The food industry has recently become an investment magnet around the world. People are getting more ambitious about entrepreneurship nowadays and opening up an eatery is usually the top option because of low investment, negligible barriers to entry and lucrative returns. Despite that, most small scale eatery owners struggle with stabilizing their businesses despite amazing ideas on paper. You can avoid such a nosedive situation by avoiding a few common mistakes.
Not Having a Plan
One of the biggest yet the most common blunders that most sole proprietors and small scale eatery owners make is to not have a formal business plan document. It is a general perception that such plans are only needed when you are setting up a company, which is not true. Having a professionally drafted business plan will chalk out a lot of important parameters to run your business and will help you to make and maneuver your strategies during your business. It should contain the nature of your business, your budget, your goals and objectives and strategies to meet those objectives along with an analysis of the internal and external environment of your organization.
Poor Location Decisions
Another major issue with many newbies into small scale food businesses is to open a wrong type of an eatery at the wrong location. Such blunders usually occur when you do not have a written business plan document and you keep on calling shots based on your mental notes. Even if food is a common factor among all consumer groups, not every customer will come to a high-end fine dining restaurant and not every customer will prefer to hang out at fast food joints. You need to pick your location according to your target market and type of eatery.
The equipment that you will be using in your eatery is going to eat up a major chunk of your investments. Equipment purchase is also one of the trickiest decisions to make because it can not only affect your cash flow and financial planning but can also make or break your quality and supply chain management in general.
You need to ensure that you purchase the right kind of equipment, in the right quantity and using the right financial resources. Most newcomers in the industry are tempted to use household kitchen equipment to cater to commercial needs. Remember that a piece of household equipment can never be able to meet the output quality and capacity of commercial-grade equipment. Make sure you invest in key equipment such as commercial ice makers, commercial ovens and butcher quality meat slicers. It is highly recommended that you look for leasing out the equipment instead of buying it on a full price to ease off the pressure on your cash flows.
Poor Interior Design
Most new eatery owners believe that restaurant interiors are all about ambiance being tastefully done. In reality, the ambiance is only a small part of the restaurant interior. Besides ambiance, a nicely and perfectly done interior means that the dining area and the kitchen areas are well thought out. If you have a buffet setup, the buffet layout is done tactfully to avoid traffic at a single point and ensuring a smooth flow. The kitchen area should be planned well enough to accommodate all the equipment conveniently while allowing enough workspace for the workers.
Image credit: Small Eatery via Dan Rentea/Shutterstock