So we are always on the search for "Paleo Friendly" restaurants, but what if there was a Paleo specific restaurant? Imagine a restaurant, let's call it "Paleo Pantry" for fun, that served a menu that only contained paleo food. You could have a a menu that offered a traditional paleo selection, a lacto-paleo selection, a neo-paleo selection, etc. I know that the restaurant business is brutal so say the least, but would you make a point to support it? Obviously the prices for pastured animals and organic produce would probably deter SAD diners, but could it work? Do we prefer eating at home because there are no good alternatives? I don't like eating out because I don't know what I am getting. Just a thought.
I actually thought about this same thing today, but I'm not optimistic it would take with the intended customer base. That is, if most of the intended customer base, most of the time, is like I've become and would simply prefer to cook at home, and become better at the pre-planning to avoid eating out very often. The more I cook at home, the more I cannot justify the extra hit to the budget for eating out, especially with typically inferior ingredients and options associated with the typical budget-sensitive eating out experience.
Nevertheless, since eating out is inevitable sometimes and preferable at other times, I've already spent a lot of time investigating local markets and such to put together on-the-go meals that score well on quality and budget. The "hack" is to find ways to eat pretty much as well as a sit down restaurant but perhaps for some fraction of the restaurant price. Neo-hunting-foraging ; )
For the less budget-sensitive among the paleo crowd, I'm sure the restaurant idea would take well, but I don't know how the demographics break down. Maybe here in southern California / Orange County, it would do better than I would think?
And if something like this existed and I heard good word about the tastiness of the place, of course I'd try it out, but probably as a special occasion.
This guy is running a paleo oriented restaurant in Portland Oregon. I went there the other day- fantastic. He's doing a great job. Been running for seven months- I hope it works for him and the community. http://www.dkportland.com
I have thought long and hard about this too. My husband and I own a bar and the restaurant next door might become available soon. The cost is the real concern. All grass fed organic is $$$. The menu would need to be seasonal and we thought about connecting with local butchers and farmers to keep the cost down. The menu would also need to be very small to cut down on waste. We have both been in the food and beverage industry for a combined 30 years, and have some experience owning a successful business as well. We thought about marketing to the Vegan/Vegetarian group to broaden the spectrum. The kitchen would need to be totally clean where meat does not touch the vegetarian stuff for this to work. As long as the food is good people will eat there, even if they are not paleo. Also gluten free is a good way to market with so many celiacs. In the end people will come for 2 reasons and the price really does not matter. 1) The food is so good they crave it and they can't make it themselves. 2) The people who work there are nice friendly and attentive and make you want to come back and support them. I am concerned about allergies and "picky" eaters. It seems like everyone in the paleo community is ultra sensitive, so that might be a problem. Also there are so many versions of paleo it would be hard to please everyone. In the end I think it could work, but I don't know how profitable it would be. The food and labor costs would be very high. It would be a risk.
A Paleo Food Truck might be the way to go. You could reach lots of different target areas at different times, and also be at the Farmers' Market (or even, exclusively at the Farmers' Market, depending on where you live and the frequency of the Markets). I bet you would even acquire a large following, eagerly anticipating the Tweets about your location!
Of COURSE I would love and frequent a restaurant that served only paleo - and tasty - foods! Talk about a fantasy date spot.
However, budget (as always) would still be a big consideration. For example, if it cost over $50 for two people to dine (sans alcohol), then it would be on my calendar for only anniversary/birthday/other splurge worthy occasions.
I would definitely support it if it was monetarily feasible. The key might be to also market it to vegan and vegetarians, for the place to survive. My Paleo diet is the same as when I was vegan, except add some eggs, and a whole bunch of meat! I sometimes eat at a local vegan place here because they'll cook stuff in coconut or olive oil if you ask, and actually have things like cauliflower "rice"! They have lots of raw stuff too which, for the most part, doesn't contain anything that doesn't jive with my diet. And I would LOVE to hear the conversations that would ensue at a place visited by paleos and vegans!
A little pedal-powered street vendor thingy would be ideal. No need for seating, simple menu, etc. I don't think paleo people could ever support a dining room, unless somebody discovers a way to pump appetizer into the air ducts.