Idea #5 – The Return of the Diner

by Byron on January 6, 2012

The Problem

I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this yet, but the population is aging.  This is a mega-trend that has about a billion different implications.  One of the problems I wonder about is where the hell are they all going to go?  Not when they die, but when they are alive.  Simply put, what will they do with their time?

The Business

The problem, on this fine Friday, is much bigger than my tiny little solution and my tiny little business.  But it could be a good idea and a good business nonetheless … The Return of the Diner.

Play old music.  Have the waitresses bring back the beehive.  Make the menu simple, the way it was in 1955.  But add some healthy, high fiber options as well.  You know grandpa will need to stay regular.  Have 1955 Fridays where everything cost the same as it did back then.  Not over the top 1950’s, but some real nostalgia.

Doableness

Exceedingly doable.

My Take

I do have one little twist.  Allow the customers to stay as long as they want – and charge them for it.  Require them to be members.  Charge a $7 an hour table rental and charge them for meals.  Bill the customer monthly.  Think of it as the Country Club for the 99%.  (You don’t exclude the young, you just don’t cater to them.)

I think this is going to be a really big issue.  What will the seniors do with their time?  If you say non-stop cruises, Jamaican nurses, and $250K RV’s, you are watching too much TV.  Most seniors will not have anywhere near that kind of money.  But they will need small luxuries, a social circle, and, importantly, a place to go.

Many seniors will get this from the community they live in, whether assisted or not.  But many other seniors are staying in their home.  They need social hour too.

I have many other thoughts on this aging population topic and I’m sure this blog will be littered with corresponding business opportunities by the end of the year.  This one isn’t particularly sexy, but it could be profitable.

 

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