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50's style milkshake and cake shop or traditional tea shop?

(94 Posts)
lia66 Sat 07-Jun-14 10:23:32

I have found a premises ideally located on a busy street in a small city, it's not massive but has potential and there's an upstairs.

I'm leaning towards shakes and cakes - get the youngsters in, there's nothing else like it until you get into the big city.

Or tea shop with a speciality of cakes

Atm the premises is a thriving cafe, hot baps type of thing but baking is my forte not catering. It's been where it is for 10 years and makes good money.

There are lots of tea shops in the city but again not quite what I have in mind.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

TheThreeCheesesOfTheApocalypse Sat 07-Jun-14 10:26:00

Tea shop.

Those diner places never do very well, they rely
toouch on kids with pocket money to spend. Ie it'll be packed on a Saturday but dead for most of the week !!

dingit Sat 07-Jun-14 10:28:03

Could you not do both. Tea for weekdays, and a menu to lure in teens at the weekend?

JodieGarberJacob Sat 07-Jun-14 10:28:13

Went into an amazing ice-cream milkshake 50s style place in Coventry the other day. A mixture of youngsters, families and singletons. That was just a half an hour snapshot but had something for everyone! I was slightly annoyed that I hadn't thought of it first!

schopenhauer Sat 07-Jun-14 10:28:30

50s style sounds good, bit different to the tea shop, quite a few around. Good luck!

AmysTiara Sat 07-Jun-14 10:29:15

The milkshakes and cakes sounds good. Id go for that. Theres zillions of tea shops around

Chimchar Sat 07-Jun-14 10:32:00

There are loads of very cool new tea shops popping up all over my local area.

They are mostly doing afternoon teas, proper coffee, home made cakes, posh milkshakes and naice sarnies...pitta with chicken and pesto, served with salad and crisps type things..

They are serving tea in proper tea cups, and fine china plates etc...as a result, they are all chokka block with a whole age range of people...from mums with young babies, to teens with their friends, to old ladies meeting up in a group. Its ace!!

Could you go for a mix of the two?

I LOVE the styling of a 50s place, but I couldn't see it being appealing to everyone.

How exciting!!

btw, am ALWAYS happy to help if you need a cake tester! wink

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Sat 07-Jun-14 10:32:21

Milkshake bar for me, with skinny/dairy free/whole milk options. Also fruit smoothies with just real fruit, no dairy.

Do think about where pushchairs will go!

My advice would be to look at what the clientele coming in are earing and at the very least have a short range of baps to keep them coming, even if they are cold (e.g. BLT, plain salad with chicken, tuna amd sweetcorn and cheese & tomato). You could get a local company to deliver early daily if you didn't want to make them yourself.

ModerationInEverything Sat 07-Jun-14 10:33:03

Tea shop, has a wider appeal so you aren't limiting your market. Also if its currently trading you might carry some of the existing trade with you to a tea shop.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Sat 07-Jun-14 10:33:50

Id go with a 50's milkbar appearance, serving the sort of foods chimchar mentions.

unrealhousewife Sat 07-Jun-14 10:36:24

Why are the owners selling?

Cakes and Shakes, or as YeGods says a 50s style milkbar. Tea rooms are everywhere whereas the 50s thing would be a real novelty. I'd certainly choose to go in over a tearoom.

unrealhousewife Sat 07-Jun-14 10:37:30

I would go for something that can be used day and evening, maybe for workshops.

KatnissEvermean Sat 07-Jun-14 10:40:08

There was a great fifties style milk bar in my town, that served fantastic ice creams as well, and had rock and roll bands playing. It was an amazing place, but closed within a year. However, the many tea shops and cafés are all still going.

unrealhousewife Sat 07-Jun-14 10:41:28

Also sell sweets in jars, good markup on them, do birthday cakes too. You should do savoury foods as well though.

sunbathe Sat 07-Jun-14 10:45:43

How about 50s upstairs and tea and cakes downstairs?

unrealhousewife Sat 07-Jun-14 10:54:43

And hire out the upstairs for parties and events. That brings more sales downstairs.

unrealhousewife Sat 07-Jun-14 10:56:20

Make the upstairs neutral and get different decoration sets so you can adapt it for parties and events.

Sorry I'm getting carried away now!

EasterSundaySimmons Sat 07-Jun-14 10:59:29

bobby jo's diner Southend is very popular.

500smiles Sat 07-Jun-14 11:05:10

Sounds amazing. I agree about making it multi-functional, in our nearest big town there is a Parisian style cafe by day then turns into a gin parlour at night, it's really popular.

There is also an independent ice-cream manufacturer that has opened a 50s style ice cream parlour, they had queues out of the door every day last summer.

venusandmars Sat 07-Jun-14 11:05:58

If it's thriving doing what it does, and is making good money, then I would think carefully about trying to change it. The customers who go there now clearly like what they get - are you sure that they would like either of the options you are considering.

I get that you want to build a business doing what interests you, but it has to be a business that works. Could you make a more gradual transition to test the market - keep it as it is but introduce 'Shakes and Cakes' on a Friday afternoon / evening to attract the youngsters. Or Wednesday morning tea shop when mums / elderly are around? It can take a while to build up a loyal clientele. Test the market, and see what the current customers would like, and which new customers might be attracted.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 07-Jun-14 11:13:29

Do your sums carefully. Due to the nature of the ingredients you're never going to be able to clear the same profit margins on good shakes as you can on tea and coffee.
What's the demographic of the town and the passing trade? Young Muslims are often good customers for shake/ice cream shops if you're willing to stay open early evening.

Round our way gelateria are really raking it in, so if you go for a shake shop then I'd definitely look into posh ice creams for the summer months.

MissPennySweet Sat 07-Jun-14 11:17:10

Depends on the area. Here, "shakes and cakes" are massive business so I'd go for that. I have to admit "vintage tea" wouldn't excite me because the chances are I can make that at home.

Turn it into an American style diner cafe with roller skating area

crabwoman Sat 07-Jun-14 11:18:08

Sounds good, but I would offer tea shop fare and shakes and cakes. There is an independent cafe near us that specializes in ice cream, shakes and cakes. But they also do sandwiches/afternoon tea so as not to limit their appeal. One bakery cafe in the next town does birthday parties on a Sunday, mainly 'afternoon tea' with a entertainer and cake decorating.Think it's quite a success!

RazzleDazzleEm Sat 07-Jun-14 11:20:27

dEF DO something fun and different, do milk shakes with cakes too, there is no law saying you cant, have a little milk shake bar where they can also it, lots of pastel colours and offer to hire it out for parties..

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