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Direct Grill & Roaster

Concept for:

- small budget

- deliver / take away

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When we consider the various catering concepts that can be set up on a tight budget, we inevitably focus on take-away or home delivered food. All the more so because this type of concept is very much in tune with the times. The idea of delivered food particularly appeals to me. Whether you can’t take time off work to take a proper lunch-time break or you don’t feel like cooking after a long day’s work, having your meal delivered to you is often much appreciated.

Unfortunately, apart from large towns and built-up suburban areas, the choice of food you can have delivered is often confined to pizza. I gave a lot of thought as to how this situation can be improved and I came up with two feasible concepts. Perhaps you have already read about my first ideal “Mussels Galore”.

Here is my second idea, a very promising concept of wide appeal that will surely find a niche on the market. To be honest this concept required a hell of a lot of thought and imagination. I believe in all of the concepts on my website and for this particular concept I put in the time to have a global vision that completely satisfies me.

Rotisserie food is something that I like a lot and I started out with the idea of delivering that. I know you’re thinking that there are already places that deliver cooked chickens. It’s true and it’s sometimes the same people who deliver pizza. But I realized at once that there is room for improvement and why not consider the barbecued food that we can usually enjoy only when the weather permits. That was my first step but then I had to consider which sorts of meat. Brochettes and spare ribs immediately sprang to mind. But I still wasn’t entirely satisfied, although chickens, spare ribs and brochettes were probably enough. My wife have the great idea to ask our 10 year old daughter what sort of meat she would like to have delivered. Without a second thought she replied “prime rib of beef”! Eureka, my concept was finally completed and here it is.

It will be easy to set up your business, pizza deliverers have shown us the way for a long, long time: advertising leaflets (including your menu) delivered to all letterboxes in the area, delivery of food by car or by scooter, a complementary dessert or bottle of wine when the customer spends a certain amount. And thanks to the local pizzaiolos you’ll even know where exactly to set up- they have mastered the business for years and all you need to do is follow their example. Basically, your clientele to similar to theirs and, like them, your business relies on your customers’ laziness or lack of time. You could deliver to their work-place at lunch-time and in the evening to their homes.

When choosing your location you simply need to find an area with more than 35,000 potential customers, with 4 or 5 pizza delivery businesses operating in the area. Just to be sure, observe how they work and count how many cars or scooters they have on the road (now that’s what I call marketing!).

It’s best to choose a densely populated area to keep delivery times short. You won’t need a huge premises, nor will you need a prime location. Remember to provide safe parking for your fleet of scooters. If you happen to be in the right location you could also set up a take-away on the premises. Whichever your case, don’t overspend on your premises.

As for equipment, you’ll need a rotissoire (roast spit), a gas-fired plancha type grill, a professional deep-fat fryer and a double boiler. All can be acquired second-hand. Don’t skimp on opening publicity, deliver leaflets to letterboxes 3 times over a two month period. Be sure you deliver flyers to all shops, companies and offices in the area.

Now, let’s deal with the menu. You’ll have two sizes of chickens (1.4kg /1.8kg) and of a good quality. When the customer places an order, ask if they want their chicken carved or not. Serve with chips. Now for the spare ribs. You’ll have both traditional Texan and the other a little spicier (but not too spicy unless you plan setting up business in Thailand!).

The European-style ribs can be prepared in a simpler way, some mixed herbs to season will suffice. All will be served with chips and again, cut up and separated if the customer so desires.

You’ll need to have between 5 and 7 sorts of brochettes. Use your imagination ut include at leaqt one seafood version (perhaps prawns) for vegetations.

Now for the red meat, the highlight of this concept.  Four choices:

Rib-eye steak (2 sizes): 220g and 350g

Prime rib of beef (2 sizes): 1.250kg and 1.600kg

When taking the order, ask the customer how he wants his meat done and respect his wishes. Don’t worry about the meat growing cold during the delivery time. Each scooter will be equipped with an insulated carrier bag. All meat will be served with chips and the usual sauces and condiments. Find a supplier of plastic containers suitable for transporting hot meat. If the customer wants you to carve his prime rib of beef before delivery, explain that it is best to allow the meat to rest during the delivery time, but if he insists, then do it.

So there you have between 14 and 16 items on your menu. As extras, you could propose salad and char grilled corn on the cob. You’ll have the same soft drinks and desserts as your friend the pizzaiolo.

Propose 4 or 5 sorts of red wine, two roses and one white, sold by the bottle or half-bottle. It would be a good idea to have at least one sort of red wine and one rose in a small individual screw-topped bottle (the sort served by air lines).

Disposable knives and forks are a must, especially for the lunch-time clientele. Before finishing, I would like to draw your attention to your pricing policy. You must remain reasonable. I can’t emphasize enough the ravages caused by the widespread application of that ridiculous coefficient/ratio (3.89) whereby a restaurant owner was supposed to calculate his selling prices.

If you apply a simulate method when calculating your prices (and I’m thinking particularly of your beef) either your prices will be ridiculously high and therefore inaccessible or you will settle for a cheaper product to the detriment of quality and that will be your death-knell. Weigh up your prices bearing in mind the cost of a pizza. If your 1.6kg prime rib of beef costs as much as 4 pizzas, that will seem fair to most people and you’ll sell a lot and you’ll still be making a tidy profit on each delivery. Likewise, your ribs and 220g rib-eye steak shouldn’t cost more than a pizza. If you keep this in mind you stand to make a lot of money.

I’m thinking with nostalgia of the days when I was stuck in the office at lunch-time with only the prospect of eating a pizza or a sandwich. I would have given anything for a nice juicy steak and chips, with a béarnaise sauce! What about all those evenings when friends came around for drinks and as it was getting late we decided to order pizza or cook spaghetti… it would have been for nicer to order ribs and brochettes to share.

An evening at home watching a football match (especially American football) would be even better while munching on delicious spare-ribs. I even spare a thought for all those people who have to brave the elements, go out, find a parking space just to pick up a cooked chicken!

So, when do reckon you’ll be opening in my area? I can’t wait…!!

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