PRO CHEF: PART 2 OF OPENING A COFFEE SHOP

With 2 weeks until we open the coffee shop things are coming together, we have a coffee menu with some amazing coffee from Brazil, Columbia and Rwanda that will give great talking points around the city, we have a great location with a fully functional kitchen and have started to employ staff we are moving on and on target to open on time.

The menus have already gone to the client and we have a full menu cook off booked in a few day’s time, the menu works well with the drinks offer, It consists of ‘small plates’, breakfast items and salads with big, bold flavours that’s bang on trend and the client seems very happy with our ideas, or so we thought.

Then came THAT call

“Chef, menu is great, it fits perfectly with the business model, very excited about tasting the food but I have had a thought”

“What’s that” I said 

“I would like 95% of it to be vegan & vegetarian, is that possible, and can we still present in 4 days’ time to stay on target?”

“No problem” I said.

I put the phone down and start to panic. 

As a chef we are used to a menu change, we can adapt to most things, but this is big and also a brave move on his part, but for me food needs to taste great right? Plant based or not it has to be something you are proud of, something customers come back for, something that creates sales, we have 4 days to make this happen, menu rewrite, recipes, dish specifications orders and preparation.

So, where do we start? Every good opening whether it be a fine dining restaurant, or a coffee shop needs a plan to make Day One happen. The first part is to understand our customers, the competition and then how we will set out our stall – what we’ll provide that will pull in customers and keep them coming back.  

Presentation day

The team are ready, we have worked hard on this, long days but we are here and ready, the plates have arrived and big smiles from the client, the menu is fresh, seasonal, on trend and 95% vegan and vegetarian.

We start with smoothies – blueberry, cinnamon and chia is a winner, breakfast items including super berry acai bowl, small plates vegan American style pancake with poached seasonal berries and fantastic salads with roasted cauliflower and crunchy chickpeas being today’s winner, The client is so happy with what we have done with the food, we are now on a count down, 10 days until we open.

In Part 3 Staffing problems, the opening day and the food critic. You can read Part 1 here

Kindly contributed by Steve Midgely Consulting Development Chef, 30 years experience in fine dinning, creating fantastic experiences at Michelin star restaurants.


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