How to Start a Food Business
The increase in lifestyle standards experienced throughout the world has led people to spend more and more time devoted to their work and to entertainment and less and less towards keeping house and cooking. That has meant that a slew of services for the upkeep of a home and for ordering out has risen from this need. The number of food service operations has increased in 40 years from 155,000 to about 960,000. However, that doesn’t mean that the market is saturated, it just means that there’s an abundance of food services. There can always be more that offer something different and capitalize on the latest trends or people’s preferences for certain kinds of foods. Here’s how you can start a food business of your own.
Figure out your Target Market
You have to know what you’re appealing to. There are restaurants out there that appeal to the every man like McDonald’s and Wendy’s and there are restaurants that appeal to the high end of society and then there are those that appeal to millennials and generation Z etc., like Starbucks.
The generations that like to go to restaurants most often and like to eat out in general are those that are the youngest. They also have a strong tendency to order out frequently. The older generations get less and less inclined to order out and usually enjoy a good home cooked meal at home with the family. The younger generations like the millennials and generation z have a tendency to isolate themselves and either go out with friends or order out and stay home to watch Netflix.
Hence, you have to decide what you’re selling and who you’re selling to, to focus your marketing.
You need to realize what kind of restaurant theme you’re going for. If you’re targeting the upper echelons of society then you need to think about ambiance, décor, upscale service etc. and if you’re going for the every man, you need to think about a mid-scale establishment that looks approachable and has a homely atmosphere that appeals to blue collar families and the working man.
And if you’re going for a place that entertains teenagers and the youth, you need to go for a model similar to Starbucks, an upscale place that allows people to chat, hang out and provides a new age ambiance.
Selecting a Food Concept
You need to figure out what kind of food you’re selling. The best thing to do is to go for a specific niche. Most high-end restaurants have a bit of everything, mid-scale restaurants have a specific and recognizable menu and low scale establishments like burger shops and family bakeries also follow the same mantra. However, there are other categories like seafood, steakhouse, casual dining, even ice-cream parlors, and you can be successful in either of them if you just find out what sells best and what your most lucrative servings are.
Of course, all of this means that you’ll need to take risks and be willing to make mistakes and learn from them, like in any business. If you stick to your guns and learn however, you’re bound to find success one way or another.