Does your passion lie in food? If you want to go in this direction and set up a food-based business, you have plenty of options and there’s something for all budgets and experience levels. Here are some of the food companies you could consider setting up.
The great thing about starting a catering business is there are so many different directions you can go in with it. If you have a lot of experience in the food industry you can make your own menus from scratch, but if you’re less experienced you could provide sandwiches and lunches for functions (much more simple to do) or buy yourself a burger van or food truck of some kind.
You could base your catering company on a certain age range (for example, provide nurseries with lunches for children) or you could base it on a particular type of cuisine- for example, Indian food. You could cater solely to those with dietary requirements and make your menu all vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or nut free. Or you could just provide this as an additional service. It’s fun and a chance to get creative and doesn’t always require a lot of money to get started.
If you’re already a keen baker and have been baking for years as a hobby then this could be a fantastic skill to monetise. You might be good enough already to go commercial, otherwise, a course in cake decorating, for example, could enable you to finesse the skills that you need. You can start a bakery business from home initially, and then as you start to make more profit you could move into commercial kitchen space.
You could make wedding and birthday cakes, occasion cupcakes or even open your own mobile bakery and sell baked goods from a food stall at festivals and outdoor events. While baking can be time-consuming, the profit margins can be really good and it’s a worthwhile direction to go in if you have the skills. You could specialise in one area (occasion cakes, pastries, cupcakes) or you could make a mixture of things based on your clients’ needs.
A cafe makes a great business for those looking to start a food business without any professional chef or cook training. Cooked breakfasts, soups, and sandwiches can all be prepared with very little cooking know how and are popular cafe items. Perhaps you want to open your own greasy spoon and earn a fortune selling to builders, workmen, and office staff close to a retail park, or maybe you want to create something a little fancier. Speciality coffee, smoothies, and posh sandwiches could all be on the menu.
Once you’ve decided on the kind of establishment you’re going to go with, be sure to find the right location. Something cheap and cheerful will do well in or near industrial estates, student accommodation, and colleges. Something a little more high end will need the right location, something close to nicer shops will generate the kind of foot traffic you’re after.
Setting up a restaurant business is no mean feat, it’s not something you can really just ‘have a go’ at. It requires a lot of know-how to make it run effectively, and so is something to go into if you’re an experienced business person or have years of experience in some form of restaurant career.
There are lots of different areas to link together in restaurants with your front and back of house workers, a good software development company can provide you with the tools to make this easier, but it’s only something you can really succeed in if you know what you’re doing. Perhaps you’ve worked in the restaurant industry for years and want to set up yourself if so, it’s something that could be worth getting in to. If you’ve no experience, starting up a different kind of food business first could be the way to go.
A slightly different take on a food business could be setting up a bed and breakfast. You could purchase a property in a tourist area, rent out the rooms and offer a great breakfast in the morning, from continental items to a fully cooked affair. If you live in a part of the world that has a lot of tourists passing through it could make great money especially during the high season.
Find out who your market is, is it families with children or older couples? Could you offer something a little extra, for example making the hotel pet-friendly to appeal to a wider audience? The type of customers you get will depend on the sort of breakfast you offer, so again plenty of research is essential.
What better way to combine your love of fresh ingredients and cooking than setting up your own preserve business. If you do a lot of gardening and grow all of your own crops then this could make a fantastic side venture, maybe you own an allotment or a greenhouse to extend the growing season of your fruits and vegetables. Jams, jellies and chutneys are relatively simple to make but can demand high prices at farmers markets and other events.