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Starting a Fast Food Business

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I've just spent an hour on the phone to a friend who rang me up as he wanted to discuss him starting a new business with his brother-inlaw.

Anyway he's sort of settled on the idea of a fast food type business - like the MacDonalds or KFC format but under his own name. (He used to work for Domino's Pizza so has experience in the fat food business)

Anyway he was asking what kind of food would be most popular - I think Chicken type products seem to do well and is accepted by people of most religions too. And it's pretty cheap to buy but you can sell it fora good mark-up.

But wondering what fastfood type you guys like most (or should I say which ones you most often go to), Hamburgers place, KFC type places, Pizza, Subway, Chinese, Thai, Fish & Chips, etc.

I love chinese food the most but hardly go to chinese takeaways - as there are't as many around as Burger type places.

Also what kind of changes would you like to see compared to what's currently on offer - personally I'd welcome some less bland tasting food - and bigger portions as well as the introduction of smooties instead of the usual coke, fanta, etc.

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    im a huge Thai fine, I really am.

    If he wants to go into this, I think he should offer a variety, obviously vegetarian, low fat, maybe even a diabetic option.

    If he wants to do something like chicken, or burgers, why not have a chicken menu, AND a burger menu? There's loads of thig he can do, but the more options the better, he'll have a wider target audience
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by badabing
    im a huge Thai fine, I really am.

    If he wants to go into this, I think he should offer a variety, obviously vegetarian, low fat, maybe even a diabetic option.

    If he wants to do something like chicken, or burgers, why not have a chicken menu, AND a burger menu? There's loads of thig he can do, but the more options the better, he'll have a wider target audience

    Have you been to Nandos? They only serve one main dish - chicken and then you have a choice of sauces to make it as hot as you like - htey are always packed solid - many have a 1 hour table wait around 7pm to 10pm.

    Something like that is also what's he's considering but that involves large seating areas.

    Is it me or did fast food taste MUCH MUCH better about 10 years ago - I mean McDoanlds, KFC, etc? It certainly taste a heck of a lot better in Canada then in the UK and portions are much bigger - plus you get free refills for soft drinks.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why not get a franchise, what possision did he have at Dominoes? (sp) He will find it really hard to be a manager!

    If I had to pick a food for a new resturant i'd make it something far out as there are MILLIONS of burger places etc. and you will have to keep the quality high.
    and one more thing watch out for health and safety! They love busting little people, they wouldnt dream of closing down a large company resturant.

    Bopz
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You're right about health and safety - we all went to nandos a year ago and 3 out of 4 of us got the worse kind of stomach-ache afterwards - we had to day the following few days off work - I contacted H&S and they weren't interested - saying - they've got such a good record!!

    When I was in LA - I came across many fastfood places that specialised in being extra healthy - like extra healthy Burgers, and shakes with Vitamins in them instead of Fizzy Drinks.

    The other idea I was thinking of for him was selling only Chips - but serioulsy high quality ones - not like the rubbish most fish and chip shops sell - I went to a place like that in Canada and they make chips withthe skins on and have various sauces and toppings and they're so nice!!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by DiamondGeezer
    Have you been to Nandos? They only serve one main dish - chicken and then you have a choice of sauces to make it as hot as you like - htey are always packed solid - many have a 1 hour table wait around 7pm to 10pm.

    yeh i've been there, they're awful for a vegetarian menu and you hardly get anything in one 'portion'. Its not that busy over here, but its very popular withing our asian community.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    theres a huge mobile food wagon on the big carboots and markets round here that do indian and oriental of extremely high quality at around three quid ...it is fantasticaly popular.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    LOL the expense alone to start fast food is quite staggering. I think a franchise could be a good idea but the amount of money needed to start one really is a lot. I think its quarter of a million to buy the McDonalds name from memory and you have to be fully self sufficient.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm sure someone on here said they have friends who run one of those hog roast vans, and that they earn enough money from working the weekends with it so that they don't work during the week. Though I expect they have to work long hours at the weekends, and then there's all the stocking, cleaning, and preparing to do for, and after, the weekend. So it's not really a two day job - more like three to four days.

    Mr_Wobble ;)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by badabing
    yeh i've been there, they're awful for a vegetarian menu and you hardly get anything in one 'portion'. Its not that busy over here, but its very popular withing our asian community.


    When Nandos first started in the UK the portions were HUGE - there was so mcuh waste that I agreed when they reduced the portions of chis, salad, etc but they reduced it too much really - the quantity was litterally about 4 times more chips and salad per person they they give now!!

    The food at Nandos is fairly uncomplicated and service always friendly and it attracts a lot of people who want to eat out but wan a simple dinning experience



    As for my friend - he was just a gerneral worker during University days in domino's but I remember at the time hime telling me it costs them about 50p to make a pizza they then go on to sell fro £8 - but of course this doens't take into account rent, wages, advertising, etc.


    The mobile Van idea sounds good, if business is slow yo can go to where the demand is - the best trade is after a nightclub closes on a Friday and Saturday night - they make a small fortune then - and people are starving afer been drinking all night.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh I forgot to say when I was in Kenya on Holiday they have loads of nandos there too - but it's done really nicely - they have then attached to Petrol Stations in many places.

    There's the Petrl station, then the usualy petrol station type shop selling odds and sods, then an ice cream palour called dairy land, then a place called chicken land or something, then a pizza place and then nandos. So when yo go there you sit in a little shared court and your party can pick and chose their food.

    It's very american how they've done it but - but is seems to work well - very convient locations for people driving there.

    When I was inthe USA I went to Subway Sandwich place and they had these amazing smoothies - much nicer then fizzy drinks and way better then McDonald's type shakes.

    Over here I used to prefer Wendy's square shaped Burgers much more then McDonalds but they all seem to have closed now. although they were nothing compared to the Canadian version - If I live over there I don't think I'd cook hardly ever - fast food is so cheap, so much better and there's so much variety - including loads of seafood palces. plus for some reason their supermarkets are so expensive for basic food stocks like soup, rice, flour, etc. So often it's cheaper to eat out.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was thinking of something like this for my friend to sell - basically just seriously yummy chips with various toppings on it:

    I think it would go down realy well over here and the mark up on Potatoes is really good - I know MacDonalds make more money on their fries then on the Burgers - Has anyone here eaten at New York Fries?

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    hey, i think its a fab idea, although i wouldnt try n copy maccies! this is unless when you say succulet burgers thats actually what they are/! they look dead nice on the tely but taste :yuck:
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by miss behavin
    hey, i think its a fab idea, although i wouldnt try n copy maccies! this is unless when you say succulet burgers thats actually what they are/! they look dead nice on the tely but taste :yuck:

    I was also thinking about the Atkins Diet thing - the one where you have to eat very little Carbs - which means your choice of food is very limited and usually very boring!!

    Windering if anyone has ever thought about doing some fast food but low in carbs.

    Food quality in the Uk is very poor compared to other countries - I thin it's because they know they can get away with producing poor quality fast food - in Canada McDonald as it is here would never be accepted.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I remember at the time hime telling me it costs them about 50p to make a pizza they then go on to sell fro £8

    Well I work for the holy Pizza Hut and I was flicking through one of the manual thingys. (I was bored) and the actual cost of ingrediants for the food is very, very low. Not sure I should be writtin this stuff as it also had a whole page about "trade secrets" etc. but who cares!!!!!!!

    A medium pizza that we sell to you at £6.99 costs something stupid like 68p, but then you got all the overhead costs etc. And anouther example was the coffee which costs 34% odd of the retail price. The mark up is huge, but the really scarey thing is McDonnalds must have the same large mark up but their food costs like £3!
    franchise could be a good idea but the amount of money needed to start one really is a lot.

    The franchise for Pizza Hut is around £300 000, but the store I work for now makes a profit of £1 000 000 - £1 600 000 a year.

    Bopz (Please don't fire me Pizza Hut!:crazyeyes )
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yeah my friend who worked for Domino's Pizza said the same sort of thing - that each pizza costs about 50p to make.

    Are you sure that is Profit or Turnover you quoted?

    If it's profit then surely people would be falling over themselves to get a franchise for £300K to make a profit of £1 Million per year.

    Some one I think once told me the meat in a standard Mac Donalds Hamburger costs them like 1p since they are buying in such huge bulk!! Not sure if this is true.

    Isn't Pizza hut the one that uses fake cheese??

    The takeaway opposite my local nighclub makes a fortune on Friday and Saturday nights!!

    I quite like the New York Fries type thing - because if it's a take away only thing then the premises can be fairly small - My mother's cousin in Canada has a New York Fries Franchise in a shopping mall - only ever met her once.
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