The Ultimate Checklist to Starting a Food Business



I get it. You woke up with a terrific idea for a food business or a new restaurant and the entire process seems pretty easy. It can’t be that hard to start up a new food business once you’re armed with a great idea, right? Wrong. Contrary to what the little voice in your head is probably telling you, opening a food business isn’t just a “cook-sell” process. It’s so much more than that.

You’ve probably heard of so many food businesses that came crashing down just a few months after opening. The new fancy restaurant around the corner. The new buka down your street. This just goes to show that “great taste” isn’t enough to keep your business running. You need so much more than that.

If you’re thinking of starting a food business, I’d like to get you started on the right path by giving you a detailed checklist of everything you need to get started. I really hope this helps!

Draft a Business Plan

Ready to get your food business on the road? You need to arm yourself with a solid business plan. What exactly are you aiming to achieve with your business? Here’s a list of things your business plan should contain or include:

·        Your food business concept: What exactly will your food business look like? A high-end restaurant? A quick-service one? A food truck? You have to map out your expected concept just before you dive into running a food business.

·        Target market: Who does your target market comprise of? Students? Business men? Knowing who your target market is will help you to market rightly to them.

·        Name, logo and marketing: Decide on an appropriate name and logo for your food business. You will also need to map out a detailed marketing strategy for your business.

·        A budget for expenses: Craft out a realistic budget for all your expenses including food, equipment and so on. Equally set out prices for your menu. What prices will rake in profit for your business?

·        Your business structure: How many employees will your business have? How will they be structured?

Answering these questions will help you to draft a detailed and concise plan for your food business.

Get Your Equipment Together

Equipment is the foundation to your food business. Believe it or not, if you are starting up a food business, your equipment will take up a significant percentage of your budget. You definitely cannot start up a restaurant without having the right equipment to cook the food. Here are some of the basic equipment you will need for your food business:

·        Kitchen appliances such as stoves, microwaves, ovens and so on.

·        Storage appliances like freezers and refrigerators.

·        Kitchen utensils such as sauce pans, pots, tongs, cooking spoons and so on.

·        Silverware as well as tablecloths, napkins and the likes.

·        Furnishings like chairs, tables, wall paintings and so on.

This equipment checklist is by no means universal. You could get something different for your restaurant. However, this list will serve as a guide to getting the right equipment for your food business.

Get the Necessary Licenses and Permits

When starting up a food business –or any business for that matter –you will need to obtain certain licenses and permits. These permits vary according to the type of restaurant you are setting up. Your state or city may also have specific regulations set in place.

Either way, ensure that you pay attention to the local laws governing food businesses and abide by them to avoid getting shut down before you even start.

Assemble Your Team

Like every type of business out there, your food business needs a competent team for it to flourish. Believe it or not, you can’t exactly do everything yourself when it comes to running a business. That’s just your Superhero Syndrome talking (Tweet me). You need a staff that would help with the day-to-day running of your restaurant. The size of your team depends on the type of food business you want to start up.

If it is a food truck or a quick-service food business, you could run it with just one or two extra helpers. However, if you are looking to start up a full-blown restaurant, then you definitely need a complete kitchen staff and of course, a team of servers.

Bottom Line

Starting up a food business can be confusing if you are a first-timer. You need to be armed with more than just your cooking skills. Luckily, we have created the ultimate checklist for you if you are looking to start your own restaurant. Good luck!

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