Discover Crêpes

Everything you ever wanted to know about crêpes but didn't know who to ask!

Opening a Crêperie

So you want to open a crêperie? You are not alone, but that’s a good thing. You need not be afraid of competition because the more exposure people have to the versatile and tasty crêpe the greater the demand will be; the market in the U.S. is nowhere near saturated.

A crêperie can take a variety of forms. It may be a sit-down restaurant or café. Or, it may be a simple stall or takeaway restaurant serving crêpes in paper cones.
Crêperies are generally easier to operate than full-service restaurants. With a limited amount of ingredients, a crêperie is a less complicated operation. The cost of ingredients is typically about 25 percent lower; setup and cleanup are minimal. In terms of machinery, all you need for a stall is a refrigerator and a gas or electric griddle.

Location
As with any restaurant, location is key. Crêpes are neither haute nor nouvelle cuisine. They are affordable and hearty classic French food, favored by students and other regular folks. Locating near a movie theatre could provide a natural clientele. On or near a college campus is another excellent venue, or in a shopping mall. Crêperies have found success in busy downtown areas of Detroit, Schenectady, Seattle, and many other U.S. cities.


Marketing
It doesn’t take much to promote crêpes. They are inexpensive and delicious. With unlimited possibilities for savory and sweet fillings, there’s a crêpe to please any palate. As you think about how to market your place, consider the needs, habits, and interests of the customers you want to attract, and how best to reach these people.
Your crêperie’s name is important, so take your time choosing one. Crêpes inspire clever names, like the Crêpe Escape and Crêpes of Wrath. But your crêperie doesn’t have to have a cute name. You may choose a French name or just a simple American name.
Establishing your brand is another important part of marketing. Your brand is what you are known for, what distinguishes you from other creperies. Maybe you are the best in sweet crêpes or savory crêpes, or have different crêpes every day. Your crêperie may specialize in fresh and local foods. Perhaps your specialty is the sweet cider you serve or a particularly luscious crêpe. You could be known more for the atmosphere—a comfortable, cozy place where you can take your time over conversation and crêpes.
After you decide on your brand, think of a concise way of saying it. You’re on an elevator between floors. How can you describe your crêperie in an elevator moment?

Crêpe-making
Of course, before you open a crêperie you will need to perfect your crêpe-making skills. It's best to study under a master crêpier. Check out our comprehensive training programs.

Business skills
Any restaurant requires a host of business and management skills, and a crêperie is no exception. You will need to learn how to set up, operate, and manage a food service operation. You will need a business plan and an accounting system. Sanitation, kitchen layout and management, and purchasing know-how are all part of running a successful restaurant. Don’t forget business permits, taxes, and other legal stuff. Unless you plan to do all the work on your own, you will need to hire (and maybe fire) staff. Payrolls and compliance with labor laws come into play if you have employees.

You have a huge advantage if you already have business experience, even if it wasn’t in food service. If you need assistance, you can find help through SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Entrepreneurs. Referred to as counselors to America’s small businesses, SCORE offers free online and face-to-face business mentoring, training, and advice. Experienced business professionals help new and existing small businesses succeed. SCORE offers how-to articles on all aspects of running a business. The organization has offices in all 50 states, plus an information-filled website at http://www.score.org/index.html.

Being your own boss
People open crêperies for a number of reasons; the chance to be their own boss is near the top of the list. They see these trendy food places as a way to interact with the community and make a living in a quiet, low impact way that requires minimal investment. Even in these challenging economic times, new crêperies are popping up all over the country. As consumers pay more attention to their spending they recognize crêpes for their value as affordable, healthy, and mouth-watering food.