No Time For Lines

"Bring us our lunch!" yell workers. He obliges.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the December 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

With the average "hour" only 29 minutes long, is often not fast enough. But Mark Wiser, president of Food Bucket Inc., has figured out how to feed the masses on a tight schedule. His -based company touts itself as the "ultra-convenient, no-brainer deli." With carryout and in addition to dine-in, Wiser says virtually everyone gets their food delivered within 15 minutes of ordering; walk-in customers get fed even faster.

"We provide what we think-and we've measured it-is the fastest carryout line in town," Wiser says. "We have people who literally rollerblade in."

Wiser, 37, began Food Bucket after a dozen years' experience in the industry. With a designed to serve people who eat at their desks, Wiser opened his first store in July 1998 to test his concept. The first store did so well, a second followed eight months later. Both stores, in Chicago's Loop area, offer almost no seating, which helps Wiser keep start-up costs at about $40,000. In July, he opened a third store in Chicago's upscale Gold Coast area with a scant 620 square feet and 20 seats. With a simple of soups, salads and sandwiches, it's been relatively easy to structure the Food Bucket business, Wiser says.

"Our business model is not to have million-dollar stores, because we don't need to," he says. "We expect the average Food Bucket to be profitable and expandable at $200,000 per year in sales."

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