It would have to have good food and if your promotion line is "Good Food for Diabetics" I would probably pass because that doesn't sound like good food.
It sounds good at first...
Sharps containers in each booth, you get a free bag of skittles if it takes over 15 min to deliver your food. What would it be like when the kitchen gets backed up and there are 40 T1D's who have already bolused, the clocks running and their evil twins are starting to show .
On the serious side it would be nice to have a restaurant with a large selection Bete's friendly foods showing nutritional values.
I agree with "Healthy" being a much better marketing strategy than "Diabetes". If you have a restaurant, you are selling food and, even if the people with diabetes want to go out to eat, it's only a small (albeit growing?) %age of the population and there's not a marketing "hook" in diabetes. Healthy, OTOH, could be very popular.
If I saw a cafe named "cafe diabetes" no doubt I would go immediately :D -- sounds exciting!
The restaurant biz has an incredibly high failure rate & one of the narrowest margins for profit. Targeting a specific population is further limiting your chances for success. Even if you've got a large enough demographic to draw on, you don't want to turn off other customers.
Read many business plans when I was the director of an economic development program.
I don't think targeting people with "diabetes" -- using the term either in the name, or better yet a tagline or slogan, is such a bad idea. Yes, emphasize natural wholesomeness in general and not diabetes exclusively (in other words, make my family want to come with me!), and don't limit your customer-base so much. But do mention diabetes on the menu and in marketing as well as people with similar dietary restrictions (i.e. celiac, though everything on the menu doesn't need to be friendly to everyone), as well as overall good food.
A coffee-shop type environment, one which encourages patrons to mingle with each other, might be preferable to one where families are isolated in their small booths. I'm not sure how you'd pull that off though -- super large table with multiple parties seated together, maybe? But I know that I'd love to talk to other people with diabetes without attending a stuffy convention or training class. Who knows, it might even become an equivalent to a singles' bar!
One thing I would absolutely not do is use the term "diabetic" anywhere ("diabetes" is OK). It all goes back to the old debate over whether we are "diabetics" or "PWDs" - some are turned off by the former, and even if they're not, it's way too clinical to be in a restaurant title (come to think of it, using "PWD" might not be a bad thing -- it's kind of like a secret insiders-club, understood only by people in-the-know, though I'm not so sure how well known the term is in the offline community).
Also, I'd avoid the term "healthy". It's highly subjective and often met with skepticism-- it's been used to described diets consisting entirely of juiced fruits and vegetables, high-protein-no-carb diets, high-in-whole-grain diets, vegan diets, even McDonald's salads. It's become a meaningless marketing term, kind of like "Lite".
I honestly don't know if such a concept would work -- you already start by limiting your potential customer base, but if done right, I think you could succeed.
I think the concept of a "diabetic diet" or anything being especially "diabetic" is really outdated. Also, there can be a significant difference on how people with type 1 vs type 2 manage their condition. For me (a type 1) my ideal diet is one that is relatively low in carbs AND for which I have an accurate carb count for each item. I stay away from foods like rice, pasta, and bread because (for me) that cause problems hours after eating.
Back when we had slow-acting insulins and no pumps, eating for type 1s could be very difficult, as the entire meal plan had to revolve around the insulin. Now, however, pumps make things easier provided you know approximately how many carbs you're eating (and your I:C ratios are set correctly). I actually cringe when I hear anything that "especially made for diabetics." It makes me think of sugar-free candies which cause my BG to shoot up almost as much as the real thing.
I agree with smileandnod. My number one peeve with eating out is having to ask for the nutritional info, and sometimes they don't even have one!
I would go but I think you shouldn't say its a diabetic care for it may scare people off. I think just healthy choice aimed care would be better. Then you could advertise to everyone needing and wanting to be healthy.... unless u do something on a smaller scale like a food truck or farmers markets then u could focus on specific crowd...good luck!
I think it's a great idea... may be you can also focus on having sugar-free sweet dishes as well coz that's something you generally don't find in market/restaurants very easily... If I have a place to go which serves healthy food and sugar free products, I'll never go anywhere else!
Agreed that you must try to catch the attention of people with diabetes (and hypertension, etc.) but saying that its "healthy" in general, would make sure that you gather a larger customer base... also some diabetics take the word as a social taboo, so they'd be shy in coming over too...