Startups Beware….

 

What are the Pitfalls that a food startup needs to be careful of?

 

Food is a basic necessity of all and hence, it may seem that it’s the most profit making business that one could start.. It’s a fact that food services are publicized to be a $50 Billion market, growing at 16-20% year on year. In India too, the market size is expected to reach Rs. 42 Trillion by 2020, says BCG, however as rosy as this looks to venture into in, there are few crucial aspects that often miss consideration and can lead to shattered hopes within no time of your startup launch.

Many established food-tech startups like Dazo, Eatlo, SpoonJoy have been shut, while TinyOwl, FoodPanda and Zomato are battling to stay afloat in troubled waters by shrinking their workforce, reducing operations or shutting down outlet branches. This industry may seem like a sinking ship for many, but if the ones planning to divulge in this business can avoid a few primary pitfalls missed by their predecessors, their food startup will be on a course for victory.

Here are a few pitfalls to avoid :

1. Cook Experts run great food startups:

While you may be great at cooking delicious delicacies, but if that’s the only reason for you to launch your food startup, it’s time for a reality check. There will be long working hours, managing fussy customers, meeting financial demands, planning marketing efforts, training staff and more. While great tasting food is a mandatory component for a food startup, but you need to know way beyond just the right ingredients for your dish.

2. Hiring the wrong people and struggling to retain them:

To gain a huge number of customers, you will hire employees quickly and end up getting the ones who only need a salary, but who are not aligned with the vision of your company. Hence instead of focusing on expanding your business, your efforts and energy will be constantly tangled in an endless loop of recruiting people and then letting them go.

3. Focusing on design first:

Beware of the creativity trap, or else you’ll end up paying more attention to the features or designs of the website and application, rather than focusing on their functionality. Making food and selling it through technology alone will not scale the business if there is no innovation in the kitchen, ordering experience and quick delivery of delicious food. Ultimately if the customer fails to order food through your well-designed web & app for the first time, it’s very unlikely that he will return back to you.

4. Menu nightmare:

Dish names difficult to pronounce or recall, a huge list of menu items, lack of descriptions or dish images lead to confusion for the customers and waste the valuable time of your employees. Why complicate the menu, when you want your food to fill more tummies in a day.

5. No clarity on why customers should choose you first:

When you think of your unique selling point (USP), you can’t just say you make tastier food and offer great service, that’s what everyone else promises too and customers won’t notice what makes you different if you only talk about that. You want your customer to not only notice you, but also remember you, so evoke their emotions and make sure you provide them an experience they will never forget.

6. Disastrous unit economics:

Customers always want great food at a nominal cost. But even if you make great food and get high repeat orders, the unit economics could drown you. So whether you provide daily meals or serve on-demand needs of customers, you will end up spending more than you earn for each order delivery if you fail to consider every financial aspect that’s involved in getting the order ready for the customer to eat. Don’t just calculate your profit and losses for a month or year, do it every week.

7. Inventory mismanagement:

Managing the inventory is of primary importance when you run a food startup. You need to strike a balance between having the right ingredients in right quantities. The more you store, the more space it takes, leading to chances of being mishandled, spoiled and ultimately wasted. Plan it right because the less you waste the more you earn finally.

8. Find and nourish repeat customers:

If you do not direct your attention to who is your repeat customer and only keep promoting discounts, offers and expanding your business, you will end up with customers who will only come to you once. Food industry can easily achieve a high repeat rate but if you only focus on customer acquisition, you’ll simply end up burning more on your marketing spends.

9. Over-Advertise, Under-Deliver:

Bringing in new orders is not that tough and there are myriads of avenues available today through which food orders can be increased. Consider the fact that each order needs to be prepared, packaged and delivered in a span of 30-60 minutes. So be reasonable when you advertise.

10. Lost without feedback and analysis:

To be successful in the long term you need to know about how to build on your strengths and do away with your weaknesses. There’s no better way to know it, than knowing it directly from the customer’s mouth itself. If you don’t know what they think about you, you will end up building a house on sands. So talk to your customers, gather the data, analyse and tweak for success.

There’s no better time than now to enter into the billion dollar food industry in India. So design a unique concept, cook delicious food, work out on the unit economics and cherish the customers who made it possible for you to pull it off as you begin your entrepreneurial journey in the challenging food startup space.

10 Kitchen Management Hacks !

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When customers with hungry bellies walk into your restaurant, you don’t want to simply serve them the best delights created in your kitchen, but also mesmerize them with an unforgettable dining experience.

We have listed 10 important Kitchen Management Hacks to let you focus on getting the food served faster and continue getting new customers who will be excited to dine at your restaurant.

  1. Structure your Kitchen Team:
    Find out the people who have an analytical mind, choose the ones who will take the ownership of being responsible to streamline the activities in your kitchen, train them thoroughly well because that’s the only way they will know what you expect from them.

  2. Automate Food Ordering:
    Automation speeds up most of the manual processes that drain time, so why not place a tablet for food ordering – Digital Menu. The customer can gain all information of the dishes you serve and choose delicacies according to their preference, once the order is placed you get it immediately flashed in your kitchen. This way you can only end up serving your most lengthy preparation dishes, faster.

  3. Make your Menu, Profitable:
    A menu is a crucial aspect of your restaurant because that’s the only way for your customers to even start ordering the food in your kitchen. The dishes you display on your menu will be in charge for bringing in the profits to run a successful business. Put your best selling dishes on the top, insert actual photos, description of the dishes, use relative pricing, go virtual…Just be practical and flexible.

  4. Smart Kitchen Design:
    Make sure to consult your chef before you design, because that’s a space where your chef works everyday. They make the best kitchen designers since they know where and how everything in your kitchen should be, for them to cook faster. A smartly designed kitchen will save huge bucks and make huge bucks for you too, by serving more customers than ever before.

  5. Energy Efficient Appliances:
    Energy saved is energy gained and you need all the energy possible to run a successful restaurant. So make use of energy efficient appliances and establish  simple operational and maintenance procedures. You can always consult an energy consultant to work far more efficiently and use less energy. Train your entire staff and you too practice energy saving methods, a very critical step to reduce spends.

  6. Prevent Blockages In Sewer System:
    Block Fats, Oils & Grease to save money on maintenance and reduce the cost of hiring emergency plumbing repairs at unexpected situations. Use strainers on the floor and sink drains, do not drain oil in the sinks, dry wipe dishes before washing them, wash the sinks frequently, begin these practices by training your kitchen staff first and stay in compliance with creating a clean nation.

  7. In-restaurant Marketing:
    You own a space that’s completely dedicated to your restaurant in this world, so instead of only spending huge amounts on marketing campaigns, why not make use of all the real estate at your disposal. It is one of the least expensive tools and a great way of increasing revenue because a plays that feels great visually increases your Brand value. Make complete use of images and displays even on your tables, chairs, walls & restrooms, just be creative.

  8. Run Staff Loyalty Programs:
    We know your run loyalty programs for your customers, but why not run them for your staff as well. Encourage them to share their goals for the day and surprise them with a treat when the goal is achieved. Ensure the goals are specific and measurable so that you too can enjoy the benefits of increased productivity levels at your restaurant.

  9. Creatively Organize Kitchen Storage:
    Use smart shelving options, make use of empty spaces creatively, practice First In, First Out rule, use labels, create a pantry inventory so you are not wasting your space in items that have expired. Create categories of items kept in different areas of your kitchen, then create a kitchen storage map and finally place it in an area for your kitchen staff to locate items easily and save time.

  10. Adopt Food Safety Measures:
    Practice food safety measures in using raw materials, water, ingredient formulations, food preparation or processing methods, transportation handling & storage of prepared food and use properly designed utensils to cook food. Ensure that cleanliness and sanitization schedules are created and executed, along with timely waste disposal and pest control programs to keep your restaurant safe – A treat of healthy and delicious food for your customers…

Adopt these 10 Kitchen Management Hacks and reduce Operation Time & Cost for your restaurant… Start Today !!!

Does Your Brand Survive On Offers?

Buy One Get One, Flat 50% off, Save 25%, Share to win, & more are some of the few offers we are tempted to use each day!

Is your Brand too, promoting offers to attract new eyeballs and make them your customers?

While offers are a successful marketing tactic and they create traction for your product, Brands most often tend to burn their pockets and end up getting “offer time only” customers.

How can Brands makes sure that your customers love you beyond just offers?

Happy Customer Is A Loyal Customer !

 

 

Happy Customer Is A Loyal Customer !It all starts with not just knowing who your customer is, but also understanding the way they think about you when they come across your Brand. We have a few ideas for you to get started.

    • Start talking more about how your product is made, why you do what you do, why you came into existence. You can dig deeper into the meaning of the real essence of what difference your product will make for your customers and make it a part of all your marketing promotions because a customer will believe you when you share your values and beliefs.

    • A testimonial is a great way to build trust in your Brand because it substantiates all that you claim, so let the world know why your frequent customers love you, what the people out there are missing if they haven’t come to you yet.

    • Sample your most famous offering and make your customers feel special knowing that their opinion or feedback matters to your Brand in the most important way. Let them be a critic if they want to, because your Brand only encourages honest opinion.

    • Social Media is the place to be, talk to people out there, share what you feel they would love to have on their wall, give tips, make your customers feel special, well there is no end to what you can do out there for free.

    • Associate your Brand with a social cause that relates to your products at the core. Define the various ways in which this affiliation complements both entities. This way you can connect to your target group and also let them know of your commitment to social responsibility.

    • Who doesn’t like an unexpected surprise.. So go ahead and analyse who your most  loyal customers are and surprise them with not just a e-goodie but a physical one. The efforts your Brand would take to make your favorite customers surprised, will make you their favorite and their friend’s favorite too !!

So go ahead and give these these ideas a try, besides the offers that you run currently and we are sure that very soon your customers won’t just be waiting for a promotional offer to experience what you have in store for them.!