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New Artisanal Sandwich Shop Numbers

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Ok all my wife and I are in the planing stages of opening a new fast casual restaurant and would love to bounce some numbers and ideas off the group. Please be gentle or at least use lube :-)

 

Concept:

Our place will be an homage to flavor, sustainability and charm serving “Super Delicious” Artisanal Sandwiches, Soups & Salads in a relaxed, casual environment.

 

Your taste buds will travel the world while enjoying locally sourced ingredients close to home. An eclectic collection of flavor profiles combines to give each sandwich, soup and salad world fusion flavors. Crusty artisanal breads are baked fresh each day on premises and paired with meats and poultry marinated overnight before being lovingly smoked or cooked in our rotisserie.

 

All of our Soups and Salads are made fresh and from scratch along with our original spreads, dressings and sauces. Wherever available, our ingredients are sourced locally with flavor, health and sustainability being our core focus. We endeavor to utilize certified green materials, products and energy as well as compostable materials and we recycle everything possible. 

 

Physical Space

We plan on a space of approximately 1,500 sqft with seating for 40-60. You will order at the counter and a runner will bring the food to your table or the take out counter. We are still a little up in the air as to whether or not to make the kitchen open or not. We do want to display the soups and salads at the order counter.

 

Projections

 * Pricing - Sandwiches - $9-11

                   Soups - $7

                   Salads - $9-11

 * Estimated Average Cover - $11-12

 

Revenue & Costs

- Gross Year 1 - $410,000

Direct costs - 24%

Labor - 36%

Net before tax - 15%

 

We are anticipating about $200,000 in start up expenses including the total cost of operations for 3 months. We are self funding this so will not have any loans.

 

WE are looking forward to any help and advice the group might be willing to offer!

 

 

 

post #2 of 24

What is direct cost? If it were me, I would feel a little more comfortable by figuring in 6 months of operational cash into my start up costs. Are there to be any side dishes such as pasta salad etc. What will the food be served on? How are you going to be sourcing your product?

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post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Direct costs are estimated at 24% (30% in the first 4 months)

 

For in house we will be serving the food in real ceramic plates and bowls on an aluminum or bamboo tray. For takeout we will be using 100% recyclable containers. 

 

As we have not finalized our location yet (we are deciding between two different cities) but both areas have very robust green markets and local producers. We will build relationships with local producers for all major items possible including meats, cheeses and vegetables. 

post #4 of 24
Direct Cost is your Food Cost + disposables?
24% / yr qseems like a low FC projection to me. If it is 30% the first 4 months then it would need to be less than 24 for the other 8....

On the other hand your LC seems high. Will you take your salary from that or just pull profits out? Are you working the store or passive owners?
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

The 24% is just direct food costs, reduction due to stabilizing and cutting down on waste. Both wife and I will work full-time Chef/Front of house only taking minimal salaries 

post #6 of 24

Well, let's get lubed up. I've been wanting someone else to jump in here. So I'm just going to take it easy. Going local in many places increases your food cost of the big vendors. You might as well put your paychecks to the side and just pay your SS if possible.

Fresh bread, dishwasher, etc. oh my!

Is that  25% less net supposed to cover rent,3net,bus/liability insurance, utilities, phones, advertising, car insurance, equipment maintenance, etc, etc.

And that is depending on you doing a couple of hundred covers daily.

1500 sq ft is pretty limiting with the seating. Are you taking into consideration anything like expansion? Like catering to pay the basic bills?

SEE! I'm being a downer, as I didn't want to be. Hopefully someone will jump on and set me straight.

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post #7 of 24
I think it isn't realistic, 24% FC
Have you costed your menu already at that?
Can we see it? After you " stabilize" food cost will probably go up if you hire people to do prep.

Do you have any more projections or business plans to share?

Buying a building then renovating for a sandwich shop may get really expensive really fast. Do you have detailed plans already to do it? A pre existing shop may be the way to go.
post #8 of 24
does your 36% LC including all your payroll taxes and insurences? seems a bit off to me. what about marketing? any planes for promotion when you open or are you just unlocking the doors and hoping for the best?

I have to agree about a preexsiting site, renovation of a non restaurant location is extreemly costly( been there did that) ventelatation alone can run into huge numbers let alone what suprises lurk behind the walls and under the floors. make sure you get everything approved but the local health and city code depts before you invest a dime into a location. the mech, electrical, fire, and finale plans/drawings alone are going to be costly.

not trying to be a downer but i have done this a time or two and it gets really expensive
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucyGirlB View Post

As we have not finalized our location yet (we are deciding between two different cities) but both areas have very robust green markets and local producers. We will build relationships with local producers for all major items possible including meats, cheeses and vegetables. 
It sounds like alot of your planning was based on the (false) axiom that local, organic or otherwise artisinal produce is somehow cheaper than the stuff that comes from the sunny fields of Sysco... Hate to break it to you, but it's not 1950 anymore. Local producers typically know they're in demand, and if you're making your projections based on the assumption you can somehow get "better prices" than anyone else on your produce, you're sadly mistaken... Farms are getting rarer and rarer! High quality produce is to be coveted and you can bet there are restaurants in your area willing to pay premiums to get their hands on the finest heirloom whatevers.

Why are you projecting that customers will order a single item off your menu in a sitting? Or are you charging <$1 for beverages, bread for soup, yadda yadda. Or are you not offering these things at all?

What is your budget for the location itself?

Do not forego budgets for marketing, social media has made that whole spiel a lot easier but it still takes man-hours to build up a social presence and I'd argue marketing dollars could actually be better spend on more traditional forms of advertising.

Just remember, the more you can DIY, the more you can keep in your coffers.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all above for the input, keep it coming as this is a great way to flesh things out. Here are responses to a few of the items above. Please keep in mind that a number of items mentioned are considered in the plan but have been omitted for brevity above. Either way, they are all good comments :-)

 

  • Is that  25% less net supposed to cover rent,bus/liability insurance, utilities, phones, advertising, car insurance, equipment maintenance, etc, etc.
    • Yes, in the complete plan I have covered the items mentioned

 

  • And that is depending on you doing a couple of hundred covers daily.
    • Actually our estimate is an average of 120 covers per day

 

  • 1500 sq ft is pretty limiting with the seating. Are you taking into consideration anything like expansion? Like catering to pay the basic bills?
    • This is an area we are unsure about. Of course we have not found the space yet and location, location, location will be the overriding priority so it is hard to see what size space we will end up with. Not sure about seating numbers we will finally need/want it will depend a little on the final market but I would love to hear from the group what they think would be the right number of seats? As for catering, yes we will be both doing that as well as selling our products, sauces etc.

 

  • I think it isn't realistic, 24% FC. Have you costed your menu already at that?
    • Actually, while we have not created the entire menu yet we have tested and settled on a number of items in each category. We have carefully priced each recipe and are comfortable that they all fall in the 15%-22% range, of course that does not factor in waste which is why we start out at 30% FC and settle in at about 24% blended. Might be low, that is something we will need to monitor very closely

 

  • Buying a building then renovating for a sandwich shop may get really expensive really fast. Do you have detailed plans already to do it? A pre existing shop may be the way to go.
    • No plans yet as we have not found the specific location. Point taken, while our first choice is to rent a space which previously housed a restaurant that may not be possible. Again, location will be the driving factor and if that leads us to a space which has not been a restaurant in the past we will utilize our past experience in development to lovingly but economically transform the space

 

  • Does your 36% LC including all your payroll taxes and insurences? seems a bit off to me.
    • Yes it includes a 20% factor for payroll taxes etc. Also, we are factoring in a minimum wage of $11 per hour. As for staff, in addition to my wife and I working full-time (we know that means 60 hours a week) we are estimating 2 additional FT in the kitchen plus 1 PT (20 hr) and then 4 PT, 20hr at the counter. Our hours will be basically Mo-Sat 8am-3PM

 

  • What about marketing? any plans for promotion when you open or are you just unlocking the doors and hoping for the best?
    • ​Yes we have a comprehensive marketing plan (actually we have years of experience in marketing and branding) which includes leveraging social media and marketing to surrounding businesses etc. Also in our selected market we plan on spending about 6 months prior to opening with a stall weekends at the local farmers market to test recipes, expose our brand and build a customer list.

 

  • Make sure you get everything approved but the local health and city code depts before you invest a dime into a location
    • ​Agreed, BTW - we have a lot of experience working with building, zoning , fire etc. We will visit each and get familiar with them and their needs before even selecting a location. Then prior to signing a lease we will visit each about the specific site.

 

  • It sounds like alot of your planning was based on the (false) axiom that local, organic or otherwise artisinal produce is somehow cheaper than the stuff that comes from the sunny fields of Sysco
    • ​I know that is the case quite often. We are fortunate that both markets we are exploring have very robust local producers and in many cases we have some of the local pricing for local ingredients and have used those in our estimates. We do not plan for Sysco to darken our door :-)

 

  • Why are you projecting that customers will order a single item off your menu in a sitting? Or are you charging <$1 for beverages, bread for soup, yadda yadda. Or are you not offering these things at all?
    • ​My bad, the way I posted pricing might be confusing. The prices I put above for sandwiches, soups and salads are for full portions, we will also be offering halves and also people will sometimes share etc, after adding a beverage etc we came up with our average check. It may be a little low but we are being conservative

 

  • What is your budget for the location itself?
  • As mentioned, we have not found it yet but have begun working with a leasing agent so we know the markets in general and we have estimated $3,200/mo

 

The reality is the number of things we have factored in and allowed for are quite extensive but the things we do not know is vast and wide, thus the reason we value and treasure all the input we are getting here, keep it coming :-)

post #11 of 24
We have carefully priced each recipe and are comfortable that they all fall in the 15%-22% range, of course that does not factor in waste

OK, Im even more concerned about your FC now.

Can you share your sandwich FC recipe?
I just always shoot for 30% and cant get myself over the 15-22% projection. Did you meet these objectives before or did someone suggest them to you?
The sandwich market is so competitive I would think even higher FC is reasonable, say 35%

Food Cost= 15%
$11.00 Sandwich MP ( menu price)
1.65 FCA ( food cost allowance)

@ 22% = 2.42 FCA


Heres Estimates for a random sandwich. This doesn't even include cheese or bacon....
These numbers can easily go up if you want a "good" sandwich.

Bread- .75
Spread- .50
Veg- .50
Protein- 1.25
Garnish- .25

3.25 PC
11.00 MP
29% FC ( theres my 30%)
I would cost this sandwich with real numbers see if you can make a menu item.

Add 5% waste to product cost.
3.25 x .05 = .16
PC 3.51/11= .32 FC

That is double your projection without even getting into artisanal product

This doesn't include a side!

Actual Food Cost ( real world numbers), Projected Food Cost ( menu mix) and budget are all different costs, but you want to be close to reality or you will find yourself changing your menu or hiring consultants. Maybe not a bad idea.

Show me Im wrong I'd love to drop the cost/ price of my sandwiches.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 

To be fair the low range of the 15% FC covers a number of the soups, sandwiches tend to come in more between about 22%-26% For a number of sandwiches we have made/tested we have weighed and costed out every ingredient that goes into the sandwich and for the typically sale price of about $11 we are getting a raw cost of about $2.60 +/-

 

Bread- .75 - .60
Spread- .50 - .25
Veg- .50 - .50
Protein- 1.25 - 1.10
Garnish- .25 - .15

3.25 PC - 2.60
11.00 MP
29% FC ( theres my 30%) - 23.6%
I would cost this sandwich with real numbers see if you can make a menu item.

Add 5% waste to product cost.
3.25 x .05 = .16
PC 3.51/11= .32 FC

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucyGirlB View Post
 
  • Does your 36% LC including all your payroll taxes and insurences? seems a bit off to me.
    • Yes it includes a 20% factor for payroll taxes etc. Also, we are factoring in a minimum wage of $11 per hour. As for staff, in addition to my wife and I working full-time (we know that means 60 hours a week) we are estimating 2 additional FT in the kitchen plus 1 PT (20 hr) and then 4 PT, 20hr at the counter. Our hours will be basically Mo-Sat 8am-3PM

 

 

It seems to me that you are planning for far too much labor. I would think that with both of you working full time, you could easily eliminate one FT kitchen position and 2 PT at the counter. Doing so would allow you raise your food cost percentage which would be a good thing because it seems low to me and a little wiggle room never hurts.

 

 

As a side note, I presently work for a high end caterer and our store front is a combination gourmet food and wine sales, deli, sandwich shop somewhat along the lines of what you are planning.

 

Quote:
 As for staff, in addition to my wife and I working full-time (we know that means 60 hours a week)

Kudos on this. Shows that you are realistic and fairly heads up. Overall it seems like you are being conservative with your projections which is also a good thing and that you are really thinking things through not just flying blind. Good luck with your endeavor if it comes to fruition.

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post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the comments on LC. Of course not being sure about number of covers etc we are guestimating but I hope you are right as eliminating a planned position or two would certainly be a bonus :-)

 

You mentioned that you are in a shop with some similar features. Can you share any info on the flow of customers i.e.

 

Total for breakfast -

 

Total for lunch - 

 

Avg check

 

Staffing

 

Also, would love to hear from anyone out there about kitchen and line setup, all out front or split? 

post #15 of 24

@SaucyGirlB,

It appears that you have done some homework. I just have 2 things. I'm assuming you're using your monies. I would certainly get a LOC for at least 30-50% start up. If you come up short on covers when opening you have to do twice as much just to break even.

The most important question for ya'll is, can you work together and spend 24 hrs. a day?

I'm sure you know that depending on how you set up legally it will usually require additional ins's, life etc . on both of you.

Add a 10% hickey to finish out if you plan on serving food from the counter. Soups. The kitchen codes will have to extend out that far.

was that 2 things?;)

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input Panini :-)

 

We have actually done quite a bit of work but there is still so much more we do not know. While our first restaurant, this is not our first business. We have owned about 8 different businesses together over the last 20 years (sometimes a few at the same time) so we are pretty comfortable about startups (they all were). While we have been in the food business before (a different segment) this will be our first restaurant.

 

Great point about working together, not for everyone but we luckily have done it successfully for almost 20 years and would not have it any other way. 

 

On serving the soups/salads at the counter if I am understanding your pout you are saying that by putting the foods out front it will impact the building codes for that section? Here is our thought, in a perfect world we would like all the food out front with the customer because dip laying wonderful food is the fastest way to transmit yumminess to the customer :-) The issue is if someone orders a soup and or salad, no problem to plate off the lien quickly and efficiently but for sandwiches there is more to it and it takes time so our plan is to bring the food out with a runner to the table.

 

Here is a question, should we bring all the food out together or ask someone of they would like their soup or salad now or together with the sandwich? 

post #17 of 24

In a sandwich shop setting, I would bring everything at the same time; otherwise you are increasing trips to table and complicating things which will increase your labor both FOH & BOH. It might seem incremental, but it compounds quickly. Keep it simple.

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post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 

That is our thought but the only thing keeping us wondering is if let's say 1/3 of the customers don't order a sandwich but rather just a soup and/or salad and a beverage. Would we not be better off being able to hand everything to the customer at the register and we are done? Also we have looked at the possibility of just taking the order up front and then bringing the food but we do not want to loose the value of displaying super delicious food at the counter?

post #19 of 24

@SaucyGirlB,

We bring everything. The local demographics require us to cater to the local admins and support employees. So an all inclusive box lunch is our style. We are in a very exclusive part of town.

So much so that the fine dining does better then mid range. We are completely scratch for lunch but it is only maybe 30% of our business. I did also want to mention that you may want to bump up your waste if you are producing everything. I managed to get with a few local caterers that will take my daily run outs and run them as their chef's choice lunch the next day. This reduces my waste to .5%

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post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 

Super input, thanks

 

What is your average cover for lunch? 

post #21 of 24

@SaucyGirlB

we get 9.00 for box lunch. Sand/panino, pasta salad, cookie and a soda or water.

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post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucyGirlB View Post

 

You mentioned that you are in a shop with some similar features. Can you share any info on the flow of customers i.e.

 

Total for breakfast - we don't do breakfast

 

Total for lunch - probably average around 120

 

Avg check - probably around $10.00 - $12.00

 

Staffing - 1 at register, 1 floater on weekends ( runner, busser, sandwich maker ), 1 sandwich maker

 

I am not really involved with the books and or the deli that much as my focus is more in the catering aspect so my answers are somewhat guesswork

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucyGirlB View Post
 

That is our thought but the only thing keeping us wondering is if let's say 1/3 of the customers don't order a sandwich but rather just a soup and/or salad and a beverage. Would we not be better off being able to hand everything to the customer at the register and we are done? Also we have looked at the possibility of just taking the order up front and then bringing the food but we do not want to loose the value of displaying super delicious food at the counter?


The only people that will see the food at the counter are the ones that have paid and and are picking up, the people behind them in line won't be able to see it so it won't really influence their decisions much. If the register person is doing soups, getting salads, etc it will slow down the process of getting orders making for longer waits. Our register person takes orders, payments, and answers the phone. that is theoretically it. For eye appeal, upping sales, etc the people in line have a glass merchandiser to peruse for their drinks, in addition to tempting them with various dips, tapenades, cheeses, sausages, etc. There are also shelves of cookies, brownies, chips, gourmet food items, etc The next display as they move along is our deli case with salads, sides, entrees, etc. At the register, we have samples of the various house made chips, dips, tapenades, hummus, etc that they saw in the glass merchandiser. This last one (the samples) is real big at increasing impulse sales for taking home with them.

 

Like @panini, we do a pretty good business with pre-order pick up of box and basket lunches for groups. Additionally we do a variety of platters as well.

Box Lunch
The box lunch conveniently packs all items
into a decorative stackable box.

Includes a Gourmet Sandwich, Chips and Cookie.
No minimum order required - $9.95

 

Basket Lunch
This simple yet elegant wine country experience
is a step beyond a box lunch. Items are served
Family-style on a premium reusable tray.

Includes Gourmet Sandwich, Pasta Salad, Fruit Garnish
and Brownie.

Minimum order 6 lunches - $12.95 per guest

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post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks Cheflayne for all the input :-)

 

Your staffing is similar to ours in that at prime times we anticipate having 1 register, 1 counter, 1 runner and then 2 in the kitchen.

 

Still struggling with where everything goes i.e. kitchen or out front. My gut tells me to put as much out front as possible as the beauty of the food is the best sales tool. At the moment we are thinking:

 

  • Soups, Salads, sides, sdesserts etc all at the order counter on display. Sandwiches and refills for the former will be handled in the kitchen area along with general prep, cooking and cleanup. One question might be should we also move the actual sandwich prep to the front counter leaving pony the prep and cleanup in the kitchen?

 

Any thoughts in the group about the efficiency of this idea?

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucyGirlB View Post
 

Your staffing is similar to ours in that at prime times we anticipate having 1 register, 1 counter, 1 runner and then 2 in the kitchen.

 

Same thing only different .You are projecting a staff of 5 at prime times and we run with 3. I think you could easily eliminate 1 if not 2. Granted our staff has all been there at least 3 years which means they are a pretty well oiled machine, so I probably wouldn't recommend running that lean at first. The 3 is for after you get your feet wet and for long term business projections.

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