The Watertower Cafe

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Cafe Bistro Coffeehouse Business Plan


The Watertower is a cafe/restaurant/coffeehouse venue that sells moderately-priced food to an upscale casual dining market. The venue features brewed coffee and espresso-based beverages, granita ices, fruit smoothies and juices, and other beverages typically associated with a coffee shop. A dessert bar will serve a range of freshly prepared desserts, as well as baked goods associated with breakfast.

Luncheon offerings contain both carry-out and dine-in menu selections, while evening hours will accommodate full-service dining and Spanish tapas (appetizer) service, a full-service bar and light, weekend, live entertainment.

Reflecting a target niche market, a limited selection of out-of-town newspapers, as well as art, architecture, cinema, design and lifestyle magazines will be sold. Additionally, the venue will feature art and products made by Studioplex artists, providing a cross-selling opportunity.

3.1 Product Description

The Watertower's menu will feature a selection of pan-ethnic dishes influenced by African and French cooking traditions. Whether South American, Caribbean, Mediterranean or African-American, the menu items will have an identifiable African origin and/or influence.

Generally, the dishes will offer variations on "country" cooking themes. Braised and smoked meats and poultry, seafood, and vegetarian offerings will change seasonally.

Dinner items will only be available in the dining room section of the establishment. Standard appetizer/tapas offerings will be available in the coffee shop and patio area through the late evening.

Specialty coffees, espresso-based drinks, desserts and pastries, and light sandwiches will be available in the coffee shop.

Niche-magazines and newspapers will be readily available for purchase by the venue's patrons.

Musical offerings will span jazz, Latin, and urban musical traditions. The performance space will also offer ample opportunities for space for an artist, poet, reader, etc. When not in use as a stage, the space will double as a customer seating area with tables and chairs.

3.2 Competitive Comparison

The Watertower's closest competitors (relative to location) are Virginia's (Inman Park), Sotto Sotto (Inman Park), The Roman Lily, and Thumb's Up Diner (Old Fourth Ward), Cabbagetown Grill (Cabbagetown), Eureka (Cabbagetown).

Virginia's, The Roman Lily, Cabbagetown Grill, and Eureka feature fairly similarly priced menus and menu offerings with a notable traditional American southern influence. The Roman Lily is notably more "downscale" from Eureka and Cabbagetown Grill. Virginia's decor and menu offerings strikes squarely in between downscale casual and upscale casual. Sotto Sotto is an upscale casual dining establishment featuring finer northern Italian cuisine (the restaurant is currently undergoing a significant expansion).

None of these establishments features a traditional coffeehouse atmosphere or live or recorded evening entertainment.

Relative to the location of these establishments, The Watertower is centrally geographically located. It's location will easily allow for patrons from these other establishments to finish an evening with dessert, coffee, drinks, and/or dancing.

3.3 Sales Literature

A sample copy of a menu to be featured at The Watertower is attached in an appendix at the end of this document.

**Some supplemental materials are not available for this sample plan.

3.4 Sourcing

The Watertower will buy from a select group of Atlanta restaurant suppliers and liquor distributors. Direct sales relationships will also be established with fresh produce, meat, and seafood distributors based at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Negotiations are also underway to establish direct relationships with seafood suppliers on the Florida Gulf coast.

The cafe will receive substantial discounts from artists and artisans participating in the manufacture of signature pieces of dinnerware, furniture, lighting, and sculpture to be featured at The Watertower. As part of a marketing agreement with Studioplex merchants, the business will prominently feature their products in exchange for these discounted fixtures and equipment.

3.5 Technology

The Watertower logo is protected by federal trademark laws. All of our menu creations will not necessarily have the same protections, however, when possible, popular "trade-names" will be protected. The business of The Watertower is not dependent upon process technology or patentable inventions.

3.6 Future Products

While The Watertower will initially focus upon the dining, coffeehouse, and entertainment functions located on the immediate grounds of the establishment, future expansion efforts will focus upon providing full-scale catering for Studioplex events as well as other off-site venues. The Watertower's owner has established relationships with Atlanta law firms and Emory University, these institutions offer many opportunities for catering/special event service.

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