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Various Question about Crepes business, help needed

13897 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  pechemignon
Hi Everyone,

We are 2 french expat living in london, we're currently working on new business, I am planning to be a casual trader (only weekend at first) on a market in London and I have severals questions on various subject, I'm opening this business with a friend of mine who is chef, I didn't go to chef school but I have been working in catering for about 5years however none of us have experience on crepes.

We are getting ready to start and last weekend we did a little "simulation" in our garden, just to train ourselves and see how we do, the results wasn't a desaster but it wasn't great enough either, we still need to improve a lot of small but important things

I am hoping that someone experienced will be able to help & advise us ... : 

We currently have 1 crepe griddle Krampouz (CGBIK4AC)

- How do you check that the griddle is at the right temperature ? So far we have been setting it to 5 and I thought that it would always stay at the same temperature but I'm not sure that it really does, is there any tips for this ? I understand that depending on the weather we'll have to keep on adjusting the temperature but I just don't know how we should check.

- Where can we buy the patented spreader (easycrepe) I've only seen the spreader kit which contains it but I don't need the other bits ...  (I did have some difficulties to evenly spread the crepe mix so I was thinking about trying with that as it seems easier)

- What is an acceptable/common length of time to make 1 crepe ? (I feel like we're being too slow for now, we're taking about 5mn/crepe)

- Do we have to purchase a specific fire resistant table cloth or is there something that we can put between the table & the crepe griddle to operate in a safe environment. (as or table cloth is partially made of plastic I'm afraid that it will burn) or is there an health & safety requirement ?

- Our griddle is 40", how big should the ladle be for us to be able to do one crepe with one full ladle ? At the moment we had to put about 1 + 1/2 to have the good amount .. (or maybe is it easier with a jug ? what your opinions ?) 

- How can we keep the Nutella warm & runny so it's easy to spread on the crepe ? (it gets really hard as we work from a market stall.

- As we only have one griddle for now, I was thinking about making a few crepes in advance so we can have a quickest turnaround when/if it gets busy, do you think rewarming them will work ? I did see a lot of creperie doing the same in Paris would I have to turn down the temperature to the minimum to allow the stuffing to get warm without burning the crepe ... ?

- I'm looking for a good&cheap website/place to purchase the few remaining missing pieces of equipment (squeezy bottles, pallet knife, jugs, etc ... )

- On the administrative part, would anyone have some good template that we could use to calculate the cost of 1 day in the market & how much we should sell to cover the cost, 1 to record all our spendings & Benefices so we can easily complete a tax return when needed. More generally I just need a lot of advices on this part, what to keep, what to record, how & when ... ? 

Below is our menu so far (3sweet crepes & 3 savoury), I want to keep it good but as simple as possible for now can you please give me your feedback ? We won't keep the filling hot they will just be stored in containers (gastro) and that's one of the raison why it takes up to 5mn to finish a crepe I want to make sure the filling is piping hot ! any advices on that ? Another problem I have with the tuna crepe is that some of the tomato sauce sometime make it through the crepe and touch the griddle, I do clean it afterward but will that be an issue in regard to the health & safety regulations ? Same question for the fact that I'm using the same griddle to do both sweets & savoury pancakes ... 

I also need to find solution to stop some of the filling from dripping, especially the tuna & the mushrooms (as they're quite moist) ...

Sweet :

Lemon Sugar

Nutella Banana

Jam (Strawberry)

Savoury :

Tuna Bolognaise Mozarella

Egg, Chicken, Emmental, Mushrooms

Emmental, Mozarella, Blue Cheese

Sorry for the long text and the tonnes of questions (I actually have more things to ask but I'll stop there for now !) thanks in advance for your help 
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The griddle question's and economics aside:

In a previous post on this subject a well respected chef said that in no way were crepes good for take out unless consumed within the hour, let alone overnighting in the fridge.  Well, I think that is rather relative.

You can go into a lot of Ramen places that do not offer takeout, will not package leftovers for you, and tell you outright they frown on anyone bringing their own containers to do so.  "Our noodles must be eaten fresh or they turn into a rancid pumpkin," or some such objection.

Well I love Ramen dishes, but simply do not eat noodles in such quantities as you see in the usual bowl of ramen.  So I eventually defied the lunch staff's objections and brought a tuppy to take the noodles home in.  My wife thought they were fabulous, even after sitting in the fridge for 2 days.

So perhaps consider letting people treat crepes as most any other food for takeout, although you could warn them of the "loss of perfection" should they allow them to linger a while before consuming.

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