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prashamk

Menu Suggestions for New Dessert Joint

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Hi,

 

Due to religious beliefs I can't use Eggs, Non Vegetarian items and many other vegetables. Hence I am planning to start a new dessert joint in a small city of Gujarat, India as desserts don't need any of the aforementioned food items.

 

I don't have much knowledge about cooking/Baking and hence want to keep it simple. I've short listed below items for the menu. Please feel free to add or deduct any of the items.

 

Waffles on stick 

Mini Donuts

Cakes, Cup Cakes, Muffins

Chocolate (Flavoured & Truffle type)

Choco Lava Cake

Brownie with Hot Chocolate & Icecream

 

Since its winter I am not adding Softy Ice Cream & Thick Shake but seeing the demand will take decision around March. 

 

Regards

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All of those involve eggs or substitutes. Are you planning to make anything from scratch? I'm not a big baker, but trying to create recipes with substitutes is going to be hard if you're not an experience baker. What about Indian desserts? You might find ones that already fit your restrictions? Sugar-based candies might work.  Or maybe partner with a baker? I know on other threads you were talking about using mixes. What are you going to use to distinguish yourself if you're using all mixes? 


Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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Many baked goods do traditionally include eggs, so you’ll either have to research substitutions or limit the menu. Are milk and butter ok or do you need to be completely vegan/pure veg?

 

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All the premixes are available with Egg Replacers and hence I am not worried about what I've already short listed.

 

 

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I'm not in the food business, but I think that in many respects, all businesses are the same - it's just the details that change.

 

To answer your question, I'd ask the following - what does your proposed customer base want?

 

All consumers, at all price levels, want a perceived value.  Those with lots of expendable income may be willing to spend a lot more, but they still want to feel like they are getting a good deal and value for their money.

 

In general, a dessert-only place has to sell fun and pleasure.  No one eats dessert for sustenance or nutrition - you go because you want something tasty enough to overcome any feelings of unhealthiness associtaed with the empty calories - it's all about pleasure and fun - so make the experience of getting the treat fun too!

 

How commonly found in your area are the items you plan to offer?  If they are very uncommon, you could be successful offering a relatively mediocre product just based on the sheer novelty of it.  Plus, if most of your consumers have never had a truly great version of your offering, then they will have no frame of reference by which to judge it - other than to say that people know what tastes good - so as long as it tastes good, it doesn't necessarily have to be the best specimen ever.

 

If your offerings are available elsewhere nearby, how do you plan to differentiate yourself?  Cheaper, better quality, novel packaging, novel experience, etc.

 

Sometimes, it's better to specialize in a few items, rather than having a long menu, especially if you have limited dessert experience or your workers are not very experienced.

 

Also, try thinking of ways to spin some perceived negatives into positives.  For instance, in another thread you were talking about making donuts using waffle batter - rather than trying to pass them off as a true donut, you can market it as something unique - give it a catchy name, some good photos and it could be the next craze so long as it is tasty and different.

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Decent Seating, Warm Lighting & Good music, in addition to tasty treats is the plan. It will be located in prime area of the city to attract rich people. What else should I look into?

 

I will be the first one to start waffle & donuts in my city. There are a couple cake and chocolate joints in nearby but they are just menu fillers, I am primarily banking on Waffles and Donuts.

 

I talked with my equipment supplier and he too told me to make Donuts from Cake Mix if I am taking the baking route. He said most people use cake mix. 

 

Since neither me nor my workers will be expert in the product, I want to stick to commercial mix instead of making something from scratch. This will keep my headache to minimal and customers will get same taste always. 

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One thing I always strive for is to not replace an item, but to find a recipe or technique that achieves the same goal without a substitute. For example, Americans are so gluten-free focused right now that many are doing substitutes for their cake flours. I prefer to make daquoise which doesn't include flour (some do, I know). So my only feedback is to explore this idea a bit and you might find some interesting ideas from around the globe. An example is I started making the traditional Indian chickpea breakfast bread for one of my lunch items and people loved it...and it happened to be gluten free.

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Following up on what gfron1 just wrote about different desserts that are not substitutions: have you ever had basbousa? It's an Arabic dessert that is naturally eggless. Ingredients, in general, are semolina or almond flour, coconut, milk or a substitute, yogurt and/or sour cream, and a sweet syrup made from sugar or honey. I've only had it when someone else made it, so can't give you a definitive recipe, but this basbousa recipe from Genius Kitchen sounds much like what I had in Egypt.

 

If you search for it elsewhere on the internet, do try both basboosa and basbousa as spellings.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I think you should take some classes in baking, at least learn the basics of how the ingredients work and how what we do to them affects results. Most business owners have some knowledge of how their product works. I know nothing about repairing automobile bodies, I would never think of opening an auto body shop. I cannot imagine hiring or supervising the employees. -I'd have no way to evaluate their work. In most businesses, everything flows from the top: procedures, standards, skills, etc. I have difficulty seeing how you will establish training procedures for staff when you yourself don't understand how real baking works.

 

In terms of attracting rich people, be warned, rich people have money which means they tend to travel a lot. This means that they have eaten foods far from home and have developed discerning palates. They know the difference between high-quality foods made from scratch and commercially produced mixes. You have to serve them the high-quality foods they are accustomed to or they will not return.

 

Also, waffles, muffins, and doughnuts aren't considered high-class foods. I know that in Belgium and at American fairs (events attended by the mostly middle and lower class masses) waffles get dressed up and eaten by pedestrians. But, they are generally just breakfast food. Many motels here offer self-serve waffles and toppings to budget-minded travelers who want a breakfast included with the motel bill. Muffins are everywhere, at self-serve breakfasts and supermarkets. Doughnuts were a dessert item before 1950. Now, every supermarket has them. People take them by the dozen to breakfast meetings in ordinary offices. Better offices where people earn more money tend to bring in better pastries like Danish or go healthy with a selection of fruits.

 

HERE are a couple of plated desserts, the sort of thing that wealthy people expect to see when they order dessert. -Color, contrast, texture, tastes and all of it freshly made.

 

There are lots of trained pastry chefs out in the world, many willing to travel or work via the internet, I suggest you look for one (or become one) to develop your menu.

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My wife had taken baking class about a year back and she will be helping me setup and run the show. Also once the joint is running she will take classes to learn other desserts. 

 

My choice of using commercial mixes is based on my wish to provide consistent taste to customer. It's not that I can't make these dishes from scratch. 

 

@Lisa Shock you've got great point about rich people being well travelled but I guess in absence of other option even if I offer slightly non-authentic but tasty product, there shouldn't be much trouble. 

 

@Smithy thanks for the suggestion. Will try it out. 

 

@gfron1 I understand your point. This thread is a small effort in the same direction. 

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As has been mentioned, I think atmosphere is key to establish a customer base. I adore the Viennese coffee houses. Will you specialize in a particular beverage?  https://www.google.com/search?q=famous+coffee+houses+in+vienna&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS755US755&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi4576R1tneAhXn5oMKHSidDIQQ_AUIDigB&biw=1371&bih=627

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8 hours ago, heidih said:

As has been mentioned, I think atmosphere is key to establish a customer base. I adore the Viennese coffee houses. Will you specialize in a particular beverage?  https://www.google.com/search?q=famous+coffee+houses+in+vienna&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS755US755&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi4576R1tneAhXn5oMKHSidDIQQ_AUIDigB&biw=1371&bih=627

 

Agreed. For the most part, rich people don't go out to eat because they are hungry, they go out for experiences. Whether it's an intimate conversation in a quiet sanctuary or a raucous night dancing with friends, the venue has to be comfortable, appropriately decorated, and serve delicious beverages. Also, remember,  the wealthy tend to eat better, healthier food than average and will expect lots of fresh (organic) fruits (and vegetables if you serve savory things) and other ingredients of high quality. They tend to ask for more personalization of their food; they'll ask for just about any ingredient to be removed or substituted. (which you cannot do with a commercial mix) They also expect a very high level of customer service from every employee, not just the front of the house.

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@Lisa Shock I agree with you and thank you for the informative post. 

 

I'd once again request experts to suggest easy desserts that can be added to menu without much of hassle. Lets put aside the target customer class for a while. 

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Ice Cream!  Personally my homemade ice cream must contain egg yolks but I have tasted excellent commercial ice cream that apparently does not contain any eggs products whatsoever:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/01/dining/kwality-ice-cream-india.html

 

In truth I've never had better commercial ice cream.  I'm not sure how they do it.  And they optionally serve their ice cream with fresh made waffle cones.  One of their shops is about six miles from here.

 

(No donuts though.)

 

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One of my favorites is fruit sorbet. It's essentially just fruit pureed in a blender mixed with cooled simple syrup (sugar and water) and maybe some lemon or lime juice, then spun in an ice cream machine and frozen. It will keep for several days and can be portioned in advance. There are a few fruits which have tough fiber in them, such as apples and pears, and must be cooked, or you can buy a commercial puree which is always consistently delicious. These have a wide appeal.

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5 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Ice Cream!  Personally my homemade ice cream must contain egg yolks but I have tasted excellent commercial ice cream that apparently does not contain any eggs products whatsoever:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/01/dining/kwality-ice-cream-india.html

 

In truth I've never had better commercial ice cream.  I'm not sure how they do it.  And they optionally serve their ice cream with fresh made waffle cones.  One of their shops is about six miles from here.

 

(No donuts though.)

 

 

I plan to make or sell ready made ice cream in a waffle cone or waffle sandwich but at a later date as I may be starting this winter. 

 

Thanks for sharing the article. While Indians living in US crave for Indian taste, the local Indians crave for new international taste which is why I am interested in Waffles and Donuts. 

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3 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

One of my favorites is fruit sorbet. It's essentially just fruit pureed in a blender mixed with cooled simple syrup (sugar and water) and maybe some lemon or lime juice, then spun in an ice cream machine and frozen. It will keep for several days and can be portioned in advance. There are a few fruits which have tough fiber in them, such as apples and pears, and must be cooked, or you can buy a commercial puree which is always consistently delicious. These have a wide appeal.

 

This looks great. Will dig deeper into this. Thanks for the suggestion :)

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8 hours ago, prashamk said:

 

I plan to make or sell ready made ice cream in a waffle cone or waffle sandwich but at a later date as I may be starting this winter. 

 

Thanks for sharing the article. While Indians living in US crave for Indian taste, the local Indians crave for new international taste which is why I am interested in Waffles and Donuts. 

 

Call it gelato.

 

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This may be out of line, and  I apologize if my question is presumptuous. From your questions, it sounds as though neither you nor your wife has extensive culinary experience, Is that not a cause for concern about the ultimate success of your venture?

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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5 hours ago, kayb said:

This may be out of line, and  I apologize if my question is presumptuous. From your questions, it sounds as though neither you nor your wife has extensive culinary experience, Is that not a cause for concern about the ultimate success of your venture?

 

 

Entreprenuer is someone who jumps off the cliff and tries to learn flying before he hits the ground. I run a factory producing precision components for textile and automobile industry and I've followed the proverb for last 15 years with decent success. 

 

Yes neither me nor my wife has extensive culinary experience but I have passion for cooking new things and she wants to make some money out of her spare time. She has taken a class in making cakes and later learned making different kinds of chocolates with help of internet. Both of us are quick learner and can work hard to achieve goals. 3 days back, we made 1600 pcs of chocolate (8 gram each & in 4 flavours), wrapped them in foil and delivered it to the customer in just 2 days, without any external help. Also we have decided that she will take another class depending on the experience from our dessert joint. 

 

As far as success is concerned, I've tried to limit the menu items to the ones we are either already producing or are pretty simple as premixes are readily available. I believe i've prepared enough to take the plunge. 

 

I understand that this members of this forum look upon other members are their friends/family and are concerned with their actions. I am glad to be part of this forum :)

 

Once again I request the experts to suggest other dessert items that I can add to the menu without much hassle. 

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Going back to your short list, then:

 

On 11/16/2018 at 4:05 AM, prashamk said:

Waffles on stick 

Mini Donuts

Cakes, Cup Cakes, Muffins

Chocolate (Flavoured & Truffle type)

Choco Lava Cake

Brownie with Hot Chocolate & Icecream

 

That's a pretty good selection, I think. (I still like my basbousa idea!) Are you looking for advice on which of those to tackle first, or whether some are impractical?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Locally here there was a small chocolate shop that successfully branched out into making renowned ice cream.  The owners sold the business and one opened a pizza place.  The other moved to the big city selling chocolate.  Anything is possible.

 

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Ice cream and sorbet are often a nice foil to baked and fried sweets like waffles, and make it seem more of a dessert item than a street food. Also, once you’ve got a basic mix often you can tweak the flavors a bit to make seasonal specials, which helps with repeat business as people are curious about what’s new.

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There are some eggless mousses. Most of these use white or regular dark chocolate as the stabilizer. Most mousses will hold for 3 days under refrigeration. They can be made in all sorts of flavors (fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, and chocolate) and layered in a glass for a pretty presentation. They can also be scooped out as a component in a plated dessert.

 

You may wish to consider making little bowls or plates out of chocolate to form a base for a plated dessert you could then scoop mousse or gelato into a chocolate cup. if wrapped carefully and kept in a temperature controlled case, dark chocolates (without dairy) can last up to ten years. You'll have to train staff to handle them with tools as fingers can leave unsettling fingerprint marks on them. 

 

It's also easy to make sugar bowls, but keeping them is difficult if the humidity is high. In some places, a sugar bowl might only last a couple of hours. But, they are simple to make, with corn syrup plus maybe some food coloring, and could be made à la minute.

 

I would strongly suggest taking a class in sanitation. Most non-professionals have no idea about cleanliness standards, or how foodborne diseases work. (most of us don't have a three compartment sink or use quat at home) In the US, there are several standardized classes taught across the country which give an overview of what sanitation procedures are expected in a commercial setting.

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15 hours ago, kayb said:

This may be out of line, and  I apologize if my question is presumptuous. From your questions, it sounds as though neither you nor your wife has extensive culinary experience, Is that not a cause for concern about the ultimate success of your venture?

 

 

Nah, vegan baking is super easy. He’s got a mix!  Also, desserts sell themselves. Kick back and watch the money roll in, that’s what I do!*

 

*not really 😖😉

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