Easy Way To Start Your Food Business

During these hard days, everyone is searching high and low for ways to earn and make both ends meet. Employment is one of the options. Unfortunately, not everyone can avail of this opportunity, either due to the limited availability of jobs or due to lack of qualifications for the jobs available.

Another means to earn is to go into business which I believe is a better and a more promising option. Here are some simple and practical steps that may guide you in putting up a food business the easy way:

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 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!

GOOD LUCK!

Catering Van for Your Mobile Food Business

If you’re planning on starting a food business but don’t have enough capital to put-up a diner or a restaurant, you may want to consider starting your food business through a mobile catering van.

There are a lot of mobile food businesses these days and they cater to a wide range of customers. From offering burgers, hotdogs and deli sandwiches to numerous beverages; these mobile food businesses thrive when exposed to the right market.

This being said, starting this type of business requires careful study in order to get it off the ground towards the right direction. If you are passionate about food and people, you’ve got two very important factors already under your belt.

START YOUR FOOD BUSINESS ON THE RIGHT TRACK

One of the first things you need to consider when starting this kind of business is the product that you would like to offer. Since a catering van, although well-equipped with cooking paraphernalia, still has its limitations, hence; food or beverage that is easy to prepare should be considered.

If you are jumping on the bandwagon and would want to sell burgers and other fast food items; consider your selling point. Do you have a special ingredient or recipe that would make your burgers or sandwiches more appealing to your prospective customers?

Perhaps you can offer your items at lower prices but still of superior quality. Thinking of a come-on to attract customers and keep them coming back for more is essential to stabilize your business and also to allow you to expand in the future.

Who is your target market and where do you plan to park your mobile business? Mobile of course means that you can transfer from one place to the next without trouble, but staying in one particular area at a time could increase your clientele before moving on to the next.

Costing and budgeting come next. This includes expenses for your ingredients and packaging, gasoline and other expenditures. You should also include here the amount you shelled-out for your catering van.

If getting a brand new van is not possible at this time, there are a lot of second-hand vans that you can purchase and you may find some great deals on the internet.

BUYING YOUR VAN

As mentioned, there are a lot of used vans for catering that you can find on the internet. These are full-equipped with essential cooking utilities such as oven, microwave oven, a sink, stovetop and even a small refrigerator.

You may also add other cooking equipment if there are other things you deem essential for your cooking. The prices may vary but you can get a pretty good deal on these and the prices are usually still negotiable, depending on the owner of the van.

You can arrange with the owner for an ocular inspection and even a test drive so you can see the exact condition of the van and decide on whether or not it is what you actually need.

Most used vans are specifically equipped for certain food products such as a burger van or a sandwich van; and even a beverage van; so you may also check these factors out when looking for your mobile food van.

Starting a Wholesale Food Business

Those who enjoy making gourmet food are always eager to demonstrate to their friends and relatives for them to taste the delicious dishes they like making. A more useful way to let people sample your favorite and best dishes would be to start a wholesale food business. In this way, you would be able to make money as you continue to serve people with wonderfully made food.

When you get to start this kind of business, the first thing is to invite the friends or relatives to just come and sample the food free of charge and as they do so they will be coming back for more. It is a means of getting contacts and clients for your business.

Offering to volunteer at social events in the schools, or other such places can also help to spread the news about your cooking. Take with you several types of dishes that are your best and get as many people as possible to taste them.

Once you finish with this, the next step will be to serve at small parties and gatherings at house functions. People will soon begin to ask for more of your food, and this will give you a good client base.

Any invitations to people’s parties or houses should be accompanied with one dish or the other which you will use to entice people to start enjoying your food. In this way, you will keep introducing people to a list of dishes that they will find interesting.

As people begin to get interested in you and the selfless way you offer to feed people, you will form many friends who will be commenting about your food most of the time. That is a clever way of winning customers and very soon you will be making some sales on the side.

Also consider serving at community events and meeting more and more people there as end up building your circle of friends. The community activities might just be to volunteer to serve at a booth in a church compound, or school event. It will offer you a golden chance to display your best dishes and serve people freely.

To cut down costs, go for affordable foods and smaller portions, but do not charge expensively for them. At first it will be a bit difficult but eventually when the customers start to like your food, you will be able to recover the moneys you spent at this early stage.

Whenever you go to functions, people will slowly get used to eating your best dishes and they will begin to ask for them.