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June 1, 2010 12:21 PM quote 
Mark2297 is offline Mark2297
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 80
 Ideas: Bulding your menu around your kitchen

I'm toying with an idea since the hotel venture has turned into me getting the big.... A guy has offered me a spot with the following items. ( Trying to do some soul searching )

If you had the following equipment to work with and no more resources, what would you offer?

Small Charbrolier

1 burner stove (below the charbroiler)

8 well steam table

2 compartment cold prep table with underside refrigiration

2 40lb Gas Fryers

a couple fridges a large walkin freezer

1 deep floor freezer

8 4 top tables with chairs

3 compartment dish sink

2 compartment prep sink

Steve already suggested deep fried french toast.

Give me breakfast,lunch and dinner ideas if you would.


June 1, 2010 2:49 PM quote 
Steve A is offline Steve A
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: In, but not from, Northeastern NC
Posts: 4971

When you say "one burner stove" are you saying oven, salamander or sauté burner?

Give 'em what they want. Just make it better than they expected. 

June 1, 2010 5:11 PM quote 
ChefStar007 is offline ChefStar007
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
 Look towards prepared foods...

Do you have a Whole Foods, Bristol Farms or other higher end grocery store that has a large selection of prepared foods?  They are the key to what is selling in your area.

I would sell the fryers or figure out a way to turn them into usable counter space (put a lid on them).  The clean up from using them - ugh!

If you are in a car driving area,  I would focus on items that people can order and go and eat in their car without too much work (grilled veges, quesadillas, satay chicken, city chicken (you can use the fryer), etc.).

If people live near you or you mention a hotel - carry comfort food items - fried chicken, meatloaf (both beef and turkey), grilled sausages, mashed or garlic mashed potatoes, etc.

If you are in a hotel and you are going to carry a burger - might as well make it the best they have ever had and charge accordingly. 

June 1, 2010 9:03 PM quote 
Mark2297 is offline Mark2297
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 80

Steve it is a Saute burner


June 1, 2010 11:05 PM quote 
lamael is offline lamael
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 53

The fryers could be useful... as Steve mentioned before can be used for bacon and sauages at breakfast.  You could always pick up a griddle from sams club and plug it in and use that for breakfast.

We do a ton with a Dutch Quality 7oz italian seasoned breaded chicken breast filet... we have created at least 30 different sandwich and wrap specials with this item... deep fries in 4 mins and is an awesome product. We do what we call a cool ranch chicken sandwich with bacon, ranch dressing and provolone on it...we do buffalo sandwich, wraps and use it for buffalo salad as well.

You could use the steam table to hold soups and do soup and sandwich /wrap specials.

Hope this helps some.

June 2, 2010 1:46 PM quote 
Brandon94275 is offline Brandon94275
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 1812

That's not a bad setup for a high volume sandwich shop if you convert the charbroiler to a griddle and drive customers toward cold sides or chips instead of fried sides. You could also ditch the freezer to make room for prep tables and slicers.

You could offer homemade chips and frieds. Chips can be done ahead of time. Fries should be blanched first and batch cooked, then held for short periods of time under heat lamps during rushes like McDonalds does, as long as you aren't putting a bunch of other fried foods on the menu to slow up the fryer.

You could offer subs and grilled sandwiches. Keep the menu limited and premake some of the most popular grilled sandwiches before lunch so they can be put directly on the grill.

If you're in the market for it, there is opportunity for "upscale casual" sandwich shops. Just don't try to do to much out of one small kitchen. Limited kitchen space means limited menu, but it is the storage that would limit your volume, and you seem to have plenty of that. Find 10 or 12 very special sandwiches to offer, more than half of them cold, add a couple nice salads, fresh fries and chips, then concentrate on volume. The key to financial success in a quick service restaurant is speed and consistency, assuming you have food your customers want at a price they find value in.

Brandon O'Dell

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

phone: (888) 571-9068
Last edited: June 6, 2010 9:03 AM by Brandon94275
June 2, 2010 5:36 PM quote 
Mark2297 is offline Mark2297
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 80

Ok brain fart specialty sandwiches, what kind give me a jump start if you will.


FYI We have closed the hotel location as of today. Hated to do it but I cant operate under the conditions. The very last straw was I booked a small graduation party and they refused to let me have it inside my restaurant. The hotel today tried to keep the poor ladies money, which I refunded it from my pocket... The GM is a snake in the grass for sure for sure.. Im just sorry I didnt have a better grip on it or knew what I know now... He tried stopping from taking my things even I had to get the cops to explain a lease to him. Told him Id see him in court real soon as well....

June 2, 2010 5:43 PM quote 
Steve A is offline Steve A
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: In, but not from, Northeastern NC
Posts: 4971

Since you don't have an oven, think cold sandwiches or proteins coming out of the fryer with a hot sauce.

If your "two compartment cold prep table" is what I'm thinking, I'd break those hotel pans down the 1/3 pan size.  Now you've got 12 1/3 pans.  You can even go smaller if you need, or perhaps 1/2 pans... well, you should get the drift.


Give 'em what they want. Just make it better than they expected. 

June 3, 2010 11:31 AM quote 
John79496 is offline John79496
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 298


I probably missed it but I didn't see what kind of market, (blue, gray, white collar, strip mall)  busy times, lunch and breakfast???

Cast iron griddle on saute burner, ham & cheese, pastrami, grilled hot dogs, chili out of a slow cooker,  Use a cast iron griddle on char broiler for eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, gravy out of the slow cooker, etc. waffles,

If possible emphasize items to go. Just be sure they are excellent.

Don't know id this makes sense or not.

Take a look at the items in diner recipe books.

Good Luck


Thanks, come back, bring friends and money!!!

June 4, 2010 12:36 PM quote 
nowIamone is offline nowIamone
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 279

Mark, If you are going to offer a menu heavy with sandwiches, I suggest you offer some good grain, whole wheat breads and wraps,  some with a high fiber content and low carb.  Huge market need by pre-diabetics and diabetics, and other health needs,  who are always looking for the offering.   It can build a nitch for you in an upscale sandwich business, if you are in an area that will have return business.

I noticed this when a local place closed, many people complaining that their needs weren't 't being met  in  the local market.

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