Top Tips To Start Your Food Business

1. Start! As in any endeavours in life, getting started is the most difficult part. Procrastination is the first hurdle we must overcome. We may have the best idea but it remains just that, an idea, until we do something tangible about it. How?

a. Set your goal. If you have a passion for cooking, decide what aspect of your culinary expertise you want to utilize for your business (do you plan to put up a small restaurant? do you prefer to go into catering? will opening an outlet for special delicacy fits you best? etc.) Directly targeting a particular aspect of the business makes it more achievable. Avoid being overwhelmed at the start by targeting several possible aspects of the business at the same time.

b. Learn all you can about the slow food business and add details to your idea to make it more concrete. Read, surf the net, browse over articles in magazines, attend seminars and exhibitions, consult with friends or associates who are or had been in the business. You can learn from their experiences, be they good or bad.

c. Once you have decided which aspect of the food business you think will fit your dream, think of how you will finance it. This may seem to be a major problem but it need not be.

2. Plan how you will finance your dream business. Depending on what you plan to put up, decide how much you are willing or is capable of investing. For a first-timer it is good to plan for a modest, single propriety business. This is a more prudent step to take to minimize possible losses in case things do not go as expected at the start. Also, this will avoid first-timers’ over concern on failing and affect momentum in your plans. To help you finance your dream, you may want to consider these financing sources:

a. Your personal saving

b. Applying for loans with your bank, credit groups, friends, relatives, or NGO organizations. It is advisable not to exhaust your credit limit from any one possible source. Also, approaching as few as sources as possible (preferably only one of them) allows you more fall back assistance in case you grow bigger and require additional financing.

c. Get a business partner who shares the same passion as yours.

3. Now, you are ready to start your business. Consider these important aspects of a business.

a. Location: This may not be a priority if you plan to go into catering but just the same, your cooking facility should be within the area of those you plan to serve. Delivery should not take so much time so fresh food reach your clients faster. This will also save you transport expenses.

However, if you are opening a food outlet like a restaurant, a small stall, or a food cart, consider a place where traffic of potential clients is from moderate to heavy. A stall in food court in malls is a good consideration plus it may cost less than renting a separate space in a shopping complex (but preferably near the food centre as well).

b. Personnel: At the start, hire a minimum number of people. For a small outlet, a cashier (which may be you), two servers, two cooks, and a busboy will suffice. Using disposables will eliminate the need for a dishwasher. But if it is a stall in a fast-food or food court, you dispense with a dishwasher even if reusable utensils since food court managements provide this. Also, there will be no need for a busboy. Daily marketing for supplies can be assigned to your cooks.

c. Work on all the necessary government and health requirements to open up a business legally. Legalizing your business saves you a lot of troubles later on.

d. Marketing strategies: As in any business, advertising play a big part if your are to grow. Here are a few suggestions you may consider:

1) Flyers to let clients know what you offer and for how much.

2) Offer a special price (and smaller portion) for a particular item for the day. This is to let them sample your food without giving it away for free.

3) Offer a free meal for groups of 4 or 5 (whichever is viable to your budget).

4) “Bring-a-friend” incentives (you may give special discount cards to your endorsers).

With the above guidelines, I hope you will find it easier to START your dream food business soon.

NOTE: There are those who engage in this business who give up after only a few months of operation. Among some reasons for this are:

a. Lack of sustained interest.

b. Realization of a better business venture for them. A change of heart is not uncommon.

c. Seeming “slow” growth of the business as per their expectation. Remember, there is a sound Latin adage that says: “Festina lente”(hasten slowly) which can be adopted in running a business.

d. Loss of patience due to the feeling that the business does not seem to grow at all. Usually this situation happens when we fail to apply simple arithmetic in running the day-to-day operation of the business.

Remember that doing exactly the same thing results in getting exactly the same result each time. So if the amount of your investment stays the same each day, your profit will be as was yesterday’s as well. What to do? This may seem to be a slow process BUT it surely works:

At the end of each day, compute your gross income. Deduct a certain percentage of that income (1% or 2%) and add that to your investment for the following day. In this way, your investment grows by so much EACH day painlessly. You will be surprised that your investment (and your net profit) has grown so much in a month’s time or two!


Food Tech Startups Sprouting All Over

Local food movements are booming the world, but it’s not your grandfather’s farm. The Slow Food movement, which came about as a way to promote sustainable agriculture, is getting a boost from millennial ingenuity. Entrepreneurs are turning their attention to improving the way consumers connect with farmers.

There is a growing consumer demand for products with personality. The USDA has been tracking the growth of farmers markets for the past two decades. Since 1994, there’s been a fourfold increase, and in the past year alone, the list of farm markets has gone up 3.6 percent. The popularity of the Whole Foods grocery chain is another sign that small batch, high touch products are increasingly in demand in the United States. Whole Foods’ revenue has grown by a billion dollars a year for the past three years running.

Combine high tech with slow food and you’ve got a new global movement. Big farm agriculture technology, or AgTech, has been around for quite some time. But the small producers can also take advantage of computer driven agriculture.

The newest worldwide food tech trend is designed to both safeguard and revive local food systems. Sensors and software helps farmers boost output and streamline operations, and online marketplaces, sort of a fruit and vegetable version of Etsy, connect farmers and food artisans directly with consumers. The Fruitguys, for example, offer nationwide door-to-door delivery of organic fruit. Take that, Harry and David.

The movement has also caught on in Italy, where investors have helped to launch Rural Hub, a business incubator designed to offer rural startups mentorship, research and links to funding sources. And if you like wine, check out Goodmakers, a website that showcases small vineyards and offers bottles at reasonable prices.

According to Franchise Gator, venture capitalists are making big investments in comestibles (that’s a fancy word for food). For example, a number of small batch coffee roasters are getting major attention. A group that includes tech magnates Tony Conrad, partner at True Ventures and Google Ventures, and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams bought a $20 million controlling stake in Bay Area roaster Blue Bottle Coffee.

Common Market, a Philadelphia based operation that connects local farmers with institutional kitchens, such as schools, hospitals and workplaces, was founded by two business school graduates of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The team recently received a $2 million grant from the Kellogg Foundation and a $350,000 line of credit from RSF PRI Fund, which invests in socially responsible businesses.

Todd Masonis, who was one of the founders of Plaxo, has moved on to found the boutique candy company Dandelion Chocolate. He sees the field as ripe for disruption, as consumers move away from mass market, low quality products.


Why The Mobile Food Market Has Taken Off

No doubt you have actually heard the buzz on the street. The mobile food market has actually taken off and it isn’t most likely to slow down at any time quickly. However it’s not your ordinary sandwich shop or greasy spoon that’s garnering attention. (Their sales are in fact dropping.) It’s ideas that consist of innovative menus featuring fresh ingredients like hand-patted Vermont beef hamburgers and free-range Vermont organic chicken that are on the rise.

For your best choice, look for those that have established themselves as a tested leader in this fast-growing lunch truck service sector of the market, such as some of the leading mobile food companies who continue to grow by at least 10 percent each year. Even in a faltering economy, the exciting fast casual dining ideas that these leading mobile food organisations have actually originated are prospering.

So, does the mobile food industry excite you? It’s going to take some deal with your part. Just the most identified and driven entrepreneurs will succeed. If a business wants to hand you a cart or trailer without asking any concerns, beware. Look for business that are really selective about who they bring into their mobile food supplier household. They will need to know that you’re severe about becoming part of this advanced food principle. And after that they” ll stand next to you every step of the way.

The top mobile food companies will have done all the demographics and evaluated the market. To assist you get a much faster starter, they will likewise have investigated many growth designs and have established a tested system that allows their franchisees to prosper from the first day. This will help you lessen your investment, danger and operational costs so you can achieve your dreams.

The best mobile food franchises will not offer a get rich fast plan. What they do deal is a method for you to participate the ground floor of the growing mobile concession market. They set you up for success and then you supply the interest to operate your brand-new mobile treats trailer.

Yes, the concession trailer company is flourishing. However only for those on the leading edge of customer habits. For instance, a few of the leading mobile food trailers have actually developed their success on fresh grass-fed burgers, natural hormone-free chicken, and constantly fresh veggies. Coupled with a commitment to green operations it clear they’re leading the way with their quick-service restaurant on wheels! Quick-service dining establishments that succeed are those who are constantly progressing and searching for new methods to keep customers coming back for more. And those are rare.