7 key ingredients for a successful food business
Doing something new often poses a lot of risks and challenges. Whether you are pursuing a new hobby, planning to get married, or changing your career path — the first step towards that direction is often the hardest to make. There are many things you need to consider, prepare, and keep in mind.
One of the riskiest endeavours a person can venture into is putting up their own business, especially if it’s in a highly competitive environment like the food industry. And of course, no one wants to risk their finances on a venture that will not succeed in the long run.
That is why it is crucial to start your business right. And what better way to prepare for it than to identify the key ingredients for a successful venture? Chef Josh Boutwood─owner of The Test Kitchen and Savage restaurants, and the brand ambassador of Great Food Solutions (GFS), the foodservice arm of San Miguel Pure Foods─shares seven things aspiring entrepreneurs need to keep in mind
1. Turn your idea into fruit
We all know that the restaurant trade is a very ruthless one. Due to the amount of competition that exists, aspiring entrepreneurs might ask themselves: “Where do I even start?”
Before jumping into the details of rent, staff, and capital, you should start with a novel idea. As Chef Josh Boutwood said: “Come up with a novel idea but don’t let that idea be bigger than you. You must be able to control that idea and turn that into fruit.”
Once you have a fully-formed and well thought out idea in mind, start breaking it down into tangible, achievable steps. Consider the following questions: How do I want this business to be? What are my goals in putting it up? How am I going to set my business apart from the competition? Defining the direction of your idea allows you control it and bring out the desired result.
2. Build good relationships
Though profit is an important goal in all businesses, it shouldn’t just be about it alone. Think of your business as an extension of yourself. More than selling your products, aim to communicate yourself to your customers. The more you connect with them, the more they will get to know and appreciate your business. In turn, you’ll get to know your customers better and be able to meet their expectations.
3. Be familiar but different
The common notion in coming up with a business idea is that it has to be something unique. You wouldn’t want to put up something that has been done by ten other entrepreneurs. But contrary to what you may think, people still tend to lean on the familiar — the comfort in knowing a dish before ordering it. They may at times be adventurous in their choices, but they will often prefer the familiar.
But being familiar does not mean you have to be boring — the key is to be different. For example, let’s say that your menu includes adobo. There are hundreds of restaurants that serve the same dish, so what can you do to make it different? How can you make it more delicious without losing its familiarity?
4. Get the right people
The only way you can communicate with your customers efficiently is by building a good team that will help you serve your diners better. The staff is a crucial part of the food business and can even define its success. After all, good customer service is always part of what customers look for in a restaurant. That is why investing on a good team should be one of your priorities. They don’t necessarily have to well-experienced people. In fact, Chef Boutwood advises that “some of the best staffs are those without experience because they do not have any bad habits.”
5. Watch your financial margins
Starting your own business isn’t all about creativity. You also need to understand the business aspect that comes with it. Chef Boutwood suggests: “You need to establish what your target sales should be to cover the cost that you will incur in opening the restaurant — rent, employment, labor, product, utilities, etc. Once you have calculated that, then you can make adjustments with your margins and find out areas you can streamline.”
For example, instead of hiring additional manpower in breading chicken, you can cut on your labor cost (and save time as well) by purchasing breaded and ready-to-cook chicken from GFS.
6. Make your business sustainable
Every business takes time to become successful. It is a long journey with a lot of hits and misses along the way. That’s why in order for your food business to thrive, you must keep it sustainable. Chef Boutwood shares that one of the secret to sustainability is keeping it “fresh and innovative”.
Be sure to offer something that your customers won’t find anywhere else. But gird your fresh and innovative ideas in a way that it still meets your guests expectations. “You must figure out how you can make their expectations live up to the experience and that is your secret to sustainability.”
7. Partner with a reliable supplier
One of the chief considerations in a food business is looking for a great supplier to partner with. You need a company that has everything you need at a reasonable price without compromising its quality. It is highly advisable to look for a supplier that does not only provide you with the products you need, but who can train you, help you with food and safety concerns — especially if you’re just starting out.
Great Food Solutions has a diverse selection of products you can choose from — your baking needs, specialty sauces, meat and poultry — you name it. You are also assured that the quality of their products is consistent.
GFS also has nationwide delivery system that can cater to a growing business. The slew of different services they offer can give your business a competitive advantage. For inquiries, you may call the Great Food Solutions hotline: 632-2000 or visit www.greatfoodsolutions.com.
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