Monday, September 22, 2008

What would it take?

If I were to open this place tomorrow, on a shoe string budget, as a concession type stand at an open air (flea) market, what would it take?

So things I know I would need: Chicken, ham, veggies, spices, rice, rice cooker, bowls, plastic-ware, drinks, grill, cooler, ice, propane, utensils, napkins, signage, oil, trash can, trash bags, register, cash, change, pen and paper, a location.

Hmmm... What am I missing? What don't I know?

I know for the rice cooker(s) I will need electricity. I am not sure that will be available. I also have no idea how much of anything I would need. Will I have 20 customers or 200? All things being equal, I would rather run out of stuff than have too much.

I also want to know how much getting a spot would cost, I need to know where that spot is located, is it even in a good place? What are the other places around this spot? How's the foot traffic? Is it next to one of those incense burning places that always give me a headache?

What if it rains or some other type of weather becomes a factor? Do I need some kind of insurance mandated by the open air market?

I am for sure going to take a look at some open air markets this weekend. I will be trying to answer these questions and look for questions that I have not asked.

Feel free to add to my list, as they would be much appreciated. Thanks,


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Now? Prepare

So I have the idea in my head and in all of the books/magazines/articles I have read, it is VERY important to put it on paper; write it down, hash out your thoughts, and solidify, on paper, what your goals and visions are.

So I met the requirement halfway. I didn't put it on paper, but I did write it out on Google Docs. The reason I chose Google Docs is because the first thing I wanted to do with this document is share it and get feedback from friends of mine.

This is a basic outline of what I/We wrote out:
  • An overview: things like what items will be on the menu, how many tables (if any) I will have, the ideal location, pricing, what the food will be served in - very specific, yet succinct
  • BOH (Back Of House) items - anything I could think of like counter tops, dry storage, refrigeration, grills and then I priced them all on Craig's List (don't buy new if you don't have to)
  • FOH (Front Of House) items - cash register, cold drink fridge, tables, chairs, and again I priced all of these on Craig's List
  • Soft items like "to go" containers/bags, spices, oil
  • Future Enhancements/Thoughts - additional menu items or specials, online ordering
  • Preparation - plate spec book, recipe book, price book
This document will always be a work in progress and I will continue to add/edit/delete things from it as time goes on even after I open Lake's Kitchen.

"Why would I need this after I opened the place?", you ask. So I can open ANOTHER Lake's Kitchen and I'll have a very good blue print from which to work from. NICE!