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Old 05-19-2020, 09:50 AM   #1
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If you had a restaurant/cafe, what would be on your menu?

We prefer local family-owned restaurants, and there are 3 that we love around here. One of them has been in the same family since the 1940s. Anyway, the better places tend to have a more concise menu instead of 20 pages of items that end up running up food costs and lowering quality and speed of service.

If I had a diner/cafe, I'd keep it all a la carte, so people can choose exactly what they want. Instead of the usual breakfast combinations, a burger with fries, etc..

breakfast

waffle, french toast, eggs (1, 2, 3 -- any style), hash browns, bacon, sausage, Canadian bacon, toast, English Muffins, cereal with milk

lunch/dinner (both available at all lunch/dinner times)

club sandwich, grilled cheese, burgers (any toppings you want), spaghetti and meatballs, steak, chicken parmesan, soup of the day, Swedish meatballs with noodles, salad bar (nice little salad bar with macaroni and potato salad too)

sides

vegetables (mixed), corn, green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, french fries, onion rings, dinner rolls

Something like that. So if hey you're feeling adventuresome, you can order a club sandwich with mashed/gravy on the side. You might be sick of french fries.

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Old 05-19-2020, 10:51 AM   #2
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Would probably be several favorites/most requested/popular dishes on the menu all the time.
Then the menu would change each day depending on what is fresh/local/seasonal and a good price.
In house Fresh baked goods (breads, desserts, etc.).
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:22 AM   #3
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In 1980 we (my first wife and I) were going to open a steak house, in a small community, close to the Cali/Ore border.

The start up menu was to be limited to grilled steaks, roasts and sides to go with them.. Menu expansion would come after initial start up..

Mount Saint Helens happened in May of that year and the economy tanked in the area we were going to. When the only auto dealership closed, we bailed out of the endeavor with minimal loss.

Ross
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:21 PM   #4
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In 1980 we (my first wife and I) were going to open a steak house, in a small community, close to the Cali/Ore border.

The start up menu was to be limited to grilled steaks, roasts and sides to go with them.. Menu expansion would come after initial start up..

Mount Saint Helens happened in May of that year and the economy tanked in the area we were going to. When the only auto dealership closed, we bailed out of the endeavor with minimal loss.

Ross
Wow that sucks. But good thing you didn't lose a lot of $$$$$. Mmmmm, yeah a steak house would be cool. The classic steak house with a simple name like "Joe's Steakhouse" or something with the sign saying "steaks, chops, cocktails" in sorta an art deco font. You walk in and there's lots of brick walls inside, dark atmosphere, candles at each table. The brick thing with the tanbark inside and a small tree. lol.

Limited menu -- steaks, sides, shrimp cocktail, adult beverages.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:30 PM   #5
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I always wanted a place that had simple breakfasts and sandwiches. Then I would fix the special of the day, anything I could put my mind to, it would always be different. Mostly comfort type food from around the world.
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:33 PM   #6
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I always wanted a place that had simple breakfasts and sandwiches. Then I would fix the special of the day, anything I could put my mind to, it would always be different. Mostly comfort type food from around the world.
Mmmm, great idea. Yeah falafels, Greek salad, maybe a Chinese stir fry, etc. would make a great addition to a menu.
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:19 PM   #7
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I've given years of though to being in a culinary business. I've worked with some success restauranteurs back in High School days. MY area had a large University, numerous Business Colleges, Nursing Schools, Trade Schools, and VOED's with a state highway running thru the middle of it all.....so there was
robust market for the mom & pop's....until the Fast Food's & chain Restaurants
moved in.

I realize the Location Location Location axiom is a primary consideration for a business. Then having a cuisine that could allow the operation to become a "brand" in the area. (consider the story of Harlan Sanders traveling around
small towns asking gas station owners who has the best fried chicken in town ? This in his quest to form KFC and in time grow the business into a National Franchised Brand)

I've learned to think in terms of business first. A kindly little old man from Columbus, Ohio had a big influence on my thinking about being in the food business. He had retired as a Baker there and counseled me on the profitability of products made from dough.(in any form of it)

What I've mapped out is a facility which would produce Donuts in the early am until mid morning. Then transition into Sub Sandwiches, Spaghetti, & Salads.
By three pm Pizza would be offered. (both dine in and delivery) By 6 pm only Pizza would continue to be offered and that until midnight. (unless there was demand).

At that time, the shop would close for cleanup and Donut production would begin once clean up was finished. Delivery to CDL & big Trucks would be available on the side of the highway. (for this a CB Radio would monitor a certain channel to facilitate those sales)

The operation would also have a meat & cheese case so the lunch meats could be moved out of inventory faster so the Subs would always be made with fresh stock.

But this is the rough idea.
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Old 05-20-2020, 05:42 PM   #8
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Mmmm, great idea. Yeah falafels, Greek salad, maybe a Chinese stir fry, etc. would make a great addition to a menu.
But not daily...just once in a while.

My shop would be, at base, a bakery. Fresh breads and pasta all day!
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:50 PM   #9
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But not daily...just once in a while.

My shop would be, at base, a bakery. Fresh breads and pasta all day!
Yummy. A bakery would be a great base, and perhaps add a couple of cauldrons of soup. All you can eat soup and bread.

Also, perhaps a salad bar (even one on smaller side) might be a nice addition with some deli cold cuts (premium salami, turkey, chicken, capicola), etc.. Then the customer can make their own subs on your excellent fresh bread with soup.

A local restaurant has a great salad bar with 4 cauldrons of soup -- usually vegetable beef, chicken noodle and potato. They also have some dessert baked goods from their bakery -- like muffins, donuts, danish.

Maybe one of the cauldrons of soup could actually be a tomato based spaghetti sauce so the diner can order some of your fresh pasta and ladle some sauce on it.
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Old 05-21-2020, 04:47 PM   #10
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Yummy. A bakery would be a great base, and perhaps add a couple of cauldrons of soup. All you can eat soup and bread.

Also, perhaps a salad bar (even one on smaller side) might be a nice addition with some deli cold cuts (premium salami, turkey, chicken, capicola), etc.. Then the customer can make their own subs on your excellent fresh bread with soup.

A local restaurant has a great salad bar with 4 cauldrons of soup -- usually vegetable beef, chicken noodle and potato. They also have some dessert baked goods from their bakery -- like muffins, donuts, danish.

Maybe one of the cauldrons of soup could actually be a tomato based spaghetti sauce so the diner can order some of your fresh pasta and ladle some sauce on it.
Oh yes, definitely soup! I love making soups and all would be from scratch. Pasta would be on an as needed basis, I want my "comfort food" dish to be the star of the day.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:20 AM   #11
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Simple burger joint.

No soup to be seen. Soup is disgusting. Ick.

Unless it is chili. Or chicken and dumplings.
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Old 05-24-2020, 04:46 PM   #12
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Years ago we had a little restaurant in the downtown business area that was owned by a young Greek fella and operated with the help of his immediate family.

Each day he would shop and prepare one main dish, a few sides to go with it, soup and a salad. The week's offering followed a loose pattern but was based on whatever was fresh and inexpensive in the local markets.

The service was cafeteria style with a family member bussing tables.

Some days it was a Greek item but it also included things like roast turkey, roast beef, etc...

Everything was always fresh, reasonably priced and people stood in line to get in.

They opened at 11:00 am and closed when they sold out each afternoon around 3:00 pm.

That always seemed perfect to me.
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Old Today, 05:13 PM   #13
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When we visited Russia a few years ago, there was a small restaurant next door to our hotel in St. Petersburg. It was called “The Soviet Café” and the menu included the food of the former Soviet Union. (Poland, Eastern Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania.) Their food was excellent and interesting.
I would never choose living in a big city but I think the concept is brilliant. I could have a place called “The American Café” with a menu of the regional foods of the USA. It would be next door to a big hotel near an International airport. We know from experience how a traveler longs for a menu of affordable foods that represent the country visited.

These foods were Born in the USA:
Cheeseburgers
Buffalo wings
Reubens
Pecan pie
Chocolate chip cookies
S'mores
Lobster roll
Corn dogs
Brownies
Ranch dressing.
Deep dish pizza
Philly cheesesteak
Tater tots

The above would always be included on the menu, and many additional dishes of regional America. A complete American Thanksgiving Dinner with Apple pie. would be a weekly special.
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Old Today, 05:32 PM   #14
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You all have some really great ideas. I'd eat in all of your restaurants.

I have never wanted to run a restaurant. I fear that when cooking became a requirement rather than a hobby, I wouldn't be fun to do anymore. I mean you can't have a restaurant and tell people, that only leftovers are on the menu tonight because the chef didn't feel like cooking.
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Old Today, 06:51 PM   #15
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You all have some really great ideas. I'd eat in all of your restaurants.

I have never wanted to run a restaurant. I fear that when cooking became a requirement rather than a hobby, I wouldn't be fun to do anymore. I mean you can't have a restaurant and tell people, that only leftovers are on the menu tonight because the chef didn't feel like cooking.
Oh yes I could!!! Saturdays at my place would be all of whatever did not sell during the week...at 25% off regular price. All breads would be day old priced if they did not sell the day before. If I had no leftovers...we would have to see what I could come up with.
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