Home base: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Units: 40 original; 1 new prototype
Seats: 50 to 70
Check average: $7
Average unit volume: $875,000
Growth plans: 3 more in 2003, then controlled growth through multi-unit operators
Web site: www.pickermans.com
Why watch it?: Innovative dinner offerings and soup focus should bode well for business.
Pickerman?s The Original Soup Cafe?the new, fast-casual incarnation of Pickerman?s Soup and Sandwich Shop?kicks menu and atmosphere up a notch to keep customers coming in both noon and night.
Eight soups are available each day in three different menu options: Hearty Soup Meals of country beef stew, chowder or chili in 16-ounce Big Bowls or bread bowls; a soup-and-salad combination with two soup varieties plus all-you-can-eat tossed salad; or Simply Soup, a two-soup sampler.
To attract dinner crowds, Pickerman?s offers six Danish-style open-faced sandwiches meant to be eaten with knife and fork in addition to eight deli-style offerings. Options include Painted Desert Chicken made with diced fajita chicken topped with flame-roasted red and green peppers, onions and pepper Jack cheese.
Pickerman?s employees deliver meals to guests, and all items arrive on china with flatware.