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Old 11.01.2017, 12:30
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British food in Switzerland - would it work?

First off - don't laugh all ye heathens.

Anyway, whilst out for a stroll on Sunday afternoon with MrsG, exploring our new commune, we passed through a hilltop hamlet with a great view over the lac de Schiffenen and the Sarine valley up to Fribourg. I thought it would be a great spot for a small restaurant and we started bouncing ideas off each other about what we would offer, if it were us. We were talking about pies and soups and stews; basically typical British/Irish comfort food. I know British food is pretty much a joke on the continent, but typical Swiss cuisine isn't the most exciting either. So how would it go down, you think? For example: steak and kidney pie, steak and Guinness pie, braised beef, chicken vegetable soup, leak and potato soup, beef stew, chicken casserole, fish and chips, Sunday roast, that sort of thing?
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Old 11.01.2017, 12:32
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

I'd visit for a pie
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Old 11.01.2017, 12:33
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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First off - don't laugh all ye heathens.

Anyway, whilst out for a stroll on Sunday afternoon with MrsG, exploring our new commune, we passed through a hilltop hamlet with a great view over the lac de Schiffenen and the Sarine valley up to Fribourg. I thought it would be a great spot for a small restaurant and we started bouncing ideas off each other about what we would offer, if it were us. We were talking about pies and soups and stews; basically typical British/Irish comfort food. I know British food is pretty much a joke on the continent, but typical Swiss cuisine isn't the most exciting either. So how would it go down, you think? For example: steak and kidney pie, steak and Guinness pie, braised beef, chicken vegetable soup, leak and potato soup, beef stew, chicken casserole, fish and chips, Sunday roast, that sort of thing?
Paddy Reillys has this type of food already. Maybe you can consider a healthy BIO antibiotik free British Restaurant? This would have a USP
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Old 11.01.2017, 12:39
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

hm...hm...hm...
no

Unless its a pub serving other things than only British food... (drinks, etc...)

Simplifying:

1) Money wise: probably not enough customers + costly
Think location how far is it from "many" potential customers?

2) Interesting wise: British food... *

3) Culturally wise: Ok if "events" or something happening, otherwise well 2) would be owerpowering.


Then what would I know? I have no experience but it seems to me, as a business, that your "products" will be limited vs high cost, and unless you have regular customers (or many) it won't work.

Unless it's liked to some B&B were housing could bring more income (?)

*well there are plenty of delicious cheeses and a few other delicacies, is that enough to open a restaurant...?


In UK I know plenty of restaurants I would love to come back, in CH none... Especially with local prices!
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Old 11.01.2017, 12:44
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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Paddy Reillys has this type of food already. Maybe you can consider a healthy BIO antibiotik free British Restaurant? This would have a USP
Not the one in Fribourg.

And you do realise BIO is an expensive joke and no meat is allowed for consumption unless it is clear of antibiotics, didn't you? Good, thought so.
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Old 11.01.2017, 12:50
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

I agree with the above.

Various British/Irish-style pubs in Zürich (and I guess elsewhere) seem to be doing well enough with their food. You know. The kitchen occupies space, rents and salaries are expensive and pub managers wouldn't be doing that if the figures didn't add. So yes, the food part works.

But this type oif pub is mostly in the cities where you get a lot of customers (both expats and locals) and I guess over here the concept of a British pub may trigger positive associations, even if the very same pubs in a typical English city would probably count as below average.

But as other have said, take the food bit out of the pub bit and people will probably just snigger.
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Old 11.01.2017, 13:03
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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Not the one in Fribourg.

And you do realise BIO is an expensive joke and no meat is allowed for consumption unless it is clear of antibiotics, didn't you? Good, thought so.
BIO labeled food is a joke. My brother in law who is a vet here thinks that too. He says it is all about getting around the laws etc. And I would assume a vet would have to deal with this topic and its many issues all the time.

..............

Why not have a little trailer set up to dish out the food. Like the English pastries one at the Basel autumn fair. That could be a winner. I just wonder how much freedom one has to move from place to place searching for sales. Permits etc.
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Old 11.01.2017, 13:17
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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Not the one in Fribourg.

And you do realise BIO is an expensive joke and no meat is allowed for consumption unless it is clear of antibiotics, didn't you? Good, thought so.
I think some people think they still live in the US.
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Old 11.01.2017, 13:17
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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Not the one in Fribourg.

And you do realise BIO is an expensive joke and no meat is allowed for consumption unless it is clear of antibiotics, didn't you? Good, thought so.
I'm trying to give you a USP, no need to be rude, UK food is already available in pubs

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BIO labeled food is a joke. My brother in law who is a vet here thinks that too. He says it is all about getting around the laws etc. And I would assume a vet would have to deal with this topic and its many issues all the time.

..............

Why not have a little trailer set up to dish out the food. Like the English pastries one at the Basel autumn fair. That could be a winner. I just wonder how much freedom one has to move from place to place searching for sales. Permits etc.
Im not sure about the demand as most swiss look down on English food.
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Old 11.01.2017, 13:20
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

Hmm, quote function isn't working, I'll have to do this manually:

Quote:
Various British/Irish-style pubs in Zürich (and I guess elsewhere) seem to be doing well enough with their food. You know. The kitchen occupies space, rents and salaries are expensive and pub managers wouldn't be doing that if the figures didn't add. So yes, the food part works.

But this type oif pub is mostly in the cities where you get a lot of customers (both expats and locals) and I guess over here the concept of a British pub may trigger positive associations, even if the very same pubs in a typical English city would probably count as below average.
Oh I agree, I'm sure there is a decent demand in larger cities, but probably not so much in a Röstigraben-straddling rural farming community. We were just thinking out loud really.

Quote:
Why not have a little trailer set up to dish out the food. Like the English pastries one at the Basel autumn fair. That could be a winner. I just wonder how much freedom one has to move from place to place searching for sales. Permits etc.
That's actually not such a bad idea, Fribourg has permits for several food vans around the city.
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Old 11.01.2017, 13:46
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

Country locations are lovely, but be prepared for only seeing a customer when the weather is fine.

Nearby on Lake Murten at Vallamand harbour is a Thai restaurant that I would love to try out, but it has been closed since October. Now there is a note on the door saying maybe opening again in the spring. It's closed until 17. March 2017, yet it has excellent reviews, http://www.chezmetta.ch/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...n_of_Vaud.html

If it started I think I would be your nearest EF customer, and I would definitely bring 12 of my mates along.

Most Swiss people know British food from their time as an au-pair in the bad old days. One I knew worked for a widower, and was fed on Wall's "oven ready" steak pie every night!

I was in Dorset over Christmas and New Year, we only had one bad starter, the rest of the meals were very good to excellent. But not many people know that...
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Old 11.01.2017, 13:54
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

Last month I was looking at the www.lepie.ch website and saw that Manor in Fribourg stocks some of thier products.
Keep meaning to go down and see what the pies taste like - maybe you could do some market research and save me a journey.
Was thinking about a small cafe a few years ago, but the maths did not add up without beer sales. Unless you could sell quite expensive pies on a regular basis. My best option would have been to join together with an existing restaurant with all the health certifications in place and test the concept.
Wish that I had had enough money and a partner to follow through. I used to own a restaurant with my girlfriend in north England - so some aspects I knew.
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Old 11.01.2017, 14:01
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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Im not sure about the demand as most swiss look down on English food.

Actually this isn't the case anymore, at least for those Swiss who have travelled.

There have been features in Swiss magazines/newspapers with British recipes in recent years, and I recently read a Betty Bossi article on the British food industry, and its history and influences.
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Old 11.01.2017, 14:13
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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Im not sure about the demand as most swiss look down on English food.
I disagree, it's just ignorance that English food is bad. Any food will be awful if cooked badly and not prepared well.

When my kids were younger I did a stint as a Tagesmutter and the local kids, who came through my house at lunch, adored the food. Their Swiss parents always commented on and asked what it is I cooked, wanted the recipes etc. because their kids talked about it so much.. and yes, it was soups made with good ingredients and homemade stocks; stews, thick sauces - very different to what the Swiss would eat daily, I guess. Although I would do a mixture of foods/meals, not always British/Irish.

I challenge anyone to have a decent well-made bowl of soup with freshly baked Irish wheaten bread, or indeed a warm cheese scone, and not say it is one of the most delicious things you can eat.

Go for it, Paddy! Sounds like a great idea.
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Old 11.01.2017, 14:17
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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We were talking about pies and soups and stews;
Caveat:

I don't know enough about British food to comment on it's marketability here, but the above hit home.

We often go on long hikes, planning a stop at a Gasthaus in the middle.

I would love to find a 'soup bar' type Gasthaus on the hiking trail. Soups, pies, sandwiches. I find 'gutbürgerliche Kuche', while satisfying at the end of a hike, is far too heavy if I am going to continue on hiking for the rest of the day. A hearty soup would hit the spot, but most Gasthäuser on my hiking routes generally only offer bouillon. I am thrilled when I find someplace with a few soup choices - but a restaurant offering a range of soups would be my idea of hiking nirvana. Add in a choice of pies... and your idea would be a winner for me.

Just my 5Rp. No idea if the idea would fly with enough people to turn a profit.
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Old 11.01.2017, 14:34
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

Well this is just typical!

After almost 8 years of searching Fribourg and its surroundings for some comforting food, we are getting organised to pack up and head back to NZ and then along come PaddyG to answer my 8 years worth of prayers

There is definitely nothing similar around these parts - Made the mistake of going to the local Paddy Reillys when I got here and asking what food they did...the person looked at me like I was and pointed to a couple of packets of paprika crisps....

I vote for a pie truck! (the food trucks that have started up seem to be doing OK, but too many burgers)
This option would open up a world of pie possibilities (you could sell cold ones at the markets for people to cook at home, pie-filled road trips...

Regardless, perhaps don't call it British food and you will do better - my mates here weren't so keen about pies until I described it as being beef bourguignon wrapped in pastry..now they can't get enough (although they seem to still be mystified as to how I get the filling inside the sealed up pastry case ).
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Old 11.01.2017, 14:38
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

We have a member Andy selling frozen pies on this forum.

Meat Pies

Last news he has a website www.pie-tribe.com and is still selling his pies. I ordered 2 for delivery on Friday.

.

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Old 11.01.2017, 14:38
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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Regardless, perhaps don't call it British food and you will do better - my mates here weren't so keen about pies until I described it as being beef bourguignon wrapped in pastry..now they can't get enough (although they seem to still be mystified as to how I get the filling inside the sealed up pastry case ).
Agreed. I wouldn't call it British food either. That seems to have negative connotations amongst the ill-informed.

Good food will sell without a label. A British sounding restaurant name would probably help though.
Something like "Brown's" for example (though that's already used).

Food I miss here but is freely available in more gastro-type pubs in the U.K. is stuff like braised lamb-shanks.
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Old 11.01.2017, 14:44
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

There is a chap in the south of France, who does the rounds of the local villages with his food truck, kitted out for "proper English" fish & chips and cups of tea (PG tips). He does this on Friday's only, sells for a relatively decent price (more than the UK, less than Switzerland, on par with a decent French meal in France), is available from 11am - 4pm only unless sold out earlier, and plays golf for the rest of the week.

People drive literally for miles to meet up with his food truck schedule, which has led me to the conclusion that expat Brits will do anything for "a taste of home".
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Old 11.01.2017, 14:51
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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First off - don't laugh all ye heathens.

Anyway, whilst out for a stroll on Sunday afternoon with MrsG, exploring our new commune, we passed through a hilltop hamlet with a great view over the lac de Schiffenen and the Sarine valley up to Fribourg. I thought it would be a great spot for a small restaurant and we started bouncing ideas off each other about what we would offer, if it were us.
I'd start by looking at British businesses in similar locations and how they keep their customers coming back for more. From that, you'll be able to hone down exactly what you believe would work in that location.

I'm just going to give you four pubs that I personally love, and all have elements of the presentation (maximising the views) and the challenges of their locations. I don't currently have a dog, but still always take notice when a country pub has dog friendly elements to it, even if it's just water bowls and a barrel of dog biscuits on the bar.

http://www.theweyside.co.uk/gallery - fantastic fascilities for dog walkers and they've really maximised the views.

http://wasdale.com/ - challenging location. Dog biscuits on the bar, Theakstons ales on tap.

http://www.chefandbrewer.com/pub/whi...FWwq0wodlNgH9Q - which was featured in the film 'The Holiday'.

http://www.saxonmill.co.uk/content/p...onmill/gallery - their website doesn't do the stunning location credit or show how they maximised the views.

I'm vegetarian but love a Sunday carvery where can get a plateful of the veg and a dollop of mint sauce or mustard (drooling now at the thought of honey roast parsnips and chutney ) and that's where you could make a killing and bring the locals in. If people are out walking or excercising their dogs, then come across a place where they can pay a set price for a plate, they're far more inclined to try something new to them.
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