Everybody knows that starting a food business is tough. For starters, the industry itself is super competitive. It’s something practically everybody can take a punt at. And many people have.
But it’s also tough because there aren’t all that many ways you can gain an advantage over your competitors on cost. The reason why we’ve seen businesses like Uber and Xiaomi do so well is that they have managed to undercut their competitors. These opportunities don’t seem to exist in the food industry. Or if they do, nobody is smart enough to think of them.
The tricks to setting up a successful food business, therefore, are all about doing things well, the old fashioned way. No silver bullet is going to catapult your business to enormous success.
Start Out Local
The best way to build a customer base is to really get to know your customers. Start out by selling your food to local businesses and cafes. You’ll find it a lot easier than if you go straight to the supermarkets and restaurant chains.
If you want to set up a restaurant eventually, start off by selling at local markets. And make sure that you ask for feedback. One cool idea is to place two bins in front of your stall. Ask customers to throw their rubbish in one bin if they liked what you sold, and the other if they didn’t. This way they don’t have to go to any extra effort to fill out feedback forms.
Use The Same Facilities As The Pros
If you’ve ever seen a commercial kitchen, you’ll have noticed it’s all made from stainless steel. It’s not exactly pretty. But it looks the way it does for a reason. Stainless steel is hygienic.
Having the right flooring for food environments is also critical. You need flooring that is easy to clean and stain resistant. Appropriate flooring is of particular importance if you are setting up a factory that will process a large volume of food.
Work On Recipes Obsessively
When it comes down to it, it’s the taste that matters in the food business. You might have a plush restaurant with beautiful fittings, or a factory that can churn out a thousand cupcakes a minute. But if the taste is lacking, nobody will want to buy what you have to sell.
Trial your food on everybody that you know. Ask for their feedback and then go back to the kitchen. Tinker with your recipes and experiment every day until you come up with the perfect combination. Don’t be afraid to take risks with new flavour combinations. Most of your attempts will fail, but a few will really work and take your food to the next level.
Come Up With An Interesting Brand
The food industry is competitive. And there are only a few ways that you can really differentiate your product. That’s why branding is so important. Think for a moment about what it is that your brand stands for. Then make sure you communicate your core message through your website and your packaging.