December 11th, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »
Keeping a business blooming everyday is not necessarily a difficult task. Most people who start a food business are the ones who have a passion for food and have wonderful recipes.
Generally what happens is that you love food and your family and friends admire your cooking and recipe invention skills when you share some of your masterpieces with them and this sends you on a ‘foodpreneurial’ expedition.
Most of the times people are really excited about starting their food business from home but when they reach a certain level, they run out of ideas as to how they should increase earnings and profit. Here we have listed a few steps that you can take to make more money from your commercial kitchen.
1. Make your commercial kitchen energy efficient
A reasonable amount of the business profit usually goes to electricity and fuel costs, which automatically reduces the amount of profit. By making your commercial kitchen energy efficient, you will get the benefit of saving more revenue for yourself since you will be spending less energy.
Cutting idle work, regular maintenance and repairing and purchasing energy efficient equipment are some ways you can make more money by being energy efficient.
2. Form a continuous marketing plan
A continuous marketing plan is very crucial for the constant success of your business. Marketing is not throwing your product details out there. You need to know your customers’ needs and expectations. Keep an eye on the changing trends, customer preferences and your competitors’ products will help you to understand your audience better. Keep updating your marketing strategy and plans because it will help a lot in attracting customers and increasing the profit of your existing commercial kitchen.
3. Benefit from your profile
You can either choose to glamorize your profile by making people believe that you are a safer and more reliable option. Since you are a home-based chef, you can either prefer to conceal this fact, or you can take advantage of it. Make people feel like you understand their needs and offer a homely service.
This will give you a leg up over the non-home based businesses since most people do not know what ingredients the restaurant chefs are using to prepare the food. Homemade food is generally more reliable and you can attract more customers by making them believe that you will provide them the best quality service.
4. Offer tastings
Offering tastings is a great way to find out what your customer likes and dislikes and what he is not interested in trying at all. This is also a great way to market your products because if a customer tries your product and likes it, chances are he is going to come back for more or tell other people about it.
5. Customer Feedback
Do not make the mistake of ignoring your customers and their feedback. Customer feedback is a great way to further improve your business and give your customers what they expect of you. Do not let negative feedback disappoint you. Take it as an opportunity to be able to know what your customers want from you. Paying attention to feedback will earn you loyal customers; this will help you in increasing your profit.
Passion is the main motivator. Do not let the bumps in the road discourage you from taking that next step that you are willing to take to succeed.
December 8th, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »
It is said that since food is a basic human necessity, food business has a lower risk of failure. If you are good at what you do and you’re passionate about cooking, a commercial kitchen business is the best option for you.
After reaching a certain point in the entrepreneurial journey, some people lose hope because they can’t seem to find a way to increase the revenue of their commercial kitchen. This article provides a list of steps you can take to easily increase the revenue of your commercial kitchen.
1. Targeting your customer
Finding your audience and targeting them is the best way to attract more customers thus generating more revenues. What you should keep in mind is that your business is running perfectly and you know the kind of people who would be interested in your products. What you will need to do now is put yourself out there and to physically and emotionally approach those people. This will save extra energy and will earn you more customers that are genuine.
2. Comparison with your competitors
Even if you’re certain that your product or service is exclusive, it’s possible that your prospective customers are already able to find a similar product in the market. Constantly comparing your business to your competitors with a positive energy is a great way to fix your mistakes. Don’t let this disappoint you; rather, take it as a learning opportunity.
Observe and note what your competitors are doing that you are not doing and what they offer to their customers. This is essential because if your products and your competitors’ products are the same, customers tend to gravitate towards the sellers who have more to offer than just the core product. This can range from your attitude, service, and product quality, to the taste, packaging, and cost.
3. Online Marketing
Gone are the days when people exclusively used to look for advertisements in the newspapers and magazines. Since everything is shifting to digital these days, if you haven’t already tried online marketing, now is the time. You will be amazed by the amount of response you will receive. Social Media is a great tool to advertise your brand and your products.
Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or it is your personal website or blog, online marketing will boost your revenues immensely as it will target a large audience in a very short amount of time.
4. Expanding your business
If you do not have anything new to offer, chances are that your customers might get bored. Keeping your customers excited and engaged is the key to boosting your revenue. Not only can you do that by introducing new products but you can also initiate seasonal sales and attractive deals to attract your potential customers and keep your existing customers coming back for more.
Always remember, success in the commercial food business calls for realistic passion because you are your own boss and your only motivation is your fervor and drive.
December 4th, 2014 by Amanda | No Comments »
Unless your catering corporation is fortunate enough to boast an on-site kitchen at a fashionable venue like a lodge or conference center, at some point of time you will possibly require a provisional kitchen for a party. Whether you are preparing food for an outdoor wedding party or retailing at a neighborhood farmers’ market, you have a number of kitchens you can use for the short time period.
If you regularly cater at out-of-doors proceedings, a transportable trailer kitchen could be a huge asset for you. You can buy a completely operational mobile trailer that has a work room, cooking utensils like fryers, ranges and commercial ovens and refrigeration. These trailers also have a window with a canopy that you can employ to take care of customers or as the expediter row connecting your kitchen and your stewards, attendants and servers.
If you only require a modest work room, a frost bin and a few food wells, a normal movable vending cart may be a suitable convenient kitchen for you. These pushcarts are pre-built and are wonderful for selling prepackaged or unpreserved foods. You can in addition to that have a cart specially made with cooking apparatus and refrigeration space, if required. Cart-style transaction is perfect for malls or as refreshment stands vending at an occasion center, playground or open-air market. You can also use a mobile to cater to an event, like a garden party.
A lot like a succession of linked trailers, modular kitchens are intended for across-the-board food creation in a provisional environment. These are idyllic if you require a temporary kitchen for several weeks for event such as meetings, fairs, trade shows, and so forth. You can lease these kinds of kitchens or acquire them. These are also employed as temporary kitchens for disaster relief efforts or for remodeling schools or sanatoriums.
There is an additional great use for modular kitchens: to provide as a profitable kitchen for a domestic catering business. You can pay for a modular kitchen and position it in your back yard. Then you will have a completely serviceable kitchen that is totally disconnected from your family kitchen. With the appropriate electrical and water hookups, you can place a modular kitchen just about wherever you want to.
Buy a refrigerated truck and stock it with cooking utensils to create a mobile kitchen. If simply a fraction of the truck is refrigerated and there is an adequate amount of space, you can cook within the vehicle. Even if you are not setting up for cooking at an occasion, a truck outfitted with convection ovens can allow you to keep food fresh in transit and reheat it on site. There are trucks available with refrigerated trunks or trunks operational with convection oven equipment. Furthermore, you can also find trucks that come with both refrigeration and ovens.
An onsite catering kitchen can be a good business venture but it pays to know what you are getting yourself into first.
December 1st, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »
What is a commissary? Here is the diminutive description: a commissary is a conventional profitable kitchen where Food Truckers and various food service suppliers can visit to prepare and stock up food. Various food trucks and mobile sellers furthermore park their vehicles and hoard their equipment at commissaries during the night.
A number of food truck proprietors employ commissaries since they are convenient. Renting room in a commissary which lets you cook and organize your food will prove cheaper in the short-term than constructing a practical, up-to-code profitable space of your own. Many food truckers choose mobile eateries as a replacement for brick and mortar sites simply because they are looking for inexpensive means to come into the food business. Not only is it cheaper but quite convenient as well.
Following are some of the most universal commissary alternatives for food truckers:
On Loan Space in an On Hand Restaurant’s Kitchen
You can rent a kitchen from a number of accessible restaurants in your vicinity. Several restaurant owners are pleased to lease their kitchens for the duration of hours when the business is closed in order to create a little additional cash. This is a grand way to cut your commissary prices and to take pleasure in the entrée to a full range of certified, proficient kitchen utensils.
Private Commercial Kitchen
If you are looking for additional control and possession over your kitchen room, you may perhaps want to look into a clandestine commissary. Despite the fact that a private kitchen space charges more than a communal one, you will not have to work about anybody’s schedule and you will constantly have the entire apparatus and hold to yourself. You furthermore won’t require worrying about functioning in a space that is disorderly due to the utensils and ingredients that you do not need or cannot use.
Certified Business Kitchens
Some food truck proprietors also lease space from other neighboring specialized commercial kitchens for example churches, community and private schools, lodges, sequestration homes, and cooking schools. A lot of these institutes have recurrently examined, completely qualified money making kitchen spaces and they are glad to rent them out to you at a reasonably prized costs or in exchange for future food preparation services.
Communal Space in a Commercial Kitchen
A good number of food truck possessors entering the world of commissaries initiate their business with common space in a commercial kitchen. Through a mutual space commissary, you and quite a few additional food truck proprietors, caterers, or cooks can enter the business in as well. In general, communal commissary spaces are low-priced compared personal spaces, drawing towards them new business vendors who are just entering the industry and looking to keep their prices down. On the other hand, you will have to synchronize your timetable with everyone else who is also sharing the room so that you do not double book the kitchen!
November 27th, 2014 by Amanda | No Comments »
When running a commercial kitchen, you should never forget the goldmine you already own- your existing customers. It is not only new clients that bring in added revenue; do it correctly and your existing purchasers can lend a hand to double or even triple your income. Keep in mind the power of a happy customer.
Enhance Frequency of Existing Clients
This can be achieved by supplying a charming experience both within the restaurant and after they depart. Outstanding service, cooking, price and atmosphere all have a say in the bistro experience. But what about after they leave? Individual communique with clients is the key to staying on top of their mind and affecting the buyer experience. Answering all customer responses, acknowledging criticisms, and expressing thanks to customers for praises will allow your customers to discern you worry about their view and welcome their choice to eat with you. This will allow you to set yourself apart from the competition. Providing motivation for returning or rewarding for a revisit supports the worth you notice in a returning client.
Super targeted Facebook advertising
Even though this technique can be employed at any time of the year, January is an excellent time to put it into practice. Facebook lets you mail targeted endorsements based on users’ approaching birthdays. If your existing or new customers are going to be using their cash in January on their birthday festivities it would be a very excellent cause to do so. Generate promotional proffers supported on birthday specific dates in addition to age, sex, locality and interest to drive consumers through your gates.
Offer Your Existing Customers First Choice
If you are receiving a limited supply of premium merchandise, take care that you recommend them to your existing buyers first. Send your current customers an email weeks beforehand, letting them recognize the amount of goods you anticipate. Make it apparent that you regard them as special and that you will not vend to others until they get the earliest option.
Hire a comedian, a conjurer or a person who fashions balloon animals. Allow him to walk the eatery, or else rope off a tiny spot as “the stage.” Make the entire proceeding public as a family unit night and have your employees endorse child friendly varieties from the menu.
Offer a take-home option
Sit down restaurants could with no trouble add to sales by endorsing take home packages. Put together a ‘Take-Home Lunch’ tender. It could comprise of an entree, side and dessert and could be wrapped up for travel, and contain heating and serving instructions. You will be saving clients the dilemma of figuring out lunch the next day. If this turns out to be success you can try a ‘Take-Home Dinner’ service too.
For bistros, this involves endorsing food that is in season. You could also use whatever major event is coming up. Promote the services or you can even create new ones that in some way connect with that time of year and place them up front and center.
By using the above mentioned modest methods you can rest assured that new clients will come your way and the existing customers will keep returning for more!
November 25th, 2014 by Amanda | No Comments »
Kitchens are usually very noisy and they smell like food at all times. The noise bothers the people outside the kitchen and the smell at times when resides in the kitchen for too long and blends with other smells, creates an odor that bothers the people inside the kitchen.
But there are ways one can minimize odor and reduce noise. Here, we have a list of some ways that can make it possible
1. Acoustic fabric covering
Sound proof wall panels with acoustic fabric covering can help limit the kitchen noise. These panels and fabric are easily available in the market these days. A lot of people use them for their recording studios for the same purpose. You can also make these acoustic panels by yourself if you want to save money.
2. Sound absorbing tiles
By installing sound absorbing tiles on the walls and the ceiling of the kitchen one can easily keep the noise from going out of the kitchen. These tiles are now very common and can easily be found in the market.
3. Using more fabric
Using fabric furnishing like curtains, table cloths, rugs etc help a lot in limiting noise.
4. Retrofit acoustic windows
Use retrofit double glazed acoustic windows to block the kitchen noise from going out and traffic noise from coming in.
5. Sound absorbers
Markets are filled with several kinds of baffles and banners that absorb sound. They are called sound absorbers. They are usually hung from the ceiling and you might have seen them in hospitals, where the main purpose is to create a quiet environment for the patients but they can also be used in the kitchens.
6. Soundproof doors
Installing soundproof doors in the kitchen can help a lot in ensuring noise limits. These doors can be bought from acoustic stores and regular doors can also be made soundproof at home by installing foam to them using a double stick tape.
1. Exhaust fans
If you are looking for something that will help you get rid of that odor that has been prevailing in your kitchen, you need a powerful exhaust fan. Exhaust fans play a vital role in the ventilation system of any area. They not only eliminate odors and but also eliminate humidity by removing moisture and thus aid in improving the quality of indoor air, whereas high humidity levels can cause bacteria growth which usually results in increasing health issues.
Things, you should keep in mind while buying an exhaust fan for your commercial kitchen is that it should be powerful, energy efficient and not too noisy.
2. Fresh air
Fresh air is a natural odor eliminator. Build your commercial kitchen in a manner that lets fresh air come in to your kitchen from time to time. When this air leaves, it will take the odor away with itself and will leave your kitchen smelling clean and fresh.
Nobody likes smelly kitchens and because commercial kitchens are usually always busy, the odor can ruin the atmosphere. Also, when you limit the noise, it gets easier for you to concentrate on your work and not disturb people outside the kitchen.
November 20th, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »
Mobile food trucks are an easy way to make a handful amount of earning. If you are planning on running a mobile food truck business, this might help you get started.
First things first
The first thing you will need to do is contact your state’s department of health to decide what permits and certifications you will require to start a mobile food truck business. They will also give you a list of areas in town that you will be allowed to engage in. You may also be required to get a food enterprise license, tax permit and food handler permit.
Deciding what to sell
Deciding what to sell can be a hard decision to make. Stick to one kind of food in the beginning. Since you will only have a limited amount of space it will only be feasible for you to specialize in a certain kind of cuisine. Most mobile food trucks sell hotdogs, burgers, Mexican food, cupcakes or bagels.
Make a menu of all the items that you are planning on selling. Make sure that these items are the kind that can be eaten without having to sit down. This is because you will not be having a seating area for your customers. For example, instead of selling gourmet Italian food, you can sell Chinese stir fry.
Your mobile kitchen
There are several kinds of mobile food trucks available in the market. Some companies provide fully equipped mobile food trucks for rent. You can either go with that or you can also build a truck and transform it into a mobile kitchen yourself. While doing that you will have to be careful about a lot of different things including maintenance and safety.
Street corners, parks, parking lots and beaches are usually considered ideal locations for a mobile food truck business. Before starting your business, you will need to ask your license office about areas that are acceptable and restricted for such kind of business. After that you can take a tour of the area and can decide a prime location for your mobile food truck.
Purchasing food items
While purchasing your food items, keep this in mind that you will be needing food items in bulk quantity so purchasing food items from a local departmental store might not be a good idea. In fact it would be better if you consult wholesale retailers because they are usually the people who supply food items to restaurants and sell items on a lower price.
You can also consult a hotel or restaurant owner or manager and ask him if he can make arrangements for your food items purchase with the hotel food items’ purchase.
You should always buy wholesale napkins, cups, plates and utensils. This will help you save a lot of money in the long run.
Promotion makes businesses boom so never underestimate the power of promotion. You can not only get flyers distributed but you can also put up large, attention seeking menu boards. Social networking sites are also used for promotion purposes these days.
Earning extra revenue
Do not just stick to one location. It is recommended that you keep an eye on all the events happening in your area. You can easily earn extra revenue by selling at fun fairs, carnivals, car shows, spring break season or farmers markets.
Not all businesses are super successful from the very beginning so the best thing to do is to stay motivated and not be disheartened by the initial responses.
November 17th, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »
Kitchen is the heart of the home. While kitchens were formerly only used for cooking they are now also used for those little family and friends’ hangouts. They are now the new living rooms because unlike old times, kitchens are not just kitchens. They are so much more.
These days, kitchens are evolving and outdoor kitchens are playing a huge role in keeping the guests entertained with the host’s presence, the engaging aroma of the food and the beautiful weather.
For people who want to build an outdoor kitchen on a budget, DIY is the best option. But when it comes to DIY, one should keep in mind that durability, efficient design and practicality should be their top priorities.
Here is how you can build an outdoor kitchen on a budget.
1. The grill
Outdoor kitchens are usually considered incomplete without grills. While grills can be insanely expensive, you can choose to spend less by getting a charcoal grill. Charcoal grills cost a lot less than other types of grills. Make sure you have sufficient amount of lump charcoal to go with it. You can also turn a planter into a grilling station.
2. Efficient Lighting
Good lighting is necessary if you want to want to use your outdoor kitchen after nightfall. Choosing the right kind of lighting on a low budget can be difficult. LED lights are usually a cheaper and durable option. Make sure they are water resistant as you will need lighting on your cooking service and the serving table.
3. Handy Tool kit
While shopping for tool kits, do not go for the designer tool kits as they are usually over-priced. Pick a nice tool kit from a departmental store. Make sure it includes skewers and a fork thermometer.
4. Storage and counter
Plenty of storage space is a must for outdoor kitchens. Otherwise you’ll have to run back and forth to the house for all the arrangements. When on a budget, you can either build a wooden cart yourself or you can also get one of those carts from a furniture store which has a steel top and a few drawers. One thing that you can do is protect the wooden surface from water, grease and UV rays by using preservatives like TWP 100.
5. Drinks Storage
Insulated steel beverage tubs are great if you cannot afford a refrigerator for your outdoor kitchen. Buy a stand to go with your beverage tub that has at least two trays in it and voila! You have your mini refrigerator with room for glasses and napkins as well.
Inventive design can make your outdoor kitchen a comfortable and reasonably priced area for outdoor entertainment. You can create a DIY sunshade by draping fabric over poles using tent pins or you can also get a low cost canvas umbrella if you have a small setup.
7. Sitting Area
If you have some old chairs and tables, bring them to use by repainting or re-polishing them or go to a garage sale and find something amazing at low prices.
Keep it simple and efficient. Choose a place that makes you feel comfortable and you are good to go.
November 13th, 2014 by Amanda | No Comments »
According to statistics, home based businesses have higher survival rates than other types of businesses. Starting a kitchen business from your own home may seem a little off-putting at first and you do have a lot of work ahead of you but once you get a hold of it, everything will start getting easier.
1. Considering the local zoning ordinance
For your home based business, since such businesses are regulated by local zoning ordinance, you will need to find out what you are legally permitted to prepare in your kitchen for business purposes because such ordinances differ significantly in what they permit people to do depending on different areas.
In a lot of places, it is not allowed to prepare food for public in home kitchens and only commercial kitchens are allowed to be used for businesses. In such cases, you will need to rent a commercial kitchen.
2. Water examination
You will also need to get your water examined from a private company or your local health department. Especially, if your water source is from a well then the water must be tested and checked in a laboratory for coli-form bacteria.
These test results and your recent water bills are usually asked for with the license application.
3. The kitchen
It is always advised that even if one is running a food business from their home. They should have a separate kitchen for commercial usage since the hygiene standards should be maintained according to the regulations in the kitchen that you use for your business.
This is because at home we have different hygiene standards that might not be as strict as the commercial standard regulations.
For example, we might let our children, family members and pets enter our personal kitchens but we cannot let irrelevant people enter our business kitchen. But, if one cannot afford another kitchen they must make sure that the kitchen they will be using for business purposes should meet the required standards.
4. Acquiring a license
Acquiring a license should not be difficult if your setup is according to the required regulations. According to your business type you might need zoning variance, food and safety certificate and/or catering license. Make sure you have all kinds of licenses and permits for the type of business you are willing to start.
5. Developing business plan
Developing a proper business plan is usually not that difficult at this point since you are aware of all the regulations. Now it is your time to decide how you are going to execute that idea that you have in mind. You will need to make arrangements for all the things you will need for your business.
Promoting is necessary to let the masses know about your business and to get the word out, you’ll need to make use of social media to advertise about your business because it is one of the best ways to do so. Other than that you can also distribute flyers, get your ad printed in the paper. Initially, to attract customers, you can introduce amazing deals too.
Now that you have all the licenses and permits, and a well equipped kitchen, you are ready to start selling and making money.
November 10th, 2014 by Tim | No Comments »
Setting up a commercial kitchen is hard work. It requires months of planning in advance. Not only that, it also requires having a sound budget plan to back up all the expensive and creative ideas that you want to employ.
Starting from the actual construction phase, the work toll just gets bigger and bigger, ranging from designing an appropriate theme based layout to choosing the cutlery and printing of the menu.
The actual success of your business venture; however, may not depend on any of those factors. Of course, they will be dependent on each other to perform the most suitable outcome, i.e. a smashing entry into food entrepreneurship but this simply will not be enough.
Your new commercial kitchen will need to market itself to ensure continued success. Marketing of a product is as, if not more, necessary to guarantee good ratings. Therefore, here we will discuss all the ways in which you can promote your commercial kitchen.
Why Wait for the Grand Opening?
It doesn’t matter that your commercial kitchen is still in its construction phase and has months before its completion. You should start promoting it. Start by distributing flyers and pamphlets outside schools and shopping malls, set up bill boards, and distribute menus. If you have already thought of a date for the grand opening, include it in the marketing material. Also, make a page for your kitchen on Facebook and Twitter, and spread the word.
Open Shop with a Big Bang
Start circulating flyers almost a week in advance. The flyers should include information about the attractions in the event (such as special guests and entertainment), and discounts and giveaways being offered. Make sure to list the names of your sponsors and media partners who helped, as most people attend such events to increase their network. You can further ensure that more people attend by making an e-vite, and sending it to all your contacts, who will send it to their contacts and so on.
Rally for a Cause
At this point, your commercial kitchen should be performing well as expected of a new venture. One thing to remember is, the whole project will take some time to jumpstart. Don’t expect results or profits to score high in the first few months. What your budding enterprise needs is more exposure through bigger channels. You can sponsor an event or a local charity fair in exchange of having your commercial kitchen promoted by the organizers. In addition you can also rent space for a stall at your local farmer’s market.
Remember the Facebook page? Don’t let it gather digital dust, and use it. There is a whole lot of stuff which you can do on social media. You can keep your fan base updated about the latest additions and news of your commercial kitchen. You can also post a complete visualized menu as well pictures of any event that takes place at the venue.
With these tips of the trade, you’ll have an up and running business in no time. Feel free to comment if you have any queries or tips that you would like to share regarding the subject.