“Jim, what are you going to do after high school? Are you planning on going to college?
“No, my grades aren’t high enough and I can’t afford to pay. My only decent grades are in culinary and computer, those courses won’t get anyone a scholarship.”
“Then what are you going to do, I guess you’ll have to get a job.”
“Yep, I have some thoughts along that line.Who knows maybe I’ll open a restaurant.” They laughed but then Jim thought why not, I might have said that in jest but it’s apossibility. I’ll see what Mom and Dad say.
That evening at dinner, “Jim, now that high school will be over in a few days, have you given any thought as to what you’re going to do?”
“Well, I definitely will look for a job. I’d like to work in a restaurant, in the kitchen as a cook.”
That evening, after Jim turned in, “I was thinking, Jim did well in school but not well enough for college. He liked cooking, maybe he would do well working in a restaurant.”
“You know he could make sandwiches and take them over to the Industrial Park and sell them at lunch time. What do you think of him doing something like that?”
“I think that would be a good start. He could do that and still work in a restaurant.”
Unknown to his parents, Jim was on his way to the kitchen for a warm glass of milk. He was concerned about his future and how he could get work. He listen in on his parents discussion and thought that his mom’s suggestion was a great idea. He went back to his room, fired up his computer and started to search for ideas.
The next morning Jim went job hunting. Lacking experience as a cook, one restaurant offer him a job in the kitchen washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen at the end of the night. Jim accepted the job, it was a start. He was still thinking about his mom’s idea. Now that he had an evening job, he’d use his mornings to work on the sandwich idea.
On the internet, Jim continued his research. Looking for information on not only how to make sandwiches but how to package them to insure they stay fresh. Remembering what they discussed in school about alternative uses for plastic, he definitely didn’t want to add plastic to the already existing burden. So he checked for biodegradable packing materials. He found a simple solution, card board boxes with a size that would fit a sandwich.
Over the next week he decided he’d need to offer more than just a sandwich. Going to his grocery store he looked at items that he could include. He saw jars of dill pickles as well as packages of potato salad and coleslaw. He noted the prices calculating how much they would add to the cost of his sandwich.
On his way home he stopped at the bakery inquiring about the possibility of them making a loaf of bread the size where he could obtain a minimum on twelve sandwiches per loaf. The owner showed him the largest bread baking pan he had. Jim measured the pan and decided that he would only get a maximum of ten sandwiches not including the end pieces. He asked the baker if he gave quantity discounts, the baker told him if he ordered a minimum of six loaves at a time he could give him a fifteen percent discount.
That evening after work, he spoke to his dad. “I stopped at the grocery store and looked at various items to include with my sandwich. I also stop at the bakery and he agreed to give me a fifteen percent discount if I bought a minimum six loafs every time.”
“Jim, why don't you buy one of their sandwiches, then you can take it apart and you’ll see the amount of meat, cheese any other item they included with the sandwich as well as the price.”
Jim thought that was a great idea, he not only bought the sandwiches but he also bought a jar of dill pickles, a package of coleslaw and potato salad.The next morning, he looked at the sandwich that he bought. He compared the amount of meat, cheese and the lettuce in the sandwich. He then opened the jar of pickles and counted the number of pieces, he did the same thing when he opened the salads. Using an ice cream scoop, counted the number of scoops each contain. With that knowledge, he was able to calculate the cost per scoop and the cost per pickle.
Jim was surprised with the amount of lunch meat and cheese in the sandwiches. He knew that he could make a more tastier sandwich. He also tasted the potato salad and determine that It was simply egg, potato and mayonnaise, the taste was bland. Tasting the coleslaw again he found it to be simply shredded cabbage with mayo. Jim knew that he could make a better sandwich, a better potato salad and coleslaw. Now he needed to determine the type and cost of containers for these side items. He mentioned this to his dad, “Jim, why don't you stop at the coffee shop and get a cup of coffee, check out their container that may be your answer.” Jim thought that was a great idea and on his way home from work that night, he did stop and pick up a cup of coffee. He noticed that the cup would contain a nice portion of coleslaw or potato salad. Now he needed to determine the cost of the cup. Once he was on the Internet, he looked for environmental friendly cups with lids, forks and spoons.
To determine the cost of his sandwich, all he had to do was to make a list of every component in his sandwich and calculate these costs. Likewise he had to make a list of all the ingredients for potato salad and coleslaw, then calculate those costs as well.
Jim stayed up late searching the Internet for costs of packaging material as well as an idea on what the costs of making potato salad, coleslaw, and sandwiches. He found a site that allowed him to calculate, within, plus - minus, ten percent, the costs to produce his salads and sandwiches. He also took the opportunity to search for environmental friendly packaging materials. When he was finished, his calculator indicated that he could produce his lunches at a cost between four andfive dollars. He wasn't sure what his mark up should be. He knew he would have to talk to his dad to see what he thought
The next morning when he went for breakfast, "Mom, where’sDad?”
“Your dad just left for work.”
“I wanted to review what I calculated from the Internet last night. I also would like his input into a reasonable selling price.”
“Why don't you make a lunch as you would if you were to sell it and take it to him at work? Then you can discuss your costs and price."Jim thought that was a good idea so he began to make a demo lunch.
At half past eleven, he took his prepared demo to his dad’s office. Arriving at his office, “Dad, I brought you your lunch. This is a typical lunch that I’d like to sell. Last night I calculated from the Internet the cost of producing this demo lunch. I need for you to tell me if you think this lunch is worth six dollars or more.” Jim's dad opened the lunch bag. Clearing the space on his desk, he laid out the contents of the paper bag. As he was doing this, his secretary entered his office with some papers he had asked for earlier.
“Where did you get your lunch?”
“My son is thinking about making lunches and selling them here at the Park. What do you think, this will be $7.00?”
“That’s not bad, what kind of sandwich is that?”
“This is a ham and cheese. These cups contain potato salad and coleslaw, the cookies are to sweeten the deal.”
“That's not a bad deal. I’d go for one of those lunches.”
“Bring me a plate from the lunch room and I’ll share this lunch with you.”
When she left, “Dad, seven dollars? I was thinking along the line of six dollars since I calculated my costs at four fifty.”
“Let’s see what she says when she tastes the food.”
The secretary brought a plate and a fork. Jim’s dad divided the lunch into two parts. Jim watch the expression on the secretary’s face as she tasted the salads. “These are very good, can I get the recipe?”
Jim just smiled, “I’m sorry but the recipe is a trade secret. I’d be glad to make somefor your home use or party.”
“Do you catered as well?”
“I haven't considered that but I see no reason not to offer my catering services. If you wish to have me cater a party, just let my dad know and I'll contact you.” Jim left his dad's office with a big smile.
When he got home he told his mother what happened and how his dad set the price at seven dollars per lunch. “I thought that six dollars would be the price, Dad set the price at seven dollars. His secretary thought that that was a good price. She also asked about a catering service. I hadn't really thought about that but it sounded like a good idea. So I'll have to think about a fee for my services. What do you think?”
“I think that if your dad set the price, then that should be your price. Your dad knows what people pay for their lunch when they have to go to restaurants, and I think you should consider catering. I believe you can make a successful career out of catering and selling lunches.”
"Thanks Mom you know if I had the means I could also offer breakfast as well as lunch.”