Low-Budget Business Ideas for Aspiring Restaurateurs
For aspiring restaurateurs, the current market is the perfect time to kick start their culinary dreams.
As reported by Cision, in the coming years the food and service market is expected to experience consistent growth, reaching a valuation of $4.2 trillion by 2024.
The keys to being successful in the food business are to keep costs in check and work towards developing excitement and hype for your food among customers.
While this is often easier said than done, we have some useful tips for starting your own successful culinary business.
1. Low-cost business ideas
As reported by Upserve, opening a new restaurant can cost up to $2 million.
While costs will fluctuate based on location and size, in addition to property costs you’ll need to afford expenses related to staffing, kitchen equipment, daily operations, electronics, and more.
Both newcomers and experienced culinary personnel can find it difficult to manage these expenses. Here are two cheaper alternatives to consider:
2. Pop-up restaurants
These are restaurants that are started in a temporary location for a limited period.
The short duration of these restaurants plays a prominent role in creating a buzz among customers.
Additionally, you can choose to sell a select number of dishes, helping to keep costs on the lower end.
Follow these steps to make your pop-up experiment successful:
– Choose a location where you can experience good footfall. This can include rooftops of hotels, piers, and more.
– Spread the wordhrough social media about your restaurant and hone in on the limited time aspect. Additionally, paste flyers in local small businesses, send invitations to everyone in your network, and request them to invite their family and friends as well.
– Try to collect basic customer information such as their name and contact number while billing as this can be used to promote your future pop-ups or permanent establishment.
3. Commercial kitchens
These are professionally maintained shared or private kitchens that you can rent on a per-hour basis.
In a commercial kitchen, you’ll get access to commercial-grade appliances, cold storage and not have to worry about health checks, as these will be taken care of by the owner.
This will significantly reduce overhead costs, allowing you to invest more in other key areas of your business.
While working from a commercial kitchen you can start the following businesses:
– Catering Service
– Meal Prep Service
– Online Food Ordering Service
4. Remote food
Remote food businesses like food trucks can be a great way to enter the culinary industry without breaking the bank.
A food truck can be transformed for as little as $2000 and there are plenty of events you can get involved in.
There are also companies that specifically host remote food businesses and invite them to the different events their clients are hosting so it’s easy to get business.
It’s also a good way for more established businesses to test a new location.
It saves risking starting a restaurant and paying for a physical location without knowing truly whether it will go down with the locals.
Clever restaurant businesses set up food trucks so new locations can try their food to receive valuable feedback.
5. Business set-up tips
Aspiring restaurateurs need to ensure that they make the right decisions in key areas of the business, follow these steps:
– Funding: Managing the costs of running a food and service business can be difficult alone, hence, consider finding a partner with whom you can split expenses and responsibilities.
Additionally, you can consider taking a bank loan. But this decision should be taken after careful consideration as you’ll need to provide collateral and have a repayment plan in place.
– Business Structure: Do not run your business as a sole proprietor as it will make you personally liable for business-related debts.
Registering your business as a limited liability company will help protect you from business liabilities and significantly reduce the tax burden.
– Marketing: Leverage low-cost marketing activities which provide a high return on investment.
This can include actively posting on your social handles, creating a Google business profile, and using email marketing.
Additionally, create a website for your business that should include the menu and the functionality to place orders.
Being listed on online ordering apps can provide visibility, but as reported by The Counter, their commissions can be as high as 30%.
One more thing: often in marketing, whether you’re reaching out to potential customers or sharing business ideas with your team, you need to change file formats depending on the platform.
To save money, take advantage of free online resources whenever possible. For instance, this tool lets you convert a PDF to Word in seconds and is sure to come in handy!
– Logo: A logo is more than just a symbol or a design; it is the face of your business.
It is one of the first things that a potential customer will see, and it should be memorable and impactful.
A well-designed logo can help to establish your brand identity and make your business more recognizable.
Running a food business will be filled with bumps and challenges, but it’ll also be one of the most rewarding experiences for aspiring restaurateurs.
Adopting the above-mentioned steps will help you gain an edge over competitors and ensure your business is successful in the short and long term.
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