Article contributed by Lucy Wyndham
Pop-up restaurants are officially on trend, with entrepreneurs making the most of opportunities to rent out diner space, set up at food events or sell food from under their own roof.
With this in mind, you may find yourself seriously thinking about starting your own food business from home. Furthermore, the success of packaging such as crisp food technology also helps alleviate the challenge of delivering food to customers within thirty minutes. In order to turn your gastronomic business idea into something profitable and sustainable, however, you need to make sure you are on the ball when it comes to marketing and finances.
Decide on your niche
First things first, with nearly half of food startups going under within five years, you need to get your product right. Scout out an untapped market in the city you are working from that would pull in customers. Be clear on your company’s key message and ethos. These aspects will depend on the demographic of your city, the potential competition you would be faced with in the area, and the costs. With food businesses involving average startup costs of $10,000-$50,000, it is extremely important that you spend ample time researching your chosen niche and target audience. Be sure, too, to fully get to grips with the costs involved in getting your business off the ground and covering overheads.
Prioritize your social media presence
The prevalence of successful pop-up eateries is largely down to one extremely powerful tool: social media. Raise awareness of your brand by reaching out to your target audience on Instagram and other social media platforms. Pique people’s interest by sharing photos of your food; with followers going on to share these pictures themselves, your images are the most effective way of drawing in business. Include ‘behind the scenes’ pictures too; whether it be a shot of you sourcing supplies, or a fun photo of you and your team in Hawaiian shirts and garlands, these sorts of pictures can help followers feel connected in a way that doesn’t happen with more conventional brands. Meanwhile, along with pictures, having competitions to incentivize followers to share your page on Facebook can be a very effective way of increasing your number of followers and gaining more customers.
Invest in the necessary equipment
It goes without saying that to do any job well you need the right tools. It’s no different when it comes to your business. With this in mind, don’t try to cut back on costs by sacrificing quality. Even if it means parting with more money, prioritize equipment that will enable you to prepare and package dishes as quickly as possible, en masse. Doing so will mean you can spend more time focusing on important things such as marketing and planning, rather than being bogged down in the kitchen and worrying about keeping your waiting customers happy.
The takeaway: savvy marketing and good food are a recipe for success
The competitive nature of start up businesses can make running your own food business a daunting prospect. However, keep the faith. By doing the appropriate research, marketing your brand effectively and, of course, producing consistently tasty food, there is no reason to believe your business won’t thrive.