Starting A Food Business: Your Ultimate Checklist For Success

After coming up with a fresh, new business idea to enter the foodservice and restaurant industry, some aspiring restaurateurs may be unsure of what their next move should be or where to start.

With a concrete, clear business plan, the right team and equipment, and an effective marketing and branding strategy, you can ready yourself for entering the high-energy, rewarding world of food business ownership. Following the tips listed below and providing an excellent experience for your patrons can set your food business up for long-term success, elevating it to mainstay status in the community.

Create a Business Plan

Drafting a feasible business plan is the most crucial step in starting a food business. In your plans, you should first determine your business entity. Will your food business be a limited liability company (LLC), a sole proprietorship, or a general partnership? From there, you should create a concept, draft a menu of dishes and beverages, and come up with prices. Decide if you will operate as a full-service restaurant and bar, or if you will take another route and open a quick-service restaurant or a successful food truck.

Identifying your target market is essential. Do some research into the kinds of customers you will attract based on your concept and prices.

Investigating the likelihood of success of specific locations can be helpful, as well. Entrepreneurs who still haven’t found the perfect place for their food business should look into what neighborhoods provide the highest chances at a sustainable market share and research the competition.

No business plans are complete without a budget for expenses, including inventory, utilities, rent, and labor.

Build a Strong, Appropriate-Sized Team

The labor and staffing considerations of your food business will depend on the concept. Running a food truck, for instance, may only require you to hire two or three other people, based on your vehicle size. However, a restaurant operating at full-service will need chefs, an entire kitchen staff, hosts, servers, legal-aged bartenders, and busboys.

Consult your business plan to figure out how many employees you can afford and how they will serve management, the front-of-house, and back-of-house.

Conduct thorough interviews for talented employees, determine if they have sufficient food service experience, and confirm that there aren’t any red flags that could prevent their employment.

Obtain the Best Equipment

It’s hard to run a food service business without adequate equipment, which is why restaurant equipment is a significant startup cost. Business owners have to rent or purchase furniture; they must also acquire flatware, glassware, and barware; And then there are large purchases such as commercial cooking equipment, including appliances such as ovens, grills, and fryers. Lastly, a food business cannot survive without proper cold storage appliances including a refrigerator, walk-in freezer, cooler, and ice machine.

Rely on a reputable service—such as GoFoodService—to supply you with the best restaurant equipment. GoFoodService specializes in commercial restaurant supply, providing appliances, refrigeration equipment, storage and transport, furniture, and more for various businesses in the foodservice industry. Whether you run a cafeteria or bakery, this restaurant supply store can equip your business with high-quality merchandise at wholesale prices to produce and sell food.

The janitorial supplies and disposables provided by this company can help food business owners implement cleanliness and pro-hygiene measures in their commercial kitchens and food trucks. Such measures are crucial, considering restaurateurs must do their best to limit and stop the spread of COVID-19 among their staff and patrons. GoFoodservice researches and showcases excellent products that keep kitchens working efficiently, safely, and reliably.

Define and Market Your Brand

The look of your menu, logo design, the interior of your restaurant, the atmosphere you create for patrons, and the staff uniforms contribute to your food business’ brand identity. Your brand identity defines what your food business is about and your values; it lets your customers know what to expect from your establishment.

Before opening up, you’ll want to alert the community that a new place for satiating hunger is arriving. Utilizing the services of a professional Branding Agency—such as Azai Studios, a New York-based digital marketing agency—is one of the best practices for increasing publicity.

This digital agency designs visual identity systems and creates powerful, goal-achieving brands by focusing on strategic, clear data-driven ideas and visuals. With years of experience working with popular brands in the U.S., this agency crafts well-defined strategies for building brand awareness.

Through exploration, brand strategy and positioning, web design, visual identity design, content production, social media, and digital marketing, this agency can help you spread the news about your new food business and reach people at the right time through the right mediums.

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John Pearson is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.

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