The Steak Bar
- medium budget
- big cities
- fast food / sandwich shop
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This concept came to light while I was lunching alone in a steakhouse. There were only about forty customers that day. Even though the restaurant in question wasn’t very big, I couldn’t help thinking that there was no need for all that space, so many waiters and such a varied menu. And that’s when I came up with the idea of a steak bar.
You’ll need a dining area of between 120m²-150m² plus extra space for dishwashers, staff rooms, office and a small kitchen. Yes, I said a small kitchen because it’ll be mainly used for storage.
Your dining area will have a huge bar built all around a central space where you’ll do the grilling. You’ll also need a deep-fat fryer and a steamer. The customers will sit up at the bar to eat their meal.
A little more detail about the menu:
-rump steak (3 weights, I suggest 140g, 250g, 380g)
-rib-eye steak (2 weights 220g, 450g)
-flank steak 180g
-steak tartare (2 weights 180g, 300g)
Each steak will be served with chips or baked potatoes with a chive sour cream sauce or salad. You’ll have a selection of the usual sauces with accompany steak, these you can buy ready-made. A short dessert menu, I would say 5 is enough and again buy ready-made: chocolate mousse, apple-pie, crème caramel, cheese-cake and brownies.
So your menu consists of 14 products, not counting drinks. All 14 products appeal to a large public, this concept is all about getting back to the basics, you keep staff and wastage to a minimum. Setting up business and stock control are simplified and your customers can be served almost as quickly as in a fast-food restaurant and that’s exactly what the customer expects: the eats quickly, he moves his place. Which is why it would be crazy to sell starters; for every two starters served you would miss out on the chance to serve another customer. This way you keep things flowing!
Don’t be tempted to add anything else to the menu but on the other hand feel free to take one or two steaks or a dessert off the menu.
You’ll stock the usual 5 or 6 aperitif drinks, one or two beers, still and sparkling mineral water, a regular and a light cola and that’s all. Your wine will be sold only by the glass, and you can use bag-in-box wine. 3 or 4 reds and rose will do. Ensure your meat is of good quality. Keep your prices reasonable, on a par with the competition.
Your menu will be displayed on a back-lit panel, fast-food style. Your decoration will be modern and unfussy, perhaps shades of red would be suitable. Now I’ll suggest 2 possible types of location. For this concept to reach its full potential you’ll need to tap into a mobile clientele, this concept is all about flow. That means targeting both pedestrians and motorists. In order to attract pedestrians you’ll need to be located in a big town, in an area where there are shops, offices and, if possible, cinemas or theatres. This concept would work well near a central station, a busy area where there all sorts of restaurants. Beware of shopping malls because unless they include a multiplex cinema you’ll only do business at lunch-time. And it’s very costly to rent space in a shopping mall. This concept would also adapt will to a busy airport but again space is costly.
In order to attract motorists, you’ll have to located on a busy thoroughfare with a passage of at least 25,000 vehicles a day and a catchment area of at least 50,000 inhabitants. If at all possible you should be near a retail zone and usually the presence of the big names in chain restaurants is a good sign. I’ve often seen these retail zones which compromise a huge supermarket and a multiplex cinema bordering on an industrial park and that strikes me as an ideal location. This concept would also work very well in a motorway service area.
No matter which location you choose, pay particular attention to sign posting your position, with lots of poster advertising and signs.
I believe we have just re-invented fast-food! I just wish someone else had come up with this idea before me, back in the days when I was travelling a lot with very little time to eat!
I really like this concept, its strength lies in its simplicity. I even think this could become a chain…
Why not your chain?