「So yeah, I think I’ll put a cap on the school cafeteria soon enough, but the school cafeteria’s gonna be a drawn out war.」
「C’mon, you guys……」
Tatsuya made an exasperated face at Hiroshi’s report. Makoto and Mio had similar expressions on their faces.
「Seriously, I can’t believe how much you two keep veering off the beaten path.」
Speaking for Tatsuya and Mio, whose mouths were open and didn’t seem like they would close anytime soon, Makoto made her own exasperated comment.
「C’mon Makoto-san. Unlike the school store, the cafeteria ain’t got no inclination to renovate.」
「Even if you did make the food better, it has practically nothing to do with us.」
「Well sure it ain’t related, but if Lime ‘n the other girls keep comin’ here, smoothie’ out little things like this would be great for their experience.」
Hiroshi said something pretty sensible, so Makoto lost any further motivation to debate. Still, while it was sensible, if they continued to rush off a thousand miles away, would there even be enough time left? But this was a recurring issue so she saw no point in interjecting there.
「So what do you have planned？」
「Well, we managed to get ahold of a piece of land with a building, and starting tomorrow morning, Hiroshi-kun will be fiddling with the upholstery and equipment, and during that time I’ll be gathering people around the area, I’d say？」
「I’m guessing you’ll be starting your own restaurant in order to combat the cafeteria, but how exactly will you go about it？」
「We offer a prepayment service. We’ll briefly have the menu limited to the standard foods, and we do our best to provide it as quickly as possible so it leaves an impression.」
Tatsuya asked for the plans, and Haruna told him everything they had decided on.
「Standard, eh. What specifically do you plan to serve？」
「Pot-au-feu, bouillabaisse, and stew for three main patterns, and then several flame broiled foods. Sets will come with bread and salad, while drinks will be more of a light barley variety, and the first cup is always free. We’ll wait and see about an all-drink menu for later, I guess.」
「I see. What about deep-fried food？」
「We don’t have enough time to research their preferences, so we won’t serve it immediately after opening shop. As we conduct business, we’ll throw out an announcement and pinpoint a flavor that would go well before promoting it to the menu, probably.」
「Well, this place seems to have very different tastes than Farlane, so it has to be this way……」
Tatsuya understood from Haruna’s hard work in this unnecessary direction that this was the only way to go. In the first place, there would never have been a need to struggle this much if they had simply set up a food stand rather than an entire restaurant, but they were now far past the point where saying this would be meaningful.
「So does it look like you’ll be getting revenue？」
「Yeah, I think it’ll work out fine. Right now we’re getting assistance from the academy itself, the equipment funding is directly from material fees since we’re making that, and food logistics already makes us profit, so the only thing that might be a problem involves labor cost.」
「Do you think you’d be able to pay all of them？」
「We’ll add some color in on the market price and say 3 chrome per person per day plus staff meals, so hiring somewhere around ten people with 200 lunch sets sold would be plenty for labor costs per day. This is because we plan to offer lunch sets for 30 tirols apiece, and material costs might reach ten tirols, might not.」
Selling 200 lunch sets might be a little overachieving, thought Tatsuya, but Makoto looked his direction–
「I can’t say about the first few days, but I think they’ll end up with not simply 200, but 300 easy. The menu is also basically just putting lots of ingredients in a stew and arranging the food, so preparing meat on a large scale won’t be much of an issue. Also, Haruna will be overseeing the cooking, so they’d definitely come here in droves even if the price was ten tirols higher than that cafeteria.」
「Is it really going to be that drastic？」
「You’ll get it once you actually try it. Well, even if the cafeteria weren’t a thing, Haruna’s cooking is already worth 30 tirols in a proper lunch menu, or maybe even a price that would destroy all the surrounding restaurants.」
「Maybe to us it looks that way, but will that really fly in a country like this where taste is viewed differently？」
「That’s difficult to say, but what I can tell you is that if regular volume is 30 tirols, then as long as there’s a safe menu out there then the students will absolutely jump on it.」
Hearing Makoto’s explanation, Tatsuya was now curious as to just how bad the school food was, but as he looked around him at everyone’s reactions, he figured that it wasn’t worth trying.
Unless this was some sort of punishment game or investigation, Tatsuya was not so eccentric that he would go out of his way to eat nasty food.
「So, if you’ll be making sales of 200 or 300 daily, wouldn’t dishwashing and those sorts of things be difficult to accomplish？」
「Well I’ll be takin’ care of the equipment, so I’ll set up sterilized-functionality dishwashers ‘n dryers to reduce the burden. Plus one that processes leftovers into fertilizer.」
「……No, how about you just limit it to the typical functions you find at restaurants……」
Tatsuya interjected, feeling a headache from how Hiroshi showed no signs of self-control. Perhaps things were a bit different in modern Japan with staff canteens, but in this world, this was not the kind of equipment you’d find at a cheap shop selling meals for 30 tirols apiece.
Unless you were to use monster ingredients or scarce, high value foodstuffs, the price of the ingredients would hardly change. Therefore, if you were trying to offer cheap food, you would either have to raise the customer turnover rate or be stingy with the equipment.
Putting a high performance contraption in the restaurant that not even high class establishments were able to simply because you could practically make the equipment yourself for free was seriously breaking the rules, and Tatsuya really wanted to cross-examine Hiroshi for nearly an hour because of this.
「So what about laying the groundwork in the vicinity? After all, you’re essentially raising havoc all of a sudden.」
「Actually, Professor Fluit said she’d take care of it. This is after all the replacement for the school food, so if the other shops in the area are too full, those individuals will come over, and depending on how well she sets the stage, if any issues surface she’s thinking of implementing a school system.」
「School system, eh. Is there anything to prove that you’re a student？」
「They do have student IDs, right？」
Haruna asked on behalf of Tatsuya, and Makoto nodded. Seeing this, Tatsuya felt more content and tried to see if there was anything else to comment on.