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Old 02-24-2006, 02:17 AM   #1
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New restaurant idea or concept?

I wasn't sure where to put this so I hope I have the correct place.

I want to open my own restaurant. I'd prefer something small, simple, and take-out ONLY for now. As I look around my area, we have the usuall MD's, BK, KFC, Taco Bell, asian stir fry places, pizza places, Arbys, etc. etc. You know the same old stuff we see day in and day out. But I want to open something different, something unique, something you don't find on every corner. One thing we don't have a lot of is Gyro places. There are a couple around town. But I also want a simple menu too. As you can tell I want to start small and simple and then grow, but I need an untapped market or product.
Since this is the internet and all of you are around the globe I was wondering if anyone could share any unique type of restaurants OR foods in your area, that you don't see or find anywhere else when you travel.
How many times have we traveled and said "this area sure would be perfect "this" kind of restaurant. It would do good business here."

~thanks all !!!!!
PS- I'm very serious about this. I love to cook and I want to do it for a living. I want to build something I can pass on to my daughter when I retire.


"MY TV IS ALWAYS LOCKED ON THE FOOD NETWORK"

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Old 02-24-2006, 02:24 AM   #2
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hmm... german food is not so suitable to take away.. it would be a possibility.. but it's not so easy...
but I will think of it ;o)
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Old 02-24-2006, 02:52 AM   #3
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I was stationed in Berlin Germany when I was in the Army back in the day and there was this place just outside our barracks. It was a take-out only place and they specialized in Doner Kababs (Gyros), and a couple other things that I can say but don't know how to spell. I have thought of German food many, many, times, as I lived in Berlin for almost 4 years and loved the crusine.
I just am not to sure if it would be successfull in goold ole' Michigan-USA, so I thought what better way than to put a posting here on DC and see if I get any other ideas.
BTW, I am in no way looking to "strike it rich", I just want to cook for a living as long as I can and run a successfull business and be my own boss. The best of both worlds!
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Old 02-24-2006, 03:04 AM   #4
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I love doener kebap, but it's not typical german
if you take care of good quality it can be quite sucessful - here in Germany...
we get something from our fav place at least once a week.. two doener kebap and a lahmacun...
it is not the nearest place, but the best we have found do far in Hannover...

typical german would be:
Schnitzel in any variation, mostly with french fries
Bratwurst
Currywurst
maybe Haxen
half chicken
potatoe salad (can be used as a side order)
Krautsalat (side order, too)
liver loaf
........
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Old 02-24-2006, 03:19 AM   #5
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I think whatever you decide on it should be something that you are passionate about and love to cook. It would be all fine and dandy if everyone here told you to start up a sushi place, but if you arent into sushi yourself, what is the point?

You said you were stationed in Germany and like the cuisene... so I'd say go with that! Whenever people are successful in business ventures its usually because they are going with what they know and love.

I think a German take-out place could do quite well... no matter the location. I know lots of people that love donairs, bratwurst, etc. and it would definitely be unique!
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Old 02-24-2006, 03:21 AM   #6
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I remember the curry's, half henchens, doner kabobs, Schnitzel's, pom frites (fries) with the little plastic fork and mayo, and my all time favorite was the bulettens. (please excuse my spelling I know I'm probably way off on some of these). I loved those bulettens. Was it like a mini meatloaf patty or burger or something? I would dip it in ketchup. mmmmmm, nummy stuff. I think they put curry powder on it too? I can't remember. Do you know what it was?
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Old 02-24-2006, 03:28 AM   #7
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Buletten are great - the way me mon does it...
don`t have her recipe..
it is usually made of ground meat half - half (half beef, half pork), onions, eggs, breadcrumbs and spices...
if you want to have a recipe, I will look for it....
typical german would be having them with mustard ;o)
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Old 02-24-2006, 03:41 AM   #8
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yes, I would love the recipe!!!! ~thanks !!!!
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Old 02-24-2006, 03:51 AM   #9
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The following is a response that I wrote to a poster who was asking a question about menu planning. In your case, there's a lot more on your plate. This response was to a person whom was already in culinary school so several things where assumed that he would eventually learn, such as food costs, inventory control, pricing points, menu costs, etc. For instance, if I asked you to price a dish at a 28% food cost would you be able to do it? Opening a restaurant is a monumental task, and knowing how to cook is only about 10% of the involvement that'd you're have.

Regarding recipes, you can get the best "tried and true" recipes but can you put them out in both a consistent and timely manner? Do you know how to properly set up a station or line so that it can run in the most efficient manner?


Quote:
Ok basically, there's obviously several factors you need to consider:

  • Location - Is this a factor in planning your menu? For instance, would you open up a fine dining French Restaurant in an area where most people prefer buffets or bbq style food? Unless you're a well known chef, probably not.
  • Clientele - Who are you primarily catering to? Families? Young Couples? Big spenders? Bargain hunters? Foodies? Location plays a big part in determining this as well
  • Price Range - You need to know what the majority of people frequenting your restaurant can afford.
  • Theme - Are you going to focus on one style of food or are you going to put everything under the sun on your menu a la Cheesecake Factory?
  • Verbiage - When you write out your dishes, do they sound appealing? Ask others to read them as well and ask them if they find the items appealing. Often times, good dishes get overlooked or ignored on menus because guests don't think that they'll taste good because of the way it is presented. Look at different menus (there's a ton online) from different restaurants. Which ones feel well written to you and which don't?
  • Balance - Do you have a good mixture of starters and entrees? This should be directly comparable to the size of the restaurant and the amount of covers you're expected to do. You don't want to have 20 different appetizers on your menu when you only do about 100-150 covers a night. You'll have too much waste and too high of a food cost.
  • Cross-Utilization - This is a big pet peeve for Chef-Instructors. For instance, if you're bringing in fresh Diver Scallops to use in an appetizer, is there another item on the menu which can utilize these if the appetizer dish is not selling?
  • Station Balance - If you have 15 entrees on the menu, is the saute station going to be responsible for 13 of them? This isn't THAT important, but something to consider. You don't want your saute guy getting killed every night while the grill/broiler cook is just standing around.
  • Availability of Items - Are you going to bring in fresh tuna every day or two even if the price is astronomical? Remember that menu items need to be priced accordingly with your plate costs.
Of course there are other factors to consider as well, but cover these basics first so that you can get a general idea of what direction you want to go in.
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Old 02-24-2006, 04:46 AM   #10
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What ironchef posted. I would also suggest you check on the internet for "business plans". Big or small, it is a good idea to have a biz plan, even a simple one. Weave in the relevant points as mentioned by ironchef.

German Buletten (basic recipe)

12 oz of ground beef and pork each (or 24 oz of beef)
1 cup stale white bread without crust, crumbled
2 eggs
1/4 cup onions diced fine, saute'd in oil till translucent
3 Tsp finely chopped parsley
1 1/4 tsp salt
spices to choice, eg, paprika, ground pepper, pinch of nutmeg, etc

Soak bread in milk, squeeze out excess milk, bread should be moist. Mix all ingredients together. Form patties and fry.

Instead of gyros or kebabs - steaklets. Slice meat thinly, pound flat with steaker. Lot's of ways to marinate differently, garnish differently. On top, they taste better than burgers.
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