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Starting a Food Business: An Ultimate Guide for Startups

Food Business isn’t a new concept. It is one of the oldest businesses in the world. Nowadays, the food business has evolved to a prominent stage. With the economic growth, the consumption habits of people also have changed and people love to eat outside more. Besides, the day to day life of people is getting busier, and they have a little time to spare for cooking food. Starting a food business is a rational idea as people are depending on restaurants, takeouts. Demand for good food is always high. The same rule applies to food caterers.

Topics covered in this article

Food business has become a popular startup idea among the entrepreneurs at present. You might have noticed the growing number of restaurants in your city and thinking about the profitability of the food business. You might have wondered about the fame of McDonald’s or The Ledbury and dreamt of having such a brand someday. So, you are planning for starting a food business of your own.

Food business can be of different kinds, such as you can start a business just from your kitchen at your home or you can set up a restaurant where people will come to eat. Whichever you choose, the basic strategies of food business are all the same. It can be seen restaurants running smoothly and making profits easily, but you can’t see how much effort they are employing to run the business smoothly and make that profit. Without proper planning and strategies, all your plans may fail and cause you a great loss. So, before starting your food business, you need to know the basic food business strategies.

Tips for starting your food business

Set your target customers

Before starting a food business, like any other entrepreneurship, the first and foremost thing is to decide your target customers. Not all the people of all ages and classes will be your customer. Different people have different food habits. Food habits vary with different factors such as social status, income, age and more. And you can’t satisfy all of them at the same time. So it’s better to set first who will be your customers. Then it will be easy for you to comply with your customers choice.

Define your niche

Foods can be of a thousand types. You can’t make your business with all types of foods as it is not feasible and also somewhat impossible. So, the first step of starting your food business is to decide what type of foods you will make. Your restaurant can be of traditional food, continental food, fast food or simply a coffee shop. But one thing you must keep in mind while deciding your products is the food habit of the people. You must comply with the food habits of your customers. Most of the successful restaurant owners suggest sticking with a single category of food which will be the spokesman of your restaurant. It is better to be the master of one thing rather than being a jack of all trades.

Location: A prime factor

After deciding your target customers and your niche, you have to go for your restaurant’s location. There are a number of restaurants which have failed just for not being at the right location even after having a concrete strategy. You don’t want to see your business fail. So you need to decide the right location for your restaurant. You need such a place that draws the crowd’s attention and easily accessible, and of course, within your budget. So you have to spend time to find the right place. It makes sense to find a place in a crowded place like shopping malls where dedicated spaces for restaurants are available or in a food court where the foodies gather always.

Make a brand

Make Brand for Food Business

After setting up the three steps mentioned earlier, you need to make a brand of your food business. A brand consists of a nice name, an engaging motto, and an eye-catching logo which make your brand recognisable to your customers. Create your brand in such a way that your brand comes first in the customer’s mind when they think of a relevant product. Consider which brand comes first in your mind when you think about a coffee shop? Perhaps it’s the Starbucks. Yes?

You have work until your brand reaches that position after establishing your food business. So, it’s better to start branding from the very beginning of your business.

Assemble your team

Different food business types need a different level of workforce. However, for your restaurant business, you need some competent kitchen staff, some smart waiters and a capable manager to lead them which can be you yourself. Your restaurant’s reputation is dependent on how your foods are which totally depends on your kitchen staff. So, a master chef is needed in your kitchen who will prepare the foods. Besides, you need some subordinates to assist your chef in the kitchen. You can’t forget the thing that your reputation isn’t about your foods, it is also about how the foods are being served and the behaviours of the waiters. So you have to make a team of trained, well-behaved waiters that will make sure your customer’s satisfaction.

Create and test your menu

Your product is your food. People will gossip about your foods and if they say good things about your food, you don’t need to worry about the marketing of your business. The best marketing tool is your customer’s satisfaction, and they’ll make the promotion on their own if they love your food. So put the top priority on preparing the foods in a way that your customers would love. Before opening your restaurant, you have to make a nice menu of your foods and make some experiments on it. You should invite some customers to test the foods and give you feedback so that you can curtail the drawbacks. But remember, never invite only your friends and close persons to test your foods as they may be biased to give you a proper review. Try to get neutral feedback as much as you can and make improvements before the opening day. You can’t forget the thing that your reputation isn’t about your foods, it is also about how the foods are being served and the behaviours of the waiters. So you have to make a team of trained, well-behaved waiters that will make sure your customer’s satisfaction.

Ensure food safety and hygiene

Food business is more sensitive than other business types as here your customers will consume your products. Therefore, safety and hygiene is a serious issue in the food business. You don’t want to risk your customer’s health and safety. So, you have to prepare and handle foods in a way so that it becomes safe and sound to consume. Besides, keeping your kitchen and restaurant’s environment neat and clean is also an essential task. You always have to care for your customer’s health. So, it’s better to take training on food safety and hygiene before starting your food business.

Think marketing

For a new business, marketing is an important task to do. You have made all the arrangements to kick-start your business to success but if you can’t ensure your business’s presence to the customers, all the efforts will go in vain. The success of a business depends greatly on its marketing plan. Besides, you can’t depend only on your existing customers. You have to unveil new opportunities and catch new customers to sustain your revenue flow. Keep a strong presence in the formal and social marketing channels and make exclusive promotional offers on different occasions to draw more customers. Remember that you aren’t the only option for your customers. There are a bunch of competitors of your business and you have to beat them always to make profits. So, you need a strong marketing strategy for your food business.

Meet the legal requirements

Last but not least, you have to meet the legal requirements to run your food business. In the UK, food safety legislation are very strict and you must comply with that. You have to register with your local authority before starting your food business. You have to register before 28 days of opening your business. Besides this, you need to have proper tax papers. Also, you and all your staff need to have food safety certifications to sell food to the public.

That’s all for you today. Now you have learned enough about the food business strategies you need. You might be wondering about getting your needed certifications to start your food business. Why bother? You can consider taking an online course on food hygiene and safety which will give you the legality to start your business. Have a look over it.

May 3, 2020

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