U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Arkansas
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-07-2018, 03:05 PM
 
183 posts, read 101,824 times
Reputation: 107

Advertisements

There are some parts of the country that are booming, and every endeavour attempted can be expensive and then, there are the bleak and desolate, and the in-between. I'd like to know what Arkansas may have to offer someone who desires a business in the food service industry e.g. cafe. I would like some city names to narrow down my market research.

DISCLAIMER: I wouldn't be heartbroken if ARK wasn't the place, but I've been searching for that opportunity for years and I'd like to know what locals say about the Arkansas palate and scene. I'm not "great" at much other than cooking. I've catered and am looking forward to being able to serve people great food. I can cook some Mexican, Tex/Mex, Cajun, and some Southern.

ADDITIONAL INFO: When I say "best" place, I'm referring to a place with lots of open-minded people...I'm referring to an area in which lease spaces/spaces for sale might be affordable for a new startup, etc. I'm asking this to those that have experienced more than a "few" places in Arkansas and can make a few suggestions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-07-2018, 06:40 PM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,132 posts, read 1,164,977 times
Reputation: 1020
I'm not "experienced", but a good observer who has worked/traveled all over Arkansas, and other states. Food service, in my observations, is very "iffy" business in any part of the state. I have seen too many eating places with great food, and service, last only two or three years. I would accidently find a place, like it, put it on my return list, and later it would be closed. Usually, it appeared, the demographics didn't continue as anticipated when the place was planned and opened. You have "been there done that" but to me food service is kinda like farming. You don't know from one year to the next what the next year will bring.


Oh the stories I could tell about places I have eaten
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-08-2018, 03:16 AM
 
168 posts, read 119,312 times
Reputation: 217
That is not just AR. Illinois is the same. Best bet is in the main population centers. Do a web search on " Farm to Fork" for Arkansas and you will get an idea where some of the Foodie movement is gaining traction. NWA is one such area.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-08-2018, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,136 posts, read 79,243,293 times
Reputation: 38509
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Patois View Post
There are some parts of the country that are booming, and every endeavour attempted can be expensive and then, there are the bleak and desolate, and the in-between. I'd like to know what Arkansas may have to offer someone who desires a business in the food service industry e.g. cafe. I would like some city names to narrow down my market research.

DISCLAIMER: I wouldn't be heartbroken if ARK wasn't the place, but I've been searching for that opportunity for years and I'd like to know what locals say about the Arkansas palate and scene. I'm not "great" at much other than cooking. I've catered and am looking forward to being able to serve people great food. I can cook some Mexican, Tex/Mex, Cajun, and some Southern.

ADDITIONAL INFO: When I say "best" place, I'm referring to a place with lots of open-minded people...I'm referring to an area in which lease spaces/spaces for sale might be affordable for a new startup, etc. I'm asking this to those that have experienced more than a "few" places in Arkansas and can make a few suggestions.
there is no "ideal" place. it depends on what type of food you want to serve, your experience in the field and is the city expanding or is it just barely surviving.

With that, I would have to wonder how you are going to find time to refurbish your new house in Pine Bluff and think of opening a restaurant. You would need to sets your sights for a restaurant near Pine Bluff to start with. Good luck, glad you are looking ahead, but wonder if you are aware of how many restaurants go under before they even get started. It will be a losing proposition the first year or two and will take a lot of cash plus you are going to be investing a lot of time and money in fixing up the Pine Bluff house.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-08-2018, 07:29 AM
 
3,191 posts, read 2,798,770 times
Reputation: 9241
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Patois View Post
There are some parts of the country that are booming, and every endeavour attempted can be expensive and then, there are the bleak and desolate, and the in-between. I'd like to know what Arkansas may have to offer someone who desires a business in the food service industry e.g. cafe. I would like some city names to narrow down my market research.

DISCLAIMER: I wouldn't be heartbroken if ARK wasn't the place, but I've been searching for that opportunity for years and I'd like to know what locals say about the Arkansas palate and scene. I'm not "great" at much other than cooking. I've catered and am looking forward to being able to serve people great food. I can cook some Mexican, Tex/Mex, Cajun, and some Southern.

ADDITIONAL INFO: When I say "best" place, I'm referring to a place with lots of open-minded people...I'm referring to an area in which lease spaces/spaces for sale might be affordable for a new startup, etc. I'm asking this to those that have experienced more than a "few" places in Arkansas and can make a few suggestions.
I think to have a restaurant in Arkansas, you would need to cater to the bigger population center with more outsiders and deeper wallets. Growing up in Arkansas, I loved the food. My personal palate has changed. While, I've never really been exposed to Cajun food, I love real Mexican food and TexMex. I've noticed, Arkansans, in general, tend to like blander food. My observation has been that most Arkansans don't usually get beyond jalapenos and Tabasco to spice things up. 'Mexican' restaurants in Arkansas generally don't have the flavor you can add with various peppers and spices. If you want to go beyond that, you need to find the people who will eat it. I've seen some outside restaurants go out of business there because the locals never really bought into what was being served.

Personally, I would lean towards the bigger population centers in NW Arkansas or some quaint place with scenery and atmosphere outside of there. It depends on how you position your cafe. Is it a good place to grab breakfast and lunch? Or are you a stop on a trip to go someplace else? I think you will have to do something to grab attention and customers. Sort of joking here, but clean, plentiful, fancy or novelty bathrooms tend to draw people in if you are located somewhere in the middle of a road trip where people can stop. Your cafe may or may not be the right place for that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-08-2018, 07:34 AM
 
183 posts, read 101,824 times
Reputation: 107
Default Mm, Cheesy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Fossil View Post
I'm not "experienced", but a good observer who has worked/traveled all over Arkansas, and other states. Food service, in my observations, is very "iffy" business in any part of the state. I have seen too many eating places with great food, and service, last only two or three years. I would accidently find a place, like it, put it on my return list, and later it would be closed. Usually, it appeared, the demographics didn't continue as anticipated when the place was planned and opened. You have "been there done that" but to me food service is kinda like farming. You don't know from one year to the next what the next year will bring.


Oh the stories I could tell about places I have eaten
Don't laugh, but I have a cousin that lives in Los Angeles that said that Arkansas (and Alabama) fare is horrrrrrible and that locals are non-cooking whack-jobs that love smothering any and everything with cheese. She has never lived there but known people from there, especially when she went to Tuskegee, she bumped elbows with all types of people. Soooo, that is to say that I am VERY interested to know what you've eaten in Arkansas. I looooove dining out.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-08-2018, 07:49 AM
 
3,191 posts, read 2,798,770 times
Reputation: 9241
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Patois View Post
Don't laugh, but I have a cousin that lives in Los Angeles that said that Arkansas (and Alabama) fare is horrrrrrible and that locals are non-cooking whack-jobs that love smothering any and everything with cheese. She has never lived there but known people from there, especially when she went to Tuskegee, she bumped elbows with all types of people. Soooo, that is to say that I am VERY interested to know what you've eaten in Arkansas. I looooove dining out.
Sounds like my husband. I try to cook healthy, but OMG, my husband will cover it in cheese, add Tabasco sauce to it and drink it with a coke. I can't eat like that. My genes and jeans don't allow it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-08-2018, 09:03 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,023 times
Reputation: 31
First, over 50% of restaurants fail...period. I wouldn't waste my money or time. the risk/reward ratio is too unfavorable.

Having said that, I wouldn't pick a state like Arkansas (or for that matter NYC).

Find a smaller town in various states that is actually growing in population that have a variety of tastes, not just regional fare. I would say however that northwest AR might be a viable option...might. High traffic vacation spots might be good options, maybe just off the beach towns say in AL, SC or a few towns in FL.

College towns also should not be ignored. Good luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-08-2018, 10:13 AM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,132 posts, read 1,164,977 times
Reputation: 1020
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Patois View Post
Don't laugh, but I have a cousin that lives in Los Angeles that said that Arkansas (and Alabama) fare is horrrrrrible and that locals are non-cooking whack-jobs that love smothering any and everything with cheese. She has never lived there but known people from there, especially when she went to Tuskegee, she bumped elbows with all types of people. Soooo, that is to say that I am VERY interested to know what you've eaten in Arkansas. I looooove dining out.

Hmmm Your cousin has an interesting observation for some who has never lived here and I totally disagree with her. I will not take the space here for details but I have had some of the best food ever in rural "mom & pop" family run cafes and some of the worse in high $$ metropolitan restaurants. Also, as someone Posted above, it depends on your personal taste preference. I have dined with groups where one "loved" the food while others "hated" it. So, back to your original query: I, personally, think that putting in an "eating place" would be a crap-shoot that I would not be willing to take.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-08-2018, 10:16 AM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,132 posts, read 1,164,977 times
Reputation: 1020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahsez View Post
Sounds like my husband. I try to cook healthy, but OMG, my husband will cover it in cheese, add Tabasco sauce to it and drink it with a coke. I can't eat like that. My genes and jeans don't allow it.
A big 10-4 . I agree with you, and I'm a husband!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Arkansas
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top