The Rice and Beans Cafe was started in 2019 in Lake Charles, LA as a side project between my daughter-in-law and myself. I am a disabled firefighter, and was looking for a new direction. She needed a start in business. We chose our location next to a Save-a-Lot grocery a few blocks from a homeless shelter and a McDonald's. We wanted to provide hot, nutritious meals for a low price as a counter to fast food and the trend of high priced specialty bistros and food trucks that seem to be running the nation.
It was a quick success. We literally made small go-cups and gave them out for free to people in the neighborhoods around the market and at the shelter. We made back our entire start-up cost of $45K in the first nine-months while claiming a salary.
We did this with no social media presence or advertising. It was all word of mouth.
Then the Pandemic hit in 2020, alongside economic downturns in every industry. From that set of unfortunate circumstances, our concept truly found solid footing. As a small, take-out only style eatery, we were at times the only place open for business, AND we were affordable even in those early days when the shutdown first took effect. We sold over 15,000 plates from April to August through our makeshift take-out window, and grossed nearly $130K.
We made it through Hurricane Laura (Cat 4 - Aug, 2020), serving food by generator at times, but the double punch of Hurricane Delta two months later (Cat 2 - October, 2020) left us closed for nearly five months until spring of 2021.
Then, the triple threat came in the form of Hurricane Ida the following summer (Cat 4 - Aug, 2021) which took down our building for good. Instead of re-opening for the second time in a year, we decided to explore franchising the concept
With one of the lowest start-up costs and franchise fees in the industry, we are recreating our success with entrepreneurs across the country.
We currently have markets available in S. Louisiana and S. Mississippi, and are developing districts in N. Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama. If you are outside these regions and wish to get in on the ground floor of your area, contact us.
Great Food. Better Prices!
Pioneering the under $10 business model
If you're interested in hearing more about the way we work, have a business proposal, or are interested in making a purchase, we'd love to hear from you.