- big budget
- urban periphery
Ibiza Pool Party
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The catering trade is not only about feeding lunch to people in as short a time as possible. Nor is it only about gastronomic cuisine where accomplished chefs become world-renowned celebrities. A restaurant can also be a relaxing place where you come from for the fun, even more than for the food. There are restaurants now where the music played is more important than the food served and customers happily take to the dance-floor. I’m going to propose a concept along those lines, but and more daring version. If you want to run a nice quiet business, this is not for you, move on to one of my other concepts!
I propose that you bring the atmosphere of wild crazy nights in Ibiza to your restaurant! First of all, where do you set up business? As you can imagine, you’ll need plenty of space, minimum 700m2 or as much as 900m2, all on one level. The layout, which is at the heart of the project, will require a lot of space and you’ll need to be able to seat at least 250 people. No need to worry, though you’ll be renting, not buying, the premises. As for layout and decoration, keep it cheap and cheerful. This concept is aimed purely at setting up outside town with a catchment area of at least 400,000 inhabitants. But unlike the big names in the restaurant business, who only want a prime location to rent or else to build their own restaurant on an exorbitantly prices piece of land, you on the other hand are going for an existing premises.
Every town has a retail park on the outskirts where property is for rent at a reasonable price simply because it’s not in a prime location. But you don’t need to be directly opposite a huge supermarket in order to set up business. You could also set up along a busy thorough-fare (minimum 20,000 vehicles per day) or you could consider a by-pass or a ring-road. You’ve probably deduced by now, given the name of the concept, that you’re going to open a restaurant centered on a swimming-pool, a place you can create the best party atmosphere possible! You have to admit, this is no run of the mill idea! Your premises will include a cashier at the entrance, a cloakroom with about 20 changing rooms and the usual lockers for storing personal items. A hostess will give a key attached to a bracelet showing the number of the allotted locker, along with a towel.
You’ll need a large bar, a dance floor of about 100m2, two or three podiums for pole-dancing. The pool would preferably have one or two platforms in the centre (again equipped for pole-dancing). Don’t forget allow space for a pool maintenance room and shower areas too. Plan Jacuzzi areas either in the pool or, even better, amongst the tables. And of course a DJ platform and all the lights and sound equipment to go with it.
Plain plastic garden furniture will suffice but do try to reinforce the holiday atmosphere with sun loungers and if you have the means and the space, get yourself a few of those four-poster beds one sees in the best Caribbean hotels. A few fake palm trees will put the finishing touches to your decoration.
Before I go any further, it is my duty to urge you to respect the official safety regulations which apply to this type of establishment. At the outset of your project consult the authorities concerned, such as the fire department, for advice.
For safety’s sake you’ll need to employ a lifeguard… and that gives me a great idea: you could have all your personnel dress on a “Baywatch” theme! Attractive waitresses, waiters, bartenders all wearing clingy swimsuits would surely draw in the crowds, don’t you think?
As you’ll see, we’ll take this a step further later.
Back to the catering end of things, this is not the most important aspect of this concept. The food you serve will be buffet-style. You could buy ready-made starters and desserts from specialized suppliers which you could complete with a selection of cold meats and pâtés (charcuterie). Try to maintain a decent quality in the food you serve so as not to put off the clientele and yet enable you to make a bigger profit than you would in a regular restaurant.
As for the main course, a carvery would provide a choice in meat which you’ll serve with fries, rice and vegetables. The customers will help themselves to drinks. You’ll need a mineral water fountain, soda and beer on tap and bag-in-box wine (hidden inside fake wine barrels). There are cooling systems for rosé and white wine. Provide just one white wine, two rosés and three sorts of red wine. It’s not too hard to find decent inexpensive wine. Above all, steer clear of gut-rot!
The waiting staff will only have to set and clear the tables.
The bar is where you’ll make money throughout the evening as you’ll sell the same beverages as in nightclubs. The bartenders will be the drinks to the number on each customer’s bracelet and the customer will pay as he leaves. Be sure to supply breathalyzers for your clientele to help avoid drunk-driving.
Your DJ will guarantee a lively atmosphere late into the night but never closing as late as the nightclubs, that way your restaurant won’t be deserted on Friday and Saturday nights. You may find that certain clients move on to finish their evening elsewhere and will be replaced by late-diners (after cinema for example).
You could also open for Sunday lunch and your clientele will be older, more family-oriented and therefore lounge music would be appropriate. I imagine the restaurant would close on Mondays and Tuesdays, so let’s concentrate on getting the customers in all the rest of the week. I can’t see it worthwhile opening for lunch on weekdays although why not if there is a large group booking. There are all sorts of solutions as to how to make a turnover on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings. You could organize theme evenings such as Salsa or Caribbean nights. This said, we are living in the 21st century and the society we live in is very different to our grandparent’s time. Here is something that will give you an opportunity to keep your restaurant full. I would advise you to consider allotting one evening a week to a homosexual clientele “gay night” when swim-suits needn’t be obligatory. Between 5% and 10% of the population in the western world belong to the gay community and these people like to go out, spend money and have fun. You could also try out lesbian nights, something which is rarely on offer and would surely attract customers from far and wide. And why not plan a couples-only nudist evening. Again, we are in “the spirit of the times” as it is estimated that between 5% and 10% of couples are nudist and/or swingers. Thursday or Sunday evenings would be a good time. Condom vending machines would, of course, be on the premises.
Before opening you’ll need poster advertising and publicity vans and, as they do in Ibiza, send your personnel (in uniform) out to distribute flyers in shopping malls, on busy streets etc… offer e free drink to all who come bearing the flyer on opening night. Local radio is also a good idea. As for the homosexual/ nudist evenings, try advertising on specialized websites.
You’d be surprised how quickly word gets about.
So there you are, go on, dive in at the deep-end! (lol)