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Old 02-24-2006, 04:08 AM   #11
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We had a Russian Piroshki shop here for a bit. It was delicious, perfect for take-away and took off like gang-busters, until the kitchen caught fire and they never re-opened. Some in the neighborhood speculated that they took the insurance money and started up on the rich side of town but it was never confirmed.

I need to add that these were big, one to a meal type Piroshki's (not really true Piroshkis at all, really just "Hot Pockets" before they hit the market), but you could peel back the waxed paper they were wrapped in and eat it with one hand on the way home.

Mmm! I can still taste them. What I wouldn't give to have one of those right now. :)

They had real Meat & Onion and Mushroom Piroshki's, but they had an "americanized" menu as well. One was a combination of meat, onions, mushrooms and green peppers (kinda like a Philly in a pita pocket) with what I can only describe as a thick, almost aspic, Au' Jus' that was an experience in it's-self. It was the only thing I've ever eaten that can truely be described as "better than.. well I'm not sure I can say that here" hee hee.

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Old 02-24-2006, 10:03 AM   #12
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There is a small BBQ cafe across the street from where I live. While they do have 'eat in' as an option, the place is quite small and has a very limited menu. They do real smoke Texas BBQ brisket, pork, and hot links (available as sammiches or as 'combos') - - along with very few sides (slaw, potato salad). It's the only place around where one can find REAL BBQ without going to a more expensive restaurant setting. If you wanted to expand the menu later, you could go to a full-on Soulfood, which would seem like a pretty easy transition.

I like the Doner Kabob idea, too. I used to eat a lot of those when I lived in Australia (along with meat pies... man, I would love it if there was a pie bar near here).

I don't know what your local area is like but I know that, when I lived in Iowa, ANYthing beyond what the fast food places offered was a very welcome diversion. I would caution against going with something too different, though... When you have a take-away joint, you shouldn't have to explain everything too much. Do something that takes minimal promotion (people "get" BBQ).

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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Old 02-24-2006, 10:37 AM   #13
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For a strictly take-out place, consider a sandwich shop. First of all, it's the food that was invented for easy eating on the go. Second, your imagination is the limit.

Sandwiches can include:

Real hamburgers (not the Micky D's type)
Hot Dogs

Put it in an industrial park or downtown where there are loads of people who want a good FAST lunch and you can go home for the day at 2:00PM.
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:57 AM   #14
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I always wanted a little restaurant on our town square, where the lawyers and business people could come in for a quick lunch or order take-out. I planned on having a few basics, plus daily specials.
I know it's not an original idea, but quality would be the important thing.
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:29 PM   #15
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Don't know where you're located, but it seems whenever we have out of state guests, they go crazy for the authentic mexican food here. (Nothing like taco bell). Also, the food is very economical, and the taste is wonderfully comforting.

Another shop I frequent is a bagel shop that doesn't just do bagels. They make lovely healthy sandwiches out of them, and even have a breakfast bagel menu (with ham, cheeses, eggs, etc). It's forever busy, and it always has the freshest taste!

Have you considered doing a marketing mailer/questionaire? Ask the public what they'd want to frequent. A fresh smoothie bar would no doubt do well in my area, but would it do well in yours?

Ironchef had some very valuable information too.

One last thought - buffets seem to be a people-pleaser, provided they are done properly.
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jkath
...One last thought - buffets seem to be a people-pleaser, provided they are done properly.
You and your buffets, J - - honestly
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:53 PM   #17
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This is my "brilliant idea" for a food business that will probably never get off the ground because I don't have funding.

I also just love to cook & like nothing better than feeding people.

What I would like to do is offer prepared foods - mostly casseroles & that type of thing - for working people to pick up on their way home from their jobs. Good, home-cooked comfort food that can be heated & served with little effort when they get home. No gourmet stuff! Delivery service available. Everything in disposable foil pans. No pots & pans to wash.

Someone else might as well take this idea & run with it. I have tons of recipe ideas.
I'm all about the food!
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Old 02-24-2006, 09:48 PM   #18
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resturant ideas

If I woke up in Michigan one day - A quality Creole dinner would be so gooood. Shrimp Creole, gumbos, soft shell crab Po Boy, crawfish eutouffee. The list is endless.

Preps are quick and easy, the dishes are simple and the flavors will blow the minds of the first timers.

Gets my vote.

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Old 02-24-2006, 10:09 PM   #19
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In East Chicago indiana there used to be a small little restaraunt that made tiny tacos... and they were 10 cents apiece. When my dad worked at the hostital near there he would bring back 100 for himself and the rest of the people in the ER... that only $10... and it usually fed 5-7 hungry night shift nurses. The place was successful for at least 15 years.

Obviously 10 cents would be too low of a price nowadays, but I've always thought it would be a great idea to make a take out taco stand. In Bloomington, IN, there's a small restaraunt that does have a sit-in area, but nobody uses it. Their tacos are $1.50 apiece, and a little small for the price, but the flavor is defintely there. Also, they stay open late b/c they are very close to all of the popular college town bars... they bank big time around 2-3AM.

Aside from tacos they also offer side orders of chips, beans, and rice, and they also have burritos, which weigh about 3 pounds. They cost only $6 or so, and that can feed someone for quite some time. They are doing so well that they now offer delivery service.

Mexican is always popular b/c people are comfortable with it, and familiar with it, and it's a pretty ideal take out food. And you don't need much space to prepare mexican food. 2 Med- size ranges and a large fridge/freezer plus small prep area should be enough for you. for this option.

I would also like to see a take-out burger joint that sells actual burgers. I love the burgers that places like TGI Fridays and Chili's have... and wish I could get those at a drive through or carry place. Burgers are easy, and the best part is that folks always love em, and they can also have them however they want.

I'm a sucker for chinese take out... but I've never really felt that it was the ideal take-out food. It;s pretty difficult to eat while on the move.

One of my favorite restaraunts of all-time is this Indian joint called Tandoor. It's a little hole in the wall, and the food is about ideal for take-out as chinese food or spaghetti, but WOW the food was incredible. It's the only place like it in the area, and anyone thats knew about good ethnic food where I come from raved about Tandoor.

I believe sandwich joints have been mentioned, but one that might stand out could be one that focuses on wraps. I love the spinach wraps and tomato wraps that are available. Actually I know a lot of folks that really love tomato wraps. Aside from your regular deli meats/cheeses, and veggies for fillings, I've also had a fried chicken strip wrap which was pretty tasty and new.
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Old 02-24-2006, 10:52 PM   #20
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Hi vanwingen, sounds like you have an admirable desire.

The one thing that bothers me is your statement:

"I love to cook and I want to do it for a living."

I believe you, and that you would put in all the long hours to make the place a success.

But a lot more than half of making a restaurant a go is business savvy.

Ya gotta know the business, and if you do not, try working in it for awhile.

Many, many, OK, most restaurants go under, and the cause is usually poorly understood business practices.

Am not trying to rain on your parade, sounds like a great dream.

We have a local restaurant that was sort of getting by. It was bought by two guys who kept basicallly the same menu, and I do not like their few changes.

But the place went from a barely surviving place to a very successful place.

Difference, the two guys who bought the place understood the business aspects.

Suggest you work a bit in the industry and get a feel for it.

Sorry to be negative, want you to succeed here.

God bless and take care, but don't invest your cash until you have a sound business plan.

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