Making a Profitable Restaurant: My Proposal

Restaurant name: "Seance"

The restaurant is simply put together by a team of theater art majors at a local college, ghost hunting teams who have nonprofit status and don't mind using some elbow grease, as well as some digital art majors and electronics majors who might like to put together some Pepper's Ghosts and other effects.  Supplies come from mostly thrift shops and a fair deal of paint.

The restaurant is set up in a front room that is window lined and a back room that is a formal dining hall dived into two separate dining halls with a good wall between them.  This is a year-round experience and Halloween season takes it to the next level where effects are amped up and guests show up in costume and are giving a masquerade mask.  Wait staff is dressed formally in Victorian Era.

Afternoon Tea:  (1 pm to 4 pm) Front room is done with lace curtains, small intimate tables, a set up in a corner for aura photographs and someone who takes them and interprets them. Guests sit in a formal looking dining area with lace and chandeliers and afternoon tea is served, along with options for palm reading and aura pictures. 

Haunted meal:  Back two dining rooms are for staged timed groups for dining in a haunted hall. They are dark, formal, ornate aged mirrors that are rigged to allow for a light on a mannequin behind the two-way glass so upon occasion randomly the light in the mirror lights up a face briefly, chandeliers are set to tinkle, a haunting moan erupts randomly, a holographic figure walks through the dining hall. Objects move occasionally. Nothing dramatic or horrifying, just subtle enough to wonder what's next. Dinner is served in groups with dinner reservations being set for each hall staggering 5:00, 7:00 and 9:00 in one hall and 6:00 and 8:00 in the other hall.  

Seance:  When 8:00 is done in the one hall, the room is set up with tables brought together for a seance with brandy and cheese/fruit platters for guests.  Guests can get a package of meal/seance or just meal and people can purchase just seance with no meal and arrive for seance time. Seance at 9:30.  Other hall has a seance at 10:30 the same way.  Many effects are set up to go off during the seance with all the feeling and creepiness of the opening scene of "The Awakening" or any spiritualist movement affair.

Anyone can have a restaurant, but one that makes it possible to pass a large group of people wanting more than just a meal, but an evening event, is an ideal situation. Decorating done with thrift store finds and paint effects to create crackling, aging, gold gilding on simple mirrors, and more staging can make the restaurant feel haunting and elegant cheaply and labor from students of theater arts or local mural artists is a great way to build the decorations up economically.

This Victorian era/spiritualist movement could take on elements of steampunk and turn holidays into something very nostalgic - with a Christmas theme of A Christmas Carol themed-ghosts and a ghostly holographic caroling group. 

The options are unlimited, but if anyone thinks this is the project to do, I'd seriously love to give some input!


  1. Sounds amazing - I'd eat there. My only question is what sort of food would you serve during dinner? I can't burgers being appropriate for this restaurant.


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