How Restaurant Incubators Are a Win-Win for Investors and Chefs

How Restaurant Incubators Are a Win-Win for Investors and Chefs

By Jim Berman, Foodable Industry Expert

Raising capital, finding a key location, insuring a business, and tackling marketing are only some of the demands that a new restaurateur must manhandle before even the first crawl into the kitchen. What if there were smart investors who were just unzipped enough to open a door or two for creativity? Or perhaps some cash, a place to sell food? What if business acumen, wrapped with just enough of an absurd bent on fiscal adventure to help a skilled kitchen hooligan, was a good qualification for an investor?

And the incubator was born. Up from the rubble of a deflated technology burst-bubble, the incubator evolved as a safe haven for the creatively inclined to nurture their idea using the resources — like money — of an investor without being strapped to a bank. Rather, the incubator offers guidance to usher new projects to market.

In the same vein, a restaurant incubator provides the physical space, along with other supports, to cultivate the growth of a spirited chef as they open their own place. Dotted throughout the country, like Chicago’s Intro and R. House in Baltimore, these incubators offer an opportunity for chefs that may otherwise be locked out of owning their own businesses. Brooklyn FoodWorks, for example, was created to cultivate creativity with a distinctly Brooklyn flavor. The New York iteration of the incubator employs a panel of industry experts and advisors to move the talent beyond the kitchen door.

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Japanese Cocktail Bar Lets Customers Add Their Own Creations to the Menu

Logbar, a Japanese cocktail bar, is taking tech to the next level. Upon entering, patrons are handed an iPad which not only serves as a menu, but actually allows customers to add their own cocktails to it. The bartender doesn't know how to make an Irish Breakfast shot? That's okay - add it to the menu and they'll never forget again. Other customers can see your entry and purchase it, too. And if that wasn't awesome enough, patrons that add their own mixes to the menu are given a small payment each time someone orders their drink. We give this restaurant two thumbs way up - and hope one just like it will open near us soon. For more on Logbar, watch the video below and check out the original article here. 

Hand-held Computers Will Change the way Restaurants do Business

The restaurant menu is the newest thing to go digital.

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Sleek, black and modern iPads are making a big splash at a few local restaurants, changing how those fine-dining establishments run their businesses.

“The days of just an old, order-taker as a server are gone,” said Tim Snyder. “It’s an interaction that has kind of come off the page, if you will, but in a different dialogue.”

Fine dining is an industry built on human interactions, but the tablet is changing that interface in a variety of ways. Tablets have become a contemporary substitute for the paper menu, creating a more knowledgeable consumer. Payments can be done tableside, taking a fraction of the time to pay a check. Some restaurants have opted to update their point-of-sale systems with tablets instead of boxy computers. Even the server’s pad has been updated to a hand-held device.

“It definitely changes the dynamic but it also streamlines the process,” said Angelica Pappas, spokesperson for the California Restaurant Association in Sacramento. “As consumers get more comfortable and understand the benefit of efficient service ... you’ll see more restaurants doing it.” READ MORE