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Everything posted by howsmatt

  1. I currently have a rod with curtains but it's not good enough. Also they are too light, problem is they are also 12 feet high so getting something heavier would be costly for a system that is only so so.
  2. It's getting cold. I would like to install a temporary 2nd door inside my restaurant (can't go outside). Basically I'm looking for three solid plastic walls (1 door) and a top. Surely someone makes such a thing but I came up empty on my google searches. Anyone know where I can buy an interior vestibule? I'm in Montreal can can go to new York state if the item fits in a car. Thanks.
  3. I recently opened my first restaurant. It is a cafe/sandwich place offering great sandwiches with made in house ingredients (I make my own sausage, pulled pork 24hrs, use AAA striploin for steak etc.). The customers that have walked in come back a large % of the time, are very happy and some dine with me 3-4 times a week. I am in a great location in that there are thousands of business people working in the area who eat out every day. There is certainly competition but I don't see that as a major challenge (currently) to the success of my business. What I really need to do is get new people in the door. I am in the process of sending out free samples. I am doing this with the 6-7 hotels within walking distance and I this has been met with good success--the staff came to eat and have also sent me some of their guests. I also handed out sandwiches outside the door which was also a great success. I had many people walk in on those days still chewing the sample. I cant really continue this with the cold weather however (I'm in Montreal). The question is: Should I just keep going along these lines offering free samples to local businesses? I think this is better than a flyer that no one will look at and seems like a better way to connect than giving out coupons. Other options? Thoughts? Thanks.
  4. I have finally opened my own little Cafe in Montreal. I specialize in sandwiches which I think are quite good, as do my patrons. I do everything here myself (construction, food, decor, cleaning, books etc etc etc) so I'm lagging behind a little in promoting the place. Aside from asking some of my repeat customers to rate me on urbanspoon or whatever is there a way to go some bloggers or critics or whoever to come and try my food? Also, to all you Montreal egullet people, please come visit. Matthew Cafe Pave 243 Notre-Dame O. H2Y-1T4
  5. Is the installation of a commercial vs. home dishwasher basically the same? I will likely have it done for me but want to know what to expect so that I can follow along and make sure there are no surprise fees/wires etc. Thanks
  6. I bought some today at my restaurant supply store (mostly food) and they were $2.50 I think. They are black and very durable. Just go to a store with concrete floors and you will find something good.
  7. Does anyone know of any resources or has anyone tried baking in a turbochef oven? My new cafe will have one but as it stands now I may not be able to get a regular convection oven.
  8. Those are some really good names. Gouter (was just autocorrected by my phone to goiter btw!) could be spelled goutez to avoid problem. Dejeuner usuall refers to petit dejeuner which is breakfast. I believe le diner already exists. My catering company was la bouchée which means little bite but the restaurant is in an area with tourists and it sounds like (is same as) boucher or butcher. Croque is pretty good, kinda of like the french version of smunch (also pet name for my 12 month old).
  9. I have a pro designer. These are some of the things that we like and that work for the customers, sPace and budget. I would like to see if the collective minds of egullet have traveled the world to see some other cool ideas that fit with this type of feeling. Again my place isn't necessarily trying to be cutting edge, it's soup, salad, sandwich give or take. I'm just looking for cheap design options or ideas. Also still need a name. Must be French or a word that doesn't exist in English (sacwich or something). I would like it to say "homey, comfy, lunch, hug, warm, good but not shee shee or pricey, yummy and a bit nostalgic. I considered smunch (hard to say in French) and urban farm (I would like to refer more to food or lunch or perhaps something random with the right feel- olive and gourmando is the name of a place like mine nearby that does great business (I find their name does sound like a fancy sandwich type place). Thanks again.
  10. As a former caterer and someone who is poor my basic system is that if I can still do it 100% properly then I will take the job. So if it takes 5 days and I have 5 days notice, I dont care about organization on their part, as long as I know my food will be well received. Every event I do is a chance to connect with someone who may get me a great opportunity in the future. If there is any risk that I will be rushed or put out a less than perfect product then I always say I am already booked, next time you should reserve further ahead. 9 days notice for such an event is pretty ridiculous actually. Heck even a month is extremely short notice.
  11. Let me first say how wonderful it is to get some many responses. I am in the old port 243 notre dame w. and hope to open before September or first week of. It was a general design question, I wasn't even talking about menu boards but having a chalkboard wall with a few little sayings or quotes or whatever. I was thinking of printing the menu to make it look like chalk but be easier to read. I don't like TVs for anything but canadiens games. I find they are cold. I am in a high end business district with 25-45 crowd. They know food or at least pretend to. That being said I am the little guy and will not try to compete with more expensive places, I'm making sandwiches after all. I am the chef, so hopefully that job is well taken care of. I won't likely have time or money to dedicate towards sound design (certainly not before opening) but there is a stereo in the space so my goal with that is to have the right mix of music. The question still remains I believe, as a design aspect of the space (not a practical one like menus) what is there besides pain, chalk and TVs? The wicker is an interesting idea for a few seats. Matt
  12. I am about to buy a bistro-cafe that will serve high quality comfort food with a twist type sandwiches. I like the chalkboard, wood and white walls with a touch of green and industrial materials thing but, obviously it's been done. The question then is what is the next "chalkboard" for restaurants such as mine?
  13. Thats what I feared. I don't want to try to afford a commercial hood, especially given most of the cooking I will be doing could be done on a 4 burner, , even residential stove. The law only came into place in 2009 and I'm hoping to grandfather in on the previous owner who was allowed to have electric stove with no commercial hood. The govt person is supposed to call me back today to tell me if this Is ok. In the end most of my items will be done in the turbochef. Thanks for all your help, this place is an amazing resource.
  14. I'm in the process of buying my first restaurant (a 1100 sq. ft. lunch focused place). I was recently told I may need a commercial hood if I plan on serving more than 9 people, even if I only use a residential stove and nothing else. The place has an exhaust pipe from a coffee roaster. Can I hook up my commercial hood to this? It seems like it was prepared for that purpose but I don't know how thick or strong the steel is or has to be. Anyone know? If anyone can direct me to someone helpful or knowledgeable in Montreal, that would be great too as I am having a hard time getting a straight answer from kitchen supply people and government people. Thanks.
  15. Thanks to all. As I mentioned I am not looking for advice here. I am only looking for suggestions as to how to find these spaces that I know exist but are not advertised much. Also avoiding paying a real estate agent would be more money for other things.
  16. Ya I am working with realtors but they up the price because they take a piece from the owner. Someone suggested also talking to used equipment guys. Thanks for the ideas, I'm open to more
  17. I made a deal to work out of my employers kitchen. He gets a cut and we both have a chance to earn more business. For example I am able to do tastings at the restaurant. It's a great deal for me because I have started the business with 0 overhead and risk. I can continue like this or when I get busier decide what to do next. It is almost impossible to calculate how many extras I don't have to worry about working out of an already stocked restaurant--but here are some examples anyway: I get terms with my food orders and good prices I sell back unused items to the restaurant at cost (for stuff on their menu) I can grab something I forgot or don't need a full case of Small things like take out containers etc. (again much cheaper when buying only what I need). Anyway you get the idea and most restaurant owners are happy to make extra money without having to provide extra staff. Sure there is a clash here and there but usually it can be avoided and isn't a big deal if you get along with everyone. I just put up my website. www.traiteurlabouchee.com Best of luck.
  18. I'm looking to open a restaurant and would like to take over where another has failed miserably. (N.B. I am not looking for ownership advice here) I have seen some places around town that are restaurants that have been repossessed. They could be rented without having to pay the landlord any price for the equipment etc. The problem is that they don't seem to advertise anywhere. One nice place I am considering doesn't even have a sign up. Does anyone know of a source online or otherwise where I can find 4-5000 sq. ft. restaurants that I could walk into and start renting? Thanks.
  19. I remember it mostly in retrospect and think about how slow I was. I almost can't believe how long things took compared to my work a few weeks/months later. Just make sure you mise en place is impeccable and everything will be fine.
  20. I just got a job for a pretty big caterer/bakery. They used to have a manager run the show but she was not a chef. I can manage (need someone edumacated) and create menus, teach the recipes etc. It's a daytime job and not physically demanding. Matt
  21. I think the key point to take away from Heston is that you should "pasteurize" the bags as well as the meat.
  22. Was the stock and wine hot when you added it? It should be. Also, perhaps your heat was too low. Matt
  23. Try putting the protein in right from the start.
  24. I will have both, but sitting at the communal table will be encouraged. The restaurant is attached to a hotel so I hope this will help. Ultimately complaints about tables and glasses are not the topic of this thread. So... Are there other upgraded or upgradeable lunch or dinner comfort food items that you would suggest for the menu in such a space? Matt
  25. I love drinking out of mason jars, although it may work better for kids drinks. Likely drink menu includes basics, shakes and floats.
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