Maid-Rite had targeted the city a couple of years ago, but it was determined that the population was not large enough for the existing business plan. Recently, the company completed a new prototype for use in Storm Lake and other communities of its size, according to Vice President Tania Burt.
The restaurant could be located in a retail strip or leased space, in as little as 1,000-1,200 square feet. Such a restaurant could serve 28-30 customers at a time and be operated by as few as two employees.
The prototype planned for Storm Lake would have no fried food on the menu, and would center around the company's traditional loose-meat beef sandwiches (cooked by steam) along with newer smoked chicken and pulled pork entrees, Cheese-Rites, and healthy wraps featuring gourmet cheeses. Soup and chili and side dishes such as skin-on potato salad and coleslaw are planned.
The Storm Lake restaurant would be modern in every way but decor, which would be based around a '50s diner, with neon, padded stools, checkerboard floors and bright colors. A franchisee would need less than $175,000 to get started.
Back in 1926, Maid-Rite's founder, Fred Angell, got the name for his Maid-Rite sandwich, when he served one of his new sandwich concoctions to the mailman delivering mail to his butcher shop. When Fred Angell asked the fellow how he liked the sandwich, the mailman replied to Mr. Angell, "You know, Fred, these sandwiches are made right!"