It’s one thing to have a flair for food, and entirely another to recreate the flavourful experience for other people. From the grandest five-star bistros to the humble hole-in-the-walls, food businesses drive themselves forward with their shared love for food.
If you’re planning to venture into the food industry, know that it’s more than just managing the chaos in the kitchen. Here are some of the hurdles that most starting food-entrepreneurs and restaurateurs experience:
While most people scramble for a concept first, in reality, it’s your potential business’ scalability that you want to resolve at the start. Admittedly, sourcing a scalable and robust supply chain has always been a challenge for food business owners. It always involves two things: where you can get supplies and how you can have it delivered.
If you live in most European countries, sourcing reliable food logistics or road freight services is perhaps the easiest part. It’s finding high-quality and consistent suppliers that’s a struggle.
Depending on the imminent demand of your food business, you can get your supplies from local organic suppliers or national wholesale suppliers. Tapping the former means buying from your community market or straight from farmers and butchers themselves for new livestock or produce. Meanwhile, approaching wholesale dealers gives you a more extensive range of product supplies. These are already processed and manufactured, ready for rendition.
Predicting your food business’s demand entails a few other things. First on that list is getting acquainted with your potential market. This is where you ask yourself: what will I make, and for whom?
Now’s the time to let your mind play with great and original ideas. Feel free to explore – find ways to replicate your favorite meal for other people to enjoy. Experiment on family recipes or create new, crazy, innovative ones. Decide if you want to focus on serving novelty food, beverages, or both. Standardize your cooking techniques. Don’t tie yourself to an idea, as your business’ menu can and shall still expand in the future.
Once you’ve found your niche, study its performance in the past. While everyone enjoys food, you might find that you sell better when you cater to specific circles. Research past and current trends on various strata of the food business: age groups, social class, gender, and so on.
Understand what drove customer trust and retention for food businesses in your niche. Was it because of excellent service, the superb menu, or the marketing strategy? While most successful food businesses banked on hype to grow, yours may or may not die down as you start to scale.
You will also need to determine your physical position in predicting your market. What type of food establishment are you trying to put up? Are you building a brick-and-mortar restaurant at the heart of a busy district, or are you looking to start a small diner in your neighborhood? Who would be your competitors in your chosen location? You might even be obliged to know what the weather is like in your preferred location.
The beginning will always be the hardest part. Once you’ve established the basics of your food business, you will start to move toward settling more in-depth internal matters. Resolving your utilities, hiring the right staff, and finding the right kitchen furnishing and catering equipment will enter the fray.
Then, the day will come when you need to hire more employees, double the size of your kitchen kit, and enlist a larger delivery fleet. Take it a step at a time. Remember to put your passion for food at the center, and your food business will naturally flourish.