That’s not why Mike Nicholas is opening Brats n Hots.
“I’m not doing it because I’ve always been a hot dog lover or anything like that,” he says.
Nicholas is starting the business to then franchise it. He wanted to create a franchise with low start-up costs to attract others.
He’s had success in the hospice business with Promises Kept Hospices, and now he’s taking those business skills to the restaurant industry.
“I guess I consider myself more of a business person than a restaurateur.”
The first Brats n Hots will open this spring in the strip center on South Greenwich across from One Kellogg Place where Walmart is.
Nicholas says he’s targeting March 1, “but that means probably April 1.”
Brats n Hots will be a Chipotle-style concept where customers can order at a counter and look at what ingredients they might like on their brats and hot dogs.
There will be 30 toppings available, such as sauerkraut and grilled onions.
“The list just goes on and on,” Nicholas says.
He wants to keep it as basic as possible, though.
“I can’t stand it when I go in a restaurant . . . and it takes me longer to figure out the menu than it does to order the food.”
That’s why he’s putting the food out for everyone to see.
“You figure out more what you want by looking at the food.”
Nicholas says start-up costs are $80,000 — $40,000 of which is hard costs, $40,000 of which is advertising.
“I’m trying to set up something I can really do a lot of franchises fast,” he says. “I think there’s a niche there.”
Nicholas hopes to start franchising within six months to a year.
“I already know people who say they’d like to franchise it if it works.”