Food and drink is the biggest manufacturing sector in the UK. And this is no surprise, given the country’s global brands and products. Food businesses, in general, are doing well right now. And even during the recession, they did brisk business, contrary to much of the rest of the economy.
Many firms that were once unknown have risen to become celebrated household names. So what can you do to make the leap from cool idea to global brand?
Test Your Recipes
Ultimately, success in the food business isn’t about marketing or business models; it’s about taste. Are your recipes actually any good?
One thing that you might want to do is trial your recipes on other people to find out whether they like what you’ve made or not. Don’t just ask family and friends either. Trial your food on people you don’t know and ask them to give you honest feedback about what they think. Sometimes, somebody who really knows their food might be able to make a suggestion to make your recipes even better.
Use The Right Equipment
The equipment that you use must meet both health and safety requirements and be practical. A regular kitchen with conventional equipment just won’t do. Any counters on which you prepare food should be stainless steel with durable stud welding underneath. And your other equipment should be suitable for commercial use. Things like counter-mounted tin openers can come in handy if you open a high volume of tins. And implements, like vegetable cutters, come in handy if you have to prepare a large volume of vegetables yourself.
Start Out Local
The best way for you to start and consolidate a food business is to serve the local area first. In fact, this is exactly what happened historically with some of the UK’s most celebrated foods. Think Melton Mowbray pork pies and Cornish pasties.
Setting up a local stall isn’t too expensive. Plus, you’ll get to form personal relationships with all your customers. What’s more, it’s easier to get your products into the local delis and cafes than it is the bigger chains. Once you’re established, then that is the time to approach the larger chains.
Prioritise Customer Service
As in most industries, customer service should be a priority. In fact, you should make sure that all your customers feel valued and accepted. If you’re setting up a restaurant or coffee shop, make sure staff know how to treat the customers. Often excellent customer service and environment can make up for bad food!
Attend Industry Shows
The food business isn’t stagnant. It’s a business, like every other business, that is always adapting to new customer preferences. Trade shows are a perfect place for you to learn about the latest trends in the industry and where others expect the market to go.
It’s also a perfect place for you to demonstrate your product. Perhaps you have a particularly exciting concept or idea. This is your chance to show the world what it is that you’ve been working on.