler and i would ultimately like to do catering out of that building as well. There is a lot of money in it but mostly coming form the summer season. The idea is to build a solid year round coffee and lunch to go spot that keeps it going year round and in the summer kill it with the catering.

I know that was a lot and all over the place and maybe i'm not on the right website but i have a feeling many other people may have started out this route or ended up in this direction. So please fire away with any comments ideas anything at all.

thanks very much
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
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Salt Lake City
I would be concerned about the
...and get a lot of vehicle traffic but only in one direction.
It might be a deal killer for me.

Why did the bakery go? What's the story behind that? I think that's somewhere I would start first and explore from there. Also, if you have a good concept, it shouldn't be based on the price to get it up and running, but the sustained profitability afterwords.

Spend time looking at the larger concept. WOULD a bakery work there, would a restaurant work there?? Why or why not. What is it about your concept that would make it successful? Are you sure?

I would also have a couple of other spots in mind. Don't fall in love with a specific location. But do make certain to marry location and concept well.

Best of luck.
 
OP
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ddchef

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Jul 18, 2009
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Hi John thanks for the reply

when i mean traffic in only one direction the road is two lanes, one in each direction with no stop light, its a busy road so making that left turn to turn in or leave can sometimes be difficult. by no means is there a median in the middle or no way to get there. Next door is a gas station that everyone uses because they have the best prices in town so its very possible that a lot of those people making the turn for gas would pull next door afterward for something.

The old place never advertised at all and the sign only said "bakery". Also the outside was poorly maintained and looks a little run down, which for me is enough to not go in.

As for the concept, yes a bakery would work, a restaurant no because not enough seating. I think my whole concept is that I'm not doing a million things. I serve good coffee and breakfast and lunch food not the crap you get a DD with fake eggs and weird meat. For instance I would like to serve fresh made donuts but only two kinds not choc, glazed, jelly, cinn, etc etc.

I am looking for other locations but it's nice not having to buying someones business that you are going to change anyway. This place is kinda a blank slate and ready to be revived.

thanks again john

please anymore thought shoot them my way

jason
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
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Salt Lake City
Jason,

just be certain you aren't counting on "gas station" people as being a significant part of your market.
Frankly, it would be a waste of your time to open IMHO. However if you can have signage that can be easily seen from both directions and do the right advertising to start creating a buzz about two weeks before opening, it could work well for you.
As you understand food very well, you could always consider doing food and coffee pairings.
I always like to look at the flaws and see how to correct them. If the flaws are correctable and the pluses outweigh the minuses, then run all the numbers, add fifteen to twenty percent, cry, and then negotiate a hell of a deal on the lease and move forward.

Still, look for more than one location. You may find something even better. There's a reason why it's been vacant for three years. You can't be the only entrepreneur in your neck of the woods. Be cautiously risky.
 

wmark

New member
Nov 12, 2008
475
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Canada
Sounds like alot of work. If serving the breakfast crowd, don't you have to be prepared and open by 6:00am ? Would'nt you have to have your donuts deep fried and decorated, your muffins mixed and baked, your bagels boiled and baked ? Your pizza dough mixed and rested to go at 10:30 and everything else.


Are you expecting to roast coffee too ?


When you say alot of traffic, what is the number ?
How fast is the traffic going ? Fast traffic seldom stops, slow traffic is more apt to pull in.
 

caffe biscotto

New member
Jan 18, 2008
704
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MASS.
Much of the bakery production prep work can be done the day or night before. I've worked in bakeries where I was the night baker and the routine was pretty well planned, that by 6 a.m. when the cafe opened, I was just stocking the shelves with fresh baked items. Other bakeries, where the prep is done in advance, we would go in as early as 3-4 a.m. to begin production for the day.

If you're just getting in frozen par-baked items, well that's another story. Pop in the proofer for a half hour then the oven, and voila! Just like magic, you have fresh baked goods, fried doughnuts, or even freshly baked or boiled bagels.

It's not unreasonable to assume that you would need to go in at least a couple of hours before your store opens, to get things rolling for the day.
 

wmark

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Nov 12, 2008
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Canada
Yes, but when will he sleep if he is prepping the night before and going in a couple of hours before opening ?
 

caffe biscotto

New member
Jan 18, 2008
704
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MASS.
Good point wmark. ddchef didn't mention in his plan, having any employees. I assumed his plan would require at least a couple, what with fresh doughnut making, fresh coffee, the lunch menu, and even catering on the side.

In my experience, having at least one part-time helper to do the odd jobs, works out pretty well. He/She comes in at the end of the day to do clean up, organizing and prepping for the next day.
 
OP
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ddchef

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Jul 18, 2009
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Hi everyone,

yes absolutely there will be some part time employees. Probably two, the morning prep isn't too involved, doughnuts are cake style which requires no rising just frying, muffins is just mixing batter and baking, the only tough part is going to be a solid system to produce the breakfast sandwiches to order quickly

Lunch prep would be down at the end of the previous day.

Then slowly get into the catering side and move myself out of the daily prep of the shop.

What other thoughts and concerns? this is all good stuff please make me aware of anything else you can think of

jason
 

wmark

New member
Nov 12, 2008
475
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Canada
Well from what I understand, (self) baked goods produce 100% margins.

A friend who produces high end breakfast & lunch items on top of regular lunch always sells out, but he never produces enough to satisfy the demand to ensure that he always sells out. I am talking about gourmet personal pizza, ribs etc. (He sells a 1/2 rack for $12 or $14, I can't remember, but they are so good and take a long time)

Will the audience want coffee at the (specialty ?)industry 0.4 ounces per cup or the dreck at 0.2 ounces per cup ?
 
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