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Marketing Research Project (Share Your Opinions!)


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I'm working on a project and could use a little market research and thought that GDS might be a good place to pick up some additional opinions.

 

 

I'm working on a project where we are planning a Hybrid Bar in a college town. I call it a Hybrid Bar because it will be a bar with live music and such, but also a side business (likely food of some sort). The idea is to have a type of bar that can be partially all ages (during set times with carding to ensure underage people aren't drinking). My thinking is that for several hours during the day (mostly around lunch time) it can be an establishment for people to come and eat and just hang out like any other food place that serves beer. There would be a few hours of closing to enable the setting up of any particular live acts that evening and to get people out of the place. The location would then reopen (and start charging for door if necessary) and that night will either be a 21+ night or an all ages night. The idea is to have all ages nights be the slower nights to try and increase profitability. The all ages nights will be specific nights to ensure that any 21+ people who don't want to hang around teens won't be surprised. This allows the potential for increased revenue when/if we are able to bring in a semi-popular band that attracts all age groups. Food could potentially be served at night also.

 

 

As for the alcohol situation, the early plan is simply beer only (though a wide variety).

 

 

The ultimate purpose of this location will be to facilitate music, something lacking in this area despite being a college town.

 

 

My question to you all is regarding the side aspect of the location. We envision something simple where we don't need a restaurant style kitchen. Some ideas have been a hot dog bar, hamburgers, pies, deli-style sandwiches, and pastries.

 

So what might be something you all would be interested in? It can be any of the ideas above or one that hasn't been mentioned. Please share any opinions that you may have. Also, feel free to ask questions.

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Mini-burgers. Personally, I'd care if they had cheddar cheese and maybe small strips of bacon. I know lots of folks like onions on them, too (but I find those gross.)

 

But you can't go wrong with mini-burgers at a barish type place. Gotta be served with fries, though.

 

Sweets don't mix well with beer, really... at least in my experience (if someone else has a better grasp of how it works, feel free to jump in!) Greasy and salty food goes much better. Pizza works really well, know a place in Houston where you can wash down a huge variety of pizzas with an equally large variety of beer (pepperoni with Shiner? WIN!), and they too serve fries. Good place, and I'd recommend it if for the life of me I could remember its name.

 

But definetly have food at night. People get hungry, and will leave if to get food if they have to. Not to mention its good to have food in your stomache if you're going to be drinking for a number of reasons. Doesn't have to be the full menu, but simple appetizer things being available at the least (mini-burgers and fries!) would be good.

 

Gotta get out of the computer lab, may have more in a bit.

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Oh, don't limit ANYTHING in the food category to only the bar/21+ hours. Used to work at Bennigan's, and they'd only serve some forms of food to people seated at the bar for reasons no one could ever logically explain, and you had to be 21 to sit at the bar... meaning you couldn't order certain menu items without causing a fuss if you were under 21.

 

No wonder they went out of business.

 

 

I dunno, I'm not expert on the restaurant/bar business, just saying what I know I like from personal experiences.

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There would be a few hours of closing to enable the setting up of any particular live acts that evening and to get people out of the place. The location would then reopen (and start charging for door if necessary) and that night will either be a 21+ night or an all ages night.

You didn't ask about this part, however... one of my personal rule of thumbs is if you can help it, NEVER start something with an empty place. I wouldn't close, I would just set a time that under 21 people need to go, or have a stamp for the 21 and over crowd (so as to not be able to wash out the stamp on underage). Or just start getting them out of the building by whatever time you need them out (start about two hours early so they have time to finish eating and such).

My question to you all is regarding the side aspect of the location. We envision something simple where we don't need a restaurant style kitchen. Some ideas have been a hot dog bar, hamburgers, pies, deli-style sandwiches, and pastries.

 

So what might be something you all would be interested in? It can be any of the ideas above or one that hasn't been mentioned. Please share any opinions that you may have. Also, feel free to ask questions.

 

As was suggested, Pizza is something that can be done in a Pizza maker, and doesn't require a whole lot of work to make. There was a place that was 24 hours in Cleveland named Pizza King, that we used to go to before and after going out. Other's stayed their as their main form of entertainment. It worked out really nicely.

 

If your going to have a fryer, then there are a ton of "happy hour" type foods that are really simple and easy to do that don't require alot of work. Things such as Buffalo wings, Hot Wings, popcorn shrimp etc... can be all bought ready for the fryer (no need for flower, etc, as they are already ready as is), served with favorite dipping sauce. With this you also can have french fries, onion rings (Beer battered), cheese sticks, and fried zuchini or something unique (you don't find everywhere else). There is litterally dozens of items like this... Depending on size and cook, don't go over a dozen items all together that the cook has to deal with.

 

A little thing one of the places I used to dj at did, was give away Popcorn earlier in the night. They had a popcorn machine, but.... the catch was they used pepper and offered salt for the popcorn. This they swore helped selling of drinks. I don't know if it did or not, but pepper on popcorn is alot better then you would think, and people will think it's a "special recipe" sometimes. People were always ordering pizza from another source to bring in for a birthday or whatever... so I really would think about the Pizza thing.

 

During the daytime, I think hotdogs/chilli dogs, chilli and crackers, etc. along with whatever you can make easily (not a burden), like Hamburgers and such.

 

Pre-made salads sometimes go over well, but you have to be sure to keep them fresh (can be a pain).

 

Anything you have as a special, be sure to have plenty of and "PUSH" it like crazy. This helps keep things going fast and efficiently as a special is ussually kept ahead of the pack easily enough, if done right. For example "Special tonight, Shrimp Popper basket with Fries!" The cook then can keep a couple order's ahead of time ready. Be sure to have a "heat lamp" and not let anything sit too long.

 

Almost everything, if not everything suggested is so cheap that wasting a few is NOT a problem, when your trying to keep customer's satisfied... An open cheesestick that the cheese has drained out of is NOT fun to a customer paying. Throw in a couple extra's, to ensure if a couple bust you have the right amount of "good" ones. The cook can even just leave them in the customer basket as long as the correct amount of "good" one's are in there. This is usefull as sometimes nothing bursts, and if you have more orders coming in you can use the extra's for them, or you can get rid of them by sending them out as "extra's" instead of wasting anything. Customer is happy, your happy, cook is happy because he isn't having to go back and cook two more, because two popped in the fryer.

 

One of the main spots I played at, we used to have Taco Tuesday every tuesday. We used a combination of chicken and beef burger for it. This was layed out during happy hour, and when it was gone it was gone. On Friday we just put the left-over's from thursday out as a happy hour meal. We had a regular resturant though, something your not really wanting to get into.

 

I cannot stress though, if your going to try to actually give people a MEAL.. Use a buffet style set-up. This takes so little man-hours to set up, and you can keep up with it with minimal effort as long as you don't have over a dozen items... I would suggest around six to be honest. IF you really wanted to feed people, that is.

 

PS: Your living my dream. This is something I've thought about doing for years.

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