Thermomix Café – a business idea

Thermomix is an (expensive) fancy machine that can do smoothies, risotto, chai, béchamel sauce, dough, baby food and many many other things. Often it reduces the amount of manual labor - and knowledge - required to make good dishes. Things like risotto instructions of “cook for 20 minutes; don’t let it boil; stir often” translates into a couple of button presses on Thermomix and a completion gong 20 minutes later. A person is free to do something else in between.

Thermomix is used in the kitchens of many restaurants. But I think it could also be used in a café as a visible part of the preparation. In fact, the visible part of the preparation could be part of the appeal and engagement.

Basics:

  • Make the menu a variety of dishes, but all that showcase Thermomix’s ability to make things either faster or more hands-off
  • Have several Thermomixes with spare bowl, so cooking and cleaning becomes a pipeline, just like in the juice/smoothie-making shops
  • List the amount of time the dish takes to make, which is easy (easier) since Thermomix makes it a much more repeatable process than usual
  • Thermomix needs less attachments than other cookers, so the kitchen is cleaner and easier to manage

Twists/engagement:

  • Install webcams over the Thermomix stations, so people can see their food actually being prepared via their mobile devices connected to local WiFi. Maybe also install some programmable buttons that mark each step of the recipe and embed that as part of the video.
  • Print ingredients for each dish on the recipe
  • Allow people to book the dish over the internet and arrive when it is ready. Use webcam to track progress
  • Make intermediate ingredients also in Thermomix (e.g. dough, peanut butter, sauces) when not all of them are in use - make that step visible to all

Making money:

  • The usual (service, sale, bottled drinks, etc)
  • Allow people to book standing/regular orders (e.g. organic baby food) that gets prepared for multiple people together (benefiting from 2-littre bowl capacity) when a machine is free and stored for the customer to pick it up (probably with online subscription setup to bill regularly)
  • Serve as Thermomix consultant, basically turning every customer into a client receiving a demo. Maybe even embed the sales pitch into the videos (explaining why Thermomix is great for e.g. Risotto).
  • For each Thermomix sold, throw in discounted cooking classes with Thermomix to do the same dishes the café does

Marketing:

  • Thermomix is still exotic enough to draw attention, multiple (herd of?) Thermomixes together - more so
  • Making intermediate ingredients from scratch will get more attention from people with allergies and food preferences (vegetarian, vegan, etc). Could even color-code some Thermomix bowls to make sure there are vegan-only cooking equipment
  • There might be a way to catch attention of people who want to cook but are even afraid to start, as Thermomix makes that look easy