When David Dawson’s wife, Susan, a stay at home mom with 24 years experience in that profession decided to open a restaurant with a friend they had no idea what the road ahead had in store.
With no restaurant experience, the duo signed a lease, bought equipment, and began to design their space, paint it and look towards the grand opening of The Southern Grill. Wrong. The hood the team purchased wouldn’t pass inspection and the partner couldn’t come up with her share of the investment capital and she couldn’t work without a steady paycheck or else her three kids would feel the pressure. The negatives go on and on and on. But, we all know that. Another thing we know, you can’t grill if you don’t have a hood. And, restaurant equipment salespeople, working those auction house floors, seldom take back hoods that don’t pass inspection. Goodbye, The Southern Grill. Hello, first hurdle.
David claimed in his email that things looked bleak.
“Well that night as I’m crying in my beer at the kitchen table wondering what to do next- lease signed for a year, grill equipment already purchased, wife has no help, gotta take another 25k out of savings, etc., I began thinking and came up with a concept called
The No fry Zone.”
Not a bad name. Subs, soups, salads. All fresh. Small location. Outdoor seating. David claimed he wasn’t a restaurant guy. Who knew? Does the story sound familiar so far?
Susan, David and their son, Rob forged ahead and now, two plus years later the No Fry Zone is a comfortable sub, soup and salad bar eatery in downtown
The No Fry Zone is a tremendous name. It possesses a variety of marketing possibilities. It states exactly what the restaurant offers. With the continuing publicity deadly Trans Fat are receiving in cities across the country the marketability of a sub, soup and salad bar concept is strong. David has already begun his trademark paperwork- he sees the value in his creativity- so don’t think of getting a sign made just yet.
The No Fry Zone also has a web site with menu items and a photo or two.
The Dawson’s marketing plan has some local appeal and is attracting customers. According to the website, the outdoor seating area looks comfortable and the place looks spotless. Yet, why don’t they have a rocket ship business?
Is there a corporate concept director out there with a concept development budget who wants to take a gamble and have a little fun? The name is fresh, the concept healthy, and the marketability high.
Where is Bill Lee when we need him?
This week we are going to explore the dilemma that Susan faces: Ongoing business- good customer base- a lot of hard work clocked into the project- but yet, what does the future hold and what will the ultimate rewards bring?
Many restaurant owners face the same predicament and ask themselves the same question: Where do we go from here?
Click on tomorrow to find out.