top50stl business idea of the week: Chef School – the restaurant

My family and I love to go out to restaurants. We also cook at home, but I think we’d go out for just about every meal if we could afford it. In full disclosure, I guess I should be clear in saying that it’s my wife that typically cooks at home, but taking up the culinary arts has been on my ‘to-do’ list for a long time; I just haven’t yet made it a priority to learn.

My wife’s favorite restaurant was always the Hibachi, which used to be located on the Plaza in Kansas City. Unfortunately, they had to shut down after decades of being open, but hibachi-style eating has remained one of our favorites. I think what makes hibachi so great is the fact that they prepare the food at your table. I’m wondering if there might be an opportunity to combine the task of learning how to cook with eating out at a restaurant.

I’d like to see a hibachi-style restaurant where customers can not only design their own meals but also receive instruction on how to make them through an interactive dining experience. I’d like to see what it might look like with more that just Asian cuisine. I’m calling my idea ‘Chef School.’ Basically, it’s a cooking class and a dining experience all in one.

Now, I’m aware that there are a lot of cooking classes available; I’ve been to some. My wife and I have been on a date night at a cooking class, but it’s not cheap. My hope is that several menu items prepared throughout the evening in front of an audience similar to a hibachi-style restaurant may add an element of instruction and entertainment along with a nice meal at a reasonable price.

I even have the place set aside already. A great local favorite of ours was Tokyo Steakhouse at the intersection of 141 and Manchester. It recently shut down after many years in operation. My guess is that the restaurant is still set up with the hibachi grills in place and would only need a basic renovation to update the facility. I’d like to see someone put a ‘Chef School’ in its place. If you do, I’ll be your first customer.

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