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A sandwich stand at a local college?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey folks,

 

 I am not sure if this is the right subforum to start my thread in, but here's my question. I want to open a sandwich stand at a local college. Has anyone tried doing anything like that? Where do I start? I have not started acted yet; just been thinking about it for a while. Would it worth it trying it at all? I have a family with a bunch of kids and lots of bills to take care of. I work in the restaurant as an assistant manager, and I do spend maaaaany hours doing my job (love my job though long hours on my feet get my knees worse...oh well :-). So I am pretty tight on money and time right now and in the near future. I need a new/second source of income though so I thought about a sandwich stand opportunity... Any ideas and feedback from experienced prof's would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

foodie mama

post #2 of 14

Hi foodie mama,

I can certainly relate to having kids and bills and all of it.  The truth is that even if it's a small sandwich stand it's still a business and there are a lot of fees associated with opening any kind of business.  Licensing fees, operating fees, rental fees etc.  In other words, you have to make a financial investment right off the bat just like with any other business.  Is this something you have spoken to the university about?  It sounds highly unlikely that they allow someone to set up shop without the proper licensing and processing.  I'm only saying this because you indicated that you're strapped for cash.  You know what they say, it takes money to make money. 

 

Good luck!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Koukouvagia,

 

Thank you for your reply. I am aware of the fees of all kinds, and that some money would be needed to start a new venture. I am saving "buck by buck" from my paycheck. I was more interested in similar experiences when someone started their small food biz from scratch. It is always hard to actually START doing something new. I'm trying to get as much info on opening/running a biz like this as possible BEFORE I invest some hard-earned cash in it :-)

 

Thanks,

 

foodie mama
 

post #4 of 14

My take on the plan:

  • Get approval from college (in writing!)
  • Get approval requirements from health department
  • Get approval requirements from Fire Department
  • Get approval requirements from zoning authority
  • Get approval requirements from building authority
  • Develop plans and get approved by above
  • Obtain occupancy permit, health department permit
  • Get liability insurance
  • Obtain employer ID from IRS and State
  • Obtain sales tax permit from sales tax authority
  • Obtain business license from local authority
  • Open!
     
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #5 of 14
I would talk to the college first before worrying about anything else. Most, if not all, colleges have contracts with food service companies like Sodexo. These contracts give the food service company the exclusive right to sell food on campus. I am a college professor and all colleges I have been at would not allow "outside" food on campus. So first make sure your plan is possible.
Edited by willtherebefood - 4/22/13 at 11:21pm
post #6 of 14

Here’s my 5¢

Why does it have to be a “stand” on campus?

Why can’t you make up sandwiches, put them into brown paper sacks, write on them MAMA did/does, put it all into a basket and walk around, selling your wares?  Students are poor, make them inexpensive/no refrigeration needed/easy-peasy kids meals, at the end of the day, they’re still kids, right?

Make up your business plan, take it the Women’s Small Business Association in your area and see what type of funding you can get from them.

post #7 of 14

"On campus" a lot of times means within one block of the actual campus boundaries, or if it's a college in a city, the campus may be actually many different buildings interspersed with businesses and residential buildings.

 

A sandwich stand, or whatever you would like to call it, is a great idea.  Your startup investment is minimal, your inventory turns quickly, and the prep time is quick.  You need a cooler, a triple sink, and a counter.  Serve chips, canned drinks, juice, milk, fruit, cookies, and maybe snack bars.  You only need to work lunch.  After that, rent your kitchen space to personal chefs or something.

 

If I were to startup a sandwich business on campus, I'd premake them in some certified kitchen, then I'd brand them and sell them out of a cooler and see how it goes.  Then one day, after you've build some brand awareness, I'd open up a small limited seating restaurant.

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

Here’s my 5¢

Why does it have to be a “stand” on campus?

Why can’t you make up sandwiches, put them into brown paper sacks, write on them MAMA did/does, put it all into a basket and walk around, selling your wares?  Students are poor, make them inexpensive/no refrigeration needed/easy-peasy kids meals, at the end of the day, they’re still kids, right?

Make up your business plan, take it the Women’s Small Business Association in your area and see what type of funding you can get from them.

 

Frightening.  Would you buy a sandwich in a brown paper sack sold by a lady with a basket wandering around?  If I saw somebody walking around doing that I'd probably ask for their permit and then report them to the campus authorities.  There are rules about selling food, any kind of sandwich needs to be refrigerated.  Common sense!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #9 of 14

Marie Callendar's used to do it a while back.  They dressed these ladies in Little Red Riding Hood kinda outfits and sent them to office buildings.

 

In music school there was a lady named Dee who did it.  They were just cold cuts and veggies.  Mayo and mustard packets on the side.

post #10 of 14

 … maybe you’ve heard of Paula Deen?  She would send her boys to office builds, going from place to place, selling her pre-made sandwiches in brown paper sacks that she put into a basket.

Today she’s worth over 16 million US dollars, I’d say that was a lot of common sense.

post #11 of 14
Foodie Mama,

If you like to bake why not offer to sell baked goods to local cafés or small restaurants that buy their baked treats rather than make them in-house. I am sure there are legal hurdles but why not do what you love.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

 

Frightening.  Would you buy a sandwich in a brown paper sack sold by a lady with a basket wandering around?  If I saw somebody walking around doing that I'd probably ask for their permit and then report them to the campus authorities.  There are rules about selling food, any kind of sandwich needs to be refrigerated.  Common sense!

What's frightening is that we've come to place more trust in a big heartless driven-by-profit corporation that abides by rules set forth by a government body most likely lobbied by same or similar corporations than in a lady wandering around with fresh homemade sandwiches. 

 

At my farmer's market they sell eggs that are not refrigerated. I buy them every single week, and I place more trust in those eggs (because I know the farmer, and I've talked with her and I know where her chickens are raised, what they eat, how they roam etc....) than in refrigerated eggs sold at supermarkets. 

post #13 of 14

Are we on the same planet here?  This is America no?  We have public safety rules here, I grew up in a restaurant, I know what it's like to get a surprise visit from the Health Department.  "Why is that perfectly clean wet towel sitting on your counter?" Deduction! 

 

People who have sandwich carts and hot dog stands don't just wake up and go out and sell sandwiches.  It is illegal to do so without a permit.  It is illegal to do so without meats, cheeses, and other ingredients being properly refrigerated and kept at the right temperature.  I wasn't discouraging the OP, it's a wonderful way to grow a business but you do have to go through the right avenues and take the necessary precautions.

 

How do I say this mildly?  I couldn't care less about Paula Deen or her food or her dumb fake accent.  I sure as heck would never buy a tuna sandwich from someone in a basket no matter how much they smiled at me.  I've never contributed a dime to her fortune and most likely never will.  Good for her and her millions.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #14 of 14

You'd be surprised KK, in some unincorporated townships and even smaller towns there is no oversight.

 

I walked into a restaurant one day in Hannibal MO and there was the kitchen almost in the dining room with the guy scooping stuff out of a crock pot.

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