Drive-thru breakfast business suggestions

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by Raz_NJ, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Raz_NJ


    Likes Received:
    About 15 years of FOH & Expo
    Hey y'all,

    New to the forum and was hoping to receive some input, ideas, and inspiration from experienced Chefs. Have worked in the restaurant industry for the past 15 years, predominately FOH, and am looking to transition to having my own drive-thru breakfast and coffee business. I have met with my architect and am now in a place where I need to decide on layout/equipment before proceeding.

    Concept: Small drive-thru *under 150 sq ft* offering breakfast sandwiches, burritos, coffee, fresh oj, some pastries. As much as I love espresso and working behind an espresso machine, I'm going to forego the investment & labor that offering espresso beverages requires and focus on the food offerings. Can keep the thought/layout of adding one later, but meeehh maybe I'll have a small one just for myself!

    Menu: Shooting for simple and quick, but yet better than the crap at fast food joints.

    Egg sandwiches/burritos including protein options such as Bacon, Sauage, & Chorizo.
    Cookies/Muffins from local bakery
    I can't find a decent bagel since leaving the NY Metro area where I grew up, so par-baked bagels from an authentic Jewish NYC bakery.

    Would deeply appreciate thoughts on how to pull off the proteins. Was feeling I'd cook up a batch of said protein and then use a steam bath/hot food well to hold the proteins at a safe temperature.


    How long would eggs hold in a hot food well before quality degrades to where I wouldn't want to serve them to people. Does one style of eggs hold up better than another, scrambled vs fried medium with yolk broken.

    If I was holding the proteins in a hot food well and made someone a sandwich/burrito which they began to eat on their car ride, would that sandwich be hot enough or would I want to flash heat before serving? Such as take the egg, cheese, & bacon together toss them in a heating device and then serve. If I was to flash heat, thoughts on best piece of equipment to do so? Rapid cook oven?

    This will be a stand alone unit with the only hookup being electric. In the future if this all works out I'd love to hard plumb the kiosk into city water/sewer, but in the meantime I'll be using two large storage tanks and a macerating unit for the potable water and brown/black water. Fuel sources for cooking the food would either be Propane or Electric. Since there will be grease laden vapors the use of Propane equipment would require a commercial hood system with fire suppression which for sure increases the buildout cost. Wish I could say money was no factor, but well it is but I have an okay amount of flexibility. While I don't want to skimp on the business I'd love to provide myself as much wiggle room for the equity that I have access to via saving, credit, laons, etc... From what I've been told gas equipment operates for efficiently and has a lower maintenance costs?

    If I was to go with electricity being my fuel source, do these Rapid Fire Cook ovens *convection + microwave* do a decent job at cooking bacon, sausage, & chorizo? These rapid fire cook ovens seem to be what most QSR establishments use, but these establishments end result is pretty low quality. I understand that they're already using low quality ingredients, but how much is the end result affected by them using a Rapid Fire Oven?

    With having/if having the NYC par-baked bagels I'll have a convection oven possibly a double stacked unit. How would using the electric convection oven do with baking sheets of protein?

    I appreciate the input, guidance, and questions for me to ponder over that y'all could provide!


    Jay Raz
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    Retired Chef
    Fried holds better than scrambled, better yet, scrambled and handkerchief shaped. Bacon will keep under a heat lamp, and a thin slice of ham will warm.

    IMO you should visit Bruegger's or Einstein Bagels and have a peek at how the line is set up and most important, how to use the turbochef. :D
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  3. scott livesey

    scott livesey

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    At home cook
    I would also go to the golden arches and see how they do it. although the quality varies store to store, for less than $5 they give you breakfast meat and egg on roll or biscuit, hashbrowns, and a decent cup of coffee. they store the cooked meat, eggs, and breads in dedicated drawers in a warmer. when everything is going right, less than a minute from wrapped to in the customer's hand.
  4. brianshaw


    Likes Received:
    Former Chef
    However you do it, please make sure that the product and packaging enables safe consumption while the buyer is driving. Wouldn’t want to be responsible for distracted driving because the guts of the Sammie/Burrito falling onto lap.

    If you don’t know how Starbucks, etc deal with eggs... I concur with others that a field trip is well advised. After I learned their secret I stopped eating to-go breakfast Sammies
  5. flipflopgirl


    Likes Received:
    Retired Hospitality
    The loose meats will cook fine in your setup if you have time to babysit (stop and stir) until cooked thru.
    Do yourself a favor and find another way for the bacon.
    Electric skillet would be fine until you get everything squared... straight into pan (no oil no water) slap the lid on until it starts the sizzle then open up for steam to escape.
    Keep the water/grease in bottom of pan to minimum.
    Cheap and efficient.

    I am sure you already know the next part just posting for our lurkers...
    While it is wise to keep an eye on quality, time and temps are what will get your rug jerked out from under you.
    Get your SOPs in order and keep that manual where ye olde health inspector can see it when he comes in the door.
    Make it your Bible and make darn sure everyone knows where it is...what it says... and they are staying on message.

    sgmchef and scott livesey like this.