or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Your Thoughts Please

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am developing a café located inside a car dealership with 150 employees. I am just looking for some general thoughts.
Thank you very much.
post #2 of 19

New or Used vehicles?

Don't ASK what I'd serve to Used Vehicle Salespeople...:mad:

However...more input is needed. Are we talking quick breakfasts, snacks, quick lunches or what?

I'm envisioning a version of a catering truck only more permanent?

Need a little more input.

April
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
New cars, This is a brand new 10 Millon dollar dealership. I am able to serve what ever I want. I will not know what my customer base is untill I open and feel out what the employees want. When buying equiptment I chose to put in a sx burner range, steamer, convection oven, fryer, 24" chargrill and a 4 will hot well to display food. I also bought a 3 door reachin and a two door freezer.
I believe I will only serve lunch opening from 11:00-4:00. Breakfast is an idea I will try at a later point once lunch is up and running.
Thank you for your input
post #4 of 19
Just a thought.

What's the percentage of employes that come to work at 7:00/8:00 am? I bet a large number in the shop and repair area do, so you may be loosing a profitable opportunity in the morning by opening at 11:00 and missing a morning coffee break.
They maybe open to nine at night, but I'd bet that the shop area and accounting closes by 5:00/6:00, so you could be pretty empty the last hour or two.
post #5 of 19

Just an idea

Filet well done, side of ketchup and asparagus (hammered) with thousand island :smoking:
" Never fry bacon naked!"

-Powers
Reply
" Never fry bacon naked!"

-Powers
Reply
post #6 of 19

I agree about the 'early birds'.

You'll have the coffee break plus in 150 + people (including customers) some might have missed breakfast for various reasons.

You wouldn't need to serve anything elaborate.

In a high rent establishment I'd stick to more fresh healthy type fare and skip burgers/deep fried stuff. (last thing you want is to be known as the Jaguar Jack in the Box...or Maserati McD's)

Fruit and yogurts, granolas, a nice cereal offering, bagels, muffins, coffee cakes, breakfast sandwiches...

For lunch I could see sushi, salads, croissant and Kaiser roll sands (chicken salad, tuna, grilled halibut (it's really good), ham salad, seafood salad)...homemade soups during the winter, veggie platters...roast beefs/pastrami/briskets/bbq/french dips. Nice potato salads and slaws.

I suppose you could offer traditional burgers as well.
Plus a really GOOD coffee is essential.

Personally when I open up a cafe I'd offer a condiment bar. Saves time and waste. Unless the place is too upscale for that.

Also what's around you that would be your competition?

All in all it sounds like a good venture.

April
post #7 of 19
Out of the employees, figure on 75% brown-bagging it at least 4 days of the week, some will suppliment with soup or sandwiches, very few will splurge every day. From the customers, figure on max $20.00/ customer. If someone blows $100,000 on a car he'll be celebrating at some swanky 5 star joint with a wine list longer than a Denver Phone book.

Stick with some really good soups, some really good salads, grilled meat/salad combos, maybe some grilled sandwiches, coffee/ latte, lots of pastries--both morning and dessert type pastries, plenty of hot and cold drinks.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #8 of 19
Powers- you need to buy a car before you place your order....LOL

I would disagree with foodpump- I think if you offer healthy foods- soups, sandwiches, salads- many of the brown-baggers will buy instead. I know some folks who buy lunch 5 days a week. Good luck!
Bon Vive' !
Reply
Bon Vive' !
Reply
post #9 of 19
Have a daily lunch special that is inexpensive.....ie under $10.

One of my favorite places to eat has 6 sandwiches
1) smoked pulled pork with caramelized onions, guyere on sea salt ciabatta
2)veg with roasted veg on whole grain breadpanini
3) roast beef, coppa, proscuitto, tapenade, mustard on ?panini
4) my fav....ham, bacon, apples, mustard, cheddar on farm white panini
5) tuna salad
6) turkey on baguette with sprouts, brie, mayo
all $7-7.95 served with a side....potato salad, chips or broc. salad

3 salads:
small....
house, beets, garbonzo, feta, red onions, greens
biggie, chef salad with wonderful toppings....ham, bacon, turkey, sprouts, onions, carrots, cukes

Soup....stock is from scratch $4.50 with hot crostini

Pastas of the day:
1 lasagna
1 cut noodle
1 agnoletti (stuffed pasta) my fav is butternut squash with brown butter and pecans
all under $10 all ala carte

desserts that are all made in house by Lisa Tocktrop.....carrot cake, cheese cake, cookies both fancy and cookie jar, bombes....about 15 offerings of various things a day.....latest is a nut/seed/dried fruit protein bar.

Their restaurant has about 30 seats, the kitchen is 4x the size of the dining room. They are open in a blue collar neighborhood that has within the past couple years gotten some interesting restaurants.


The Tochtrops make their own organic pasta and just opened a couple of months ago. Everything is fresh, some local ingredients (sprouts, pork, shrooms, some cheese)....great quality and it's at a price I'm OK with popping in 3-4x a week when I'm busy I want to eat well but not necessarily cook for myself.

Service is good, products are great, price keeps me coming back often.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #10 of 19

For jayme

Then I'll also have the dealer special, a brand new-ish 1999 dodge intrepid, with the pleather interior and I want one of those really cool blue tooth things for my ear!
" Never fry bacon naked!"

-Powers
Reply
" Never fry bacon naked!"

-Powers
Reply
post #11 of 19
Jayme, I used to run a restaurant in a light industrial area. After the first year we focused on catering and gradually dropped the restaurant. After our 5th year we focused completely on catering. My observations are that single guys will eat at a restaurant several times a week, married guys maybe once or twice, and married women even less frequent. Single women tend to eat out maybe once a week, but usually as a group and usually they go "ethnic", i.e, one Friday sushi, one Friday Indian, one Friday Chinese, etc..

This is a restaurant in a workplace, and so you eat as a necessity, not as a luxury. Unless you're earning some serious coin, you can't afford to spend every day $4.00 for coffee/pastry in the mornings, $10.00 for lunch, and then you still have to find your dinner. This is why I tend to be conservative with my estimations of expected sales with in-house employees.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #12 of 19
Promo cards may work well for employees.....10% off or twelth coffee free etc.
Marketing to the customers waiting for repairs....when I go to the Volvo dealership they wash my car, give me halloween candy, have beverages available. Just the little things that bring valuable customers back for costly repairs or keeping the connection so when they are trading in they come to you.....Free Lunch Cards or Beverage Cards paid for by the dealership for customers.

Marketing meeting platters, coffee to go boxes etc....

Having Customer Appreciation Day or a Grand Opening Celebration.
If you're not visable to the outside your customer base is the dealership. I had a friend that ran a breakfast/lunch shop in a high rise that you had to know it was there or else you'd never find it. Cheap, decent eats for the tenets. He put dietary info on the menus and which diets the dishes fell under....ie, weight watchers, diabetic, low fat, low carbs, celiac, vegetarian.....some chains are doing well by labeling their selections.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #13 of 19
LOL LOL I bet if you buy the car, they'll give you bluetooth headset or an IPOD or a coupon for a FREE soda at Foodpump's cafe :beer:

(Can I have a new mustang, please???):cool:
Bon Vive' !
Reply
Bon Vive' !
Reply
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
I want to thank everyone for there input. I have never posted on this web site and the ideas are great.
Any thoughts on a roating menu vs. a standard menu. I ordered a 3 well food warmer with the plan to do a roating menu were that will keep the employees coming back each day to see what is being served. My thought process so far is to keep the prices low and maybe give away free food for the first week.
Thanks again for all the ideas
post #15 of 19
id say if you are going to go along the sandwich and soup/salad kind of place. i would keep the sandwich the same and rotate the soup salad part, just to keep the employees coming back. i would also have a special rate for employees to keep them coming back.
post #16 of 19
Food- I wouldn't give away too much, keep your expenses covered. Maybe a buy ______ get ______ free. Unless your food supplier is willing to give you lots of comps for that first order.... Sounds like you have found your niche. Also will the dealership allow you to place a sign outside the building of your business? You may even draw in a few folks that maybe were only browsing the lot but not heading inside..... just a thought....
Bon Vive' !
Reply
Bon Vive' !
Reply
post #17 of 19
seating? interesting reading material.......wifi availability......I'm thinking the repair shop can really benefit (as well as you) from having a decent place to spend check-up/repair time. If my car is in the shop for only a couple of hours I'm apt to stay, but comfort levels vary from dealership to dealership. When I had a Mercedes the customer room had private phone lines, computer hookups, of course ubquitous televisions, beverage/snack machines.
Volvo dealership had good magazines.
Eventually I found a mechanic that only works on old volvos and comes to my house......even better option than any of the above but it's a rare thing. Taking the sting out of repair costs by making the wait less noticable by providing "comforts" is only a plus for the dealership.....comping a $10+lunch or a beverage is small considering the amounts normally charged.
Consider the dealership including you in their promotional material....I get qtrly mail from one place reminding me to get a oil change at X discount.
They can easily include a blurb in their print material or your logo, it's to their advantage to have you there.

Stellinas has set salads, sandwiches, they alter the daily soup and 3 pasta specials.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #18 of 19

efficiency 24/7

If you want to make a good living, make to utilize your kitchen 24/7.

That means sell to stuff to the outside world. You can deliver, you can sale to other businesses, you can cater small event... choose what fits for you and your location, but until your kitchen is cooking 24/7 you still have room to grow.

I knew this small kitchen who was a restaurant during the day from 6 to 10pm and making sandwiches from 11pm to 8 am for vending machine.

good luck and congratulation,

ciao,
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
Reply
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
Reply
post #19 of 19
Here's a thought.

Big dealerships make money on percentages. In the final analysis, the dealership runs on customers. If you create a grand eating establishment, the draw might extend to the general public. Pulling in the general public will result in a certain percentage becoming car customers.

I like the thought of something like out of Pulp Fiction, Jack Rabbit Slim's.

doc
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs