Starting your Food Business: Execution, Consistency and Growth
by Kyle King | November 20, 2018
As we have discussed the research that goes into establishing your piece of the market, and the considerations in knowing your numbers along with how to manage them, it is time to determine how you and your team plan to execute service in your business.
As you have built your brand and developed awareness, you have also developed an expectation of experience from the potential customer. It is now your responsibility to deliver on that expectation, every day, every meal. Building that consistency will allow for a measurable frequency of repeat customers and new customers.
As with any service or product, the customer has an expectation. That expectation is developed based on price, promotion, referrals, press, anticipation, etc. In order to maintain the ability to uphold and exceed these customer expectations, as the leader of this organization you need to establish standards and training programs to assure that all team members clearly understand their role in the picture. While developing these standards, you need also to assure your management team holds all team members accountable day in and day out.
Consistency may be one of the most important aspects in your operating plan. Whether you are serving a regular customer who has come in for the hundredth time or a first-time customer, there should be no differentiation in delivery. This comes from the standardization of procedures and training, as well as the accountability to those standards.
You and your team need to remain diligent and on point for each customer served. You only have one opportunity to make a first impression. There will come a time when the team, for whatever reason, does not operate fully to deliver the consistent service to a customer. It is just as important to train all members of the team to identify less than satisfied customers, and how to handle the situation. It is far more affordable to make it right by that customer, than to let them walk away unhappy with their experience.
With your operations having a focus on consistent execution, it is crucial for the business to be forward thinking. That can come in many ways, whether that be expansion of locations or operating hours, implementing new lines of business, innovation of new product introduction, events, or catering.
It is important to maintain the operations while constantly staying relevant with your consumer. It is up to you as the business owner to stay engaged with the industry to determine which new paths and trends are relevant and fit the core business.
One can see the amount of planning and attention that is needed in order to launch a food business. Each decision made has an immediate impact on the potential for the business to be perceived well. That being said, coupled with the huge amount of competition in the market, someone who is interested in launching their food business has their work cut out for them. It is a very time-consuming and emotionally exhausting industry that can be filled with dedicated, hardworking people. If you are up for the challenge, you may find that you love the organized chaos that is managing your own food business.
Florida SBDC at USF, Tampa
Specialty: Hospitality, Management, Marketing
Kyle King provides consulting and teaches seminars in the areas of starting a small business, marketing, and business planning. Before joining the Florida SBDC at USF, King had a successful career in the franchise hospitality and craft beer industries. As an area manager for an international hospitality company, King directed the local training efforts for all levels of the organization. He also planned and implemented grassroots marketing efforts to coordinate with national activation campaigns. King led his area of operators in an effort to elevate the level of financial and operational intelligence through a continual education program. As a general manager and business owner, King has years of hands-on business operations including but not limited to social media, human resources, business planning and detailed financial review. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and has lived in Florida for the past 17 years. As an entrepreneur himself, he has owned and operated a food truck and catering business in the Tampa Bay area. King also serves as executive director for a local non-profit.