The Top 5 Challenges of Starting a Food Service Business

If you want to start a food service business, it's important to have the planning and groundwork done before you launch your venture. You will need to develop a concept, find a location, understand the latest food trends, understand the latest technology, and know your target audience.  This is in addition, of course, to creating exciting menus, recuiting and retaining staff, managing inventories and, perhaps most importantly, having access to adequate funds to get your dream off the ground.

To best prepare for the challenges that lie ahead, we've compiled a list of 5 common challenges every restauranteur-to-be may face before taking the plunge into owning their own food service business. The Common Struggles of Starting a Food Service Business

1. Finances

Unless you are a millionaire, it is almost certain that finances will be an on-going issue for you throughout the life of your business.  However, it is never quite as important as it is in the beginning. The beginning of any enterprise is its foundation, so you will want to have enough money to do everything right - from securing your desired location, to purchasing or leasing the proper equipment and supplies, to hiring staff - anything and everything needed to run your eatery. If you know how much financal assistance will be required at the onset of your business venture, you can create a realistic business plan that can help you secure all the financing you will need to get your venture off the ground and keep it running.. 

2. Location 

Nothing is quite as pivotal to the success of your business as the location of your restaurant. You will want to find a spot that will attract the clientele that you want, that is both affordable to you, and easily accessible to your target audience. Lots of research is needed to ensure that you find a suitable area within which to open, where you can attract the most fitting audience.

3. Know Your Competition

When you start any type of restaurant, is inevitable that you will have competition. This means that you will need to do your homework to ensure that you are not trying to enter an over-saturated market. You will need to understand the competition around you and learn as much as you can about them, so you can differentiate your brand from theirs. Even when you become established, competitors are always lurking around trying to outdo you, so keep alert and stay competitive so you can stay in business and thrive.

4. Hiring and Retaining Employees

The food service business is known as a revolving door for many of its employees. Many who enter a position in the restaurant industry do not expect it to last for too long. They may move from place to place based on what they think they can earn or flock to whoever offers the best working environment. However, if you create a positive work environment that entices employees with incentives to remain loyal to your brand, you will see fewer leave for greener pastures.

5. Keeping Up With Technology

Ever changing and expanding, keeping up-to-date on the latest in restaurant technology can either make or break your new business venture. It's vital to have the latest POS system that will help you do a myriad of activities from keeping inventory, to keeping track of your cash flow. The latest technology will also help you market and advertise your business to the masses and keep in touch with your clientele with new offers and exciting updates to your menus. Posting your finest foods on social media and ensuring that you get excellent reviews will also go far in helping your business succeed. The challenge will be in keeping up with and exploiting technology to your fullest advantage.

Found this article helpful? Read more relevant articles and how-to's in the food service industry.