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How long would it take for an English style restaurant in Poland to go bust?


chefneedshelp 2 | 37
28 Oct 2010 #1
Top of the mornin to ye all.

Right I had another thread Looking for chef jobs, Convex made a suggestion to perhaps go into catering so my question is this. If a Restaurant/ Cafe were to open in Wroclaw serving top qaulity home made food at reasonable prices with Polish and english speaking staff how long would it last is there a market for this? was over before and I'm just not sure. From where I stand the Polish eat at home and like what they like.
Maybe 12 | 409
28 Oct 2010 #2
Location, location, location.
OP chefneedshelp 2 | 37
28 Oct 2010 #3
[b]Maybe[/
Agreed thats important but location is worthless if your product doesnt suit the market
Maybe 12 | 409
28 Oct 2010 #4
From where I stand the Polish eat at home and like what they like.

Give that to them. The milk bars still do good business and they don't have to be doudy depressing affairs. The advantage of a milk bar are that you don't have to worry about an alcohol license and the hours are more 7 am until 7 pm rather than nighttime work.

English speaking staff might be a novelty value especially if you opened near a University.
Affordable food in a funky environment with some subtle music and interesting decor as well as a good range of teas and coffee.

Aside from preparing the food you or your most trusted partner should run the till. Pay the staff that you employ above the average, let them have staff meals and generally look after them. This will foster a positive team atmosphere which will reap rewards in service and productivity.

Wow it all sounds so easy.....
OP chefneedshelp 2 | 37
28 Oct 2010 #5
Wow it all sounds so easy.....

Im over again in a week so Ill look around. Would love my own place again just a little bit dubious.
Maybe 12 | 409
28 Oct 2010 #6
just a little bit dubious.

Absolutely be dubious...believe me it will be difficult.
convex 20 | 3,978
28 Oct 2010 #8
Market, then location.

Food by weight places are working really really well around universities and offices.

I think a decent Mexican would make a killing, especially if you could do something like a taco stand. Like what they do on the island with those mobile bacon sandwich vans.

Dunno, come over, take a look. Try to avoid higher end unless you want to go really cliche.
poland_
28 Oct 2010 #9
I think the secret supper club scene would go down well in PL, they pay the flat fee and its byo.

timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/real_food/article6714421.ece
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
28 Oct 2010 #10
If a Restaurant/ Cafe were to open in Wroclaw serving top qaulity home made food at reasonable prices with Polish and english speaking staff how long would it last is there a market for this?

Having owned a small business myself I'm of the opinion that there's always room for a business that is well run. All it takes is...commitment.
Wroclaw Boy
28 Oct 2010 #11
Like what they do on the island with those mobile bacon sandwich vans.

Thats not a bad idea, you have two types in the UK - the stationary burger vans (they usually knock out great cheese burgers) the type you find at festivals and car boot sales, or the mobile hot food vans. They drive around industrial parks offering pastries, burgers, bacon sandwiches etc to hungry workers.

In Poland i actually found a stationary van serving hot kielbasa with a roll and mustard at a car park on the A4 motorway, it was around -12 with snow and ice everywhere, quite possibly the best kielbasa ive ever had.

The typical Polish burger thats nuked then piled high with cabbage and stuff is a real acquired taste, is Poland ready for the standard British cheeseburger, bacon sandwich or hot dog with onions? i think it well could be..

I think pies would do well in Poland, i have a great chicken, ham and leak pie recipe which ive cooked for many Poles and they absolutely love it. Many have never tried anything like it before.
mafketis 24 | 8,817
28 Oct 2010 #12
A couple of things to bear in mind.

People in Poland have never been as oriented towards going out to eat as they are in some places. At the extreme end there's an assumption that eating in restaurants is a one way ticket to food poisoning (there were times where such fears were justified). Those ideas are fading but not real fast and the younger people that are more open to eating out have less money.

Also Polish people, on the whole, are not what you might call adventurous diners. As you note, they like what they like and they like it that way.

And "English food" in Poland has _very_ negative connotations. Justified or not, that's the way it is and anyone trying to market traditional British food in Poland is facing a very steep uphill climb.

IME een the most Anglicized Polish people have a low opinion of the stuff (the Polish translator of Harry Potter takes several potshots of English food in the indexes/glossries of the books).

All that said, the restaurant market is crackable here, but entering the market without previous experience and/or very deep pockets is going to be something of gamble. My advice would be stress the idea of "European cuisine" and "European standards" rather than "English home cooking".
Wroclaw Boy
28 Oct 2010 #13
People in Poland have never been as oriented towards going out to eat as they are in some places.

There's one main reason for that -MONEY-, in Poland its much cheaper to eat at home than out. In the US its cheaper to eat out and in many cases (if you don't mind junk food) the same applies in the UK.

Workers seems key here, thats your target market right there, affordable good quality food.
1jola 14 | 1,879
28 Oct 2010 #14
In Poland i actually found a stationary van serving hot kielbasa...

I miss the ol' ice cream truck that is common in American towns. Ding, ding, ding, and you knew your bag, I mean cone, was on its way. :)
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
28 Oct 2010 #15
One of them would make a killing in Poland. Densely packed neighbourhoods, lots of children - almost certainly, they'd do well.
1jola 14 | 1,879
28 Oct 2010 #16
How about a diner? Big ass plates of breakfast served anytime. You would have all the expats and you could be the one who got Poles started on breakfast. It will come. Think of yourself as someone from the future.
OP chefneedshelp 2 | 37
28 Oct 2010 #17
English Cuisine is basically European with there own twist nowadays anyway, What I am thinking is this. 8am -8 pm. All day breakfast is a must. Home made Everything using good qaulity but cheap. Had a place over here what we did as Cheapest in town I mean we did a 18oz burger with all the trimmings for a tenner. Our most expensive dis was 18.00 euro but that was a 14oz steak. My business partner was a theif so w had to close. I have the advantage that I can keep my wage costs min8imum Im a workaholic so no probs there I would look at buying the actual property so again lower overheads. My concerns are simply this. I would need at least 40 people a day through my doors sounds easy its not.

Come buy a massive pure beef burger for ??zwolty or go home cuz mom made pierogi or schabowe. Have a Huge greasy fry that makes u unable to move for a few hours there just arent enough expats in Wroclaw to actually make a differenc. Not even going to consider doing polish food as home cooking is such a tradition and would have to be trying to reinvent the wheel to attract people and would go bang.

Thanks for all you suggestions guys keep them comin and I might even call the place the PF Cafe with computers in it so ye can eat yer burgerss and keep postin lol

Wroclaw boy I was offered a Chip Van a few weeks ago at a steal. Places like that in england make money from drunks after night clubs, workers on their way to work and lunch time workers are the Polish Community ready for that much grease?
poland_
28 Oct 2010 #18
Workers seems key here, thats your target market right there, affordable good quality food.

I was recently told that the average spend on lunch in Warsaw, is 20-25 PLN (per day) for office workers in the centrum, I would guess it will be around 15-20 PLN ( per day)in Wroclaw. That has got to be the bread and butter market.
Harry
28 Oct 2010 #19
I would look at buying the actual property so again lower overheads. My concerns are simply this. I would need at least 40 people a day through my doors sounds easy its not.

The most successful (in terms of revenue per square metre) food operation in Warsaw's busiest shopping mall was a small Tex-Mex place, just a booth style thing. Used to do burritos, tacos, quesadilla, etc, all cheap and easy and quick to make fresh for each customer. Plus it was American owned and managed so cabbage made no appearance on the menu.

Made more money than KFC, McDonalds, Burger King or Hard Rock Cafe and had far lower overheads. Unfortunately they started off very badly (couldn't cook for six months because they couldn't use gas due the building not being approved for people to cook with gas but they still had to pay rent on the property) and never managed to dig their way out from under it. Why nobody else has tried to do the same thing I have no idea.
southern 75 | 7,096
28 Oct 2010 #20
You should build it in a place where lots of English people live.
Stu 12 | 522
28 Oct 2010 #21
Not even going to consider doing polish food as home cooking

When you are in Wroclaw next week, go to JaDka on Rzeźnicza to do some research. It's an upmarket Polish restaurant, serving Polish/German food with a twist. For the average Pole it's expensive, but you might discover that it is not so difficult to serve Polish food as well.

On the other end of the spectrum, go to the Multifood on Kuźnicza, a place where you pay per weight (30 odd PLN per kilo). Don't expect haute cuisine here.

I guess you are a trained chef; therefore I really think you'll be able to prepare something similar and just as good if not even better.

Good luck ... keep us informed when you open your restaurant.
OP chefneedshelp 2 | 37
28 Oct 2010 #22
If I open My restaurant been a Chef 13 years in all styles from family restaurant pizeria to michelin
Pweg
28 Oct 2010 #23
Thats not a bad idea, you have two types in the UK - the stationary burger vans (they usually knock out great cheese burgers) the type you find at festivals and car boot sales, or the mobile hot food vans. They drive around industrial parks offering pastries, burgers, bacon sandwiches etc to hungry workers.

I've seen several Mexican mobile food stands in the UK. Do good business, although in Poland you would probably have to Polish-Mexican, with cabbage and very mild dishes.
convex 20 | 3,978
28 Oct 2010 #24
How about a diner? Big ass plates of breakfast served anytime. You would have all the expats and you could be the one who got Poles started on breakfast. It will come. Think of yourself as someone from the future.

We did a pilot in Prague, not so hot. I thought it would do great with all the expats and tourists in town.

...That said, TGIF seems to be doing well, even though it's in one of the shopping centers. Interestingly enough, it didn't do too well downtown.

Decent Mexican food would probably do well too. Either cheap or as a bar/restaurant. There is no decent Mexican food in Wroclaw, everything Mexican themed does great though. You can also do American/English breakfasts out of it without compromising the theme. If you want to do either this or a couple of food wagons, let me know. I'd be interested in going in.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
28 Oct 2010 #25
You can also do American/English breakfasts out of it without compromising the theme.

Huevos Rancheros for breakfast maybe? Great stuff!
convex 20 | 3,978
28 Oct 2010 #26
Yea, migas, the normal sides with eggs and sausage/bacon/ham, breakfast burritos....and of course (almost)full english, pancakes, omelets... all the stuff you've already got the ingredients for anyway.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
28 Oct 2010 #27
And I'm sure the average Pole would like chorizo too.

This idea is sounding better by the minute...
OP chefneedshelp 2 | 37
28 Oct 2010 #28
The current Idea is this. "International Cafe" Serves wines and loads of tastes from around the globe kind of an eat all you can type place

International Cafe on the road(Chip Van) Food would be prepared in the cafe served out of The van lunchtimes and whenever wherever the market could be found.

I am over next week so now I know where I am going what I am lookin for Guys post ur opinions pleas
Teffle 22 | 1,321
28 Oct 2010 #29
Another idea would be to use sauces/condiments etc that may not be widely known in Poland, just to "jazz up" basic things.

E.g. we did hardboiled eggs, centres scooped out and mashed with finely chopped onion and...waitforit...salad cream.

It was just one of many side dishes to accompany a BBQ buffet thing - I'm telling you, the Poles were more interested in these than in the BBQ itself. Had to make more.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
28 Oct 2010 #30
...That said, TGIF seems to be doing well, even though it's in one of the shopping centers. Interestingly enough, it didn't do too well downtown.

It's doing very badly here - I was there on a Friday night (when you'd expect it to be rammed, right?) and no-one was there at all. It's in a shopping centre too.

Chef - check out a place called "Marche" in Wroclaw. You'll need to take those guys on if you want to have success with such an idea - they have more or less dominated the "quick, easy, good international food" market.

One other thing - so far, world food hasn't worked in the Polish suburbs - stick to the centre. You'll see a lot of property available in suburbia for catering, but there's a reason why - people in the suburbs either travel to the centre of cities for such food, or they don't eat that foreign muck at all.


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