Hi! Before I start, I will say that I am not starting a waffle shop just yet. We don't have the capital. I'm just in the very early stages or thinking about possibly starting it.
My husband and I want to start a waffle shop. We live in a very small town. 2 year ago the population was 8k, it is now 10k There are other smaller towns from 15 – 45 minutes away from us, but we are all out here in the desert. Now, I've had the idea that a waffle shop would boom here. Almost every place to eat is a small business. The city limits how many big businesses can start here, and fast food options are limited to allow small businesses to compete. BUT in the past few months, the local yogurt shop has shut down. I've tried it once and the yogurt wasn't good at all, and honestly yogurt shops are dying everywhere. But what got me was a local ice cream shop that also sold soups, sandwiches, shakes, etc just recently shut down on main street. This worries me because they've been around for awhile and the community knows about them. Then again, we went in there once and the ice cream was just okay. The second time I went there and realized they sold sandwiches which was really good, but I had no idea. I thought it was only ice cream.
I work at a soda shop that does about $1000 a day and $1500 on Saturday. Also, everything here closes Sunday (our waffle shop would be open). With all that being said, the place to go to get breakfast is Dennys which is always packed. The kitchen is extremely slow, they literally tell us "you can wait but the food is going to take 45 minutes." It's so ridiculous and we're sick of it. The town knows it's shitty, but the other diner in town is a very old school place, with an older clientele. And it isn't that impressive.
Now to the waffle shop, we would serve specialty waffles with lots of topping and make it look amazing. We would also sell bacon, sausage, eggs, and hash browns. We would have a coffee bar where you can get good, plain coffee or go crazy with a pumpkin spice mocha frappe with and sprinkles. (There is a starbucks kiosk at a grocery store that always has a line.) We would make our own ice cream and sell waffle ice cream sandwiches. I feel like it would thrive in this town, but with those other businesses shutting down it makes me skeptical. My husband is an intern with the government and he just got news that he will have the option to become full time with significant pay raise. He says we can start saving up to open the shop in a couple years. We are pretty excited about it, we made a menu and everything.
Rent here is fairly cheaper than big cities. I would work at the shop from open to close. Yes I worked in a restaurant, yes I worked in a coffee shop. Even sold ice cream at a putt-putt place. I like to be on my feet and working hard. I know I could run the place. I will need two people working with me, one making waffles and running the grill, one cashier, and one making coffee, ice cream, etc. It would be Culver's style where you order your food, get a number and sit anywhere. We would bring the food out to you. Drinks and coffee would be out in the dining area and and customers could refill it themselves. Minimum wage here is $10, and I would want to pay employees at least $13, so it's important for me to watch labor costs.
Let's over my projections:
The average customer would spend $10 each. If we get at LEAST 10 customers per hour, that would be $100/hour. Out of that $100:
$10 Food Cost We're left with $64/hour.
If we're open from 6 – 3, that's $576/day in profit, or $550 after an hour of cleaning.
30 days in a month, that would be $16,500 per month. Now, monthly expenses:
This leaves us with a profit of $14,000 minus some other fees I can't think of right now. Let's be generous and say $10,000/month profit. That's $120,000/ year between me and my husband. I'm okay with that. I'm don't want to do this to be rich. I want to work for myself, set my own rules, and I want my husband to eventually be able to quit and work there. He hates his job and wants to run the kitchen. He used to make pizzas and was a dishwasher.
So please reddit, if you think this is an awful idea, tell me.
If you think it's a good idea, tell me.
If my numbers are off, tell me.
If theres anything I missed, tell me.
If you have experience starting a coffee shop or anything similar, tell me why it went wrong, or why it all went right!