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Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

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  • Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

    I am aware that we have some extremely experienced members here on our forums and I would like to invite you to please share your ideas and knowledge on these "plan" topics over the course of various weeks. Every few weeks , I will mention a different business and perhaps we can lay out a basic plan of opening and running that particular business. Challenges involved, Driving customer base, managing machines and stocks , profit and loss etc..

    This week , lets create a plan to open a Take away shop. Serving kebabs and fried stuff , burgers and sandwiches

    This might help several individuals who might be looking for inspiration, ideas and motivation to do something new .
    The Prophet Muhammad SAW reported that the Satan said to Allah: "I shall continue to lead Thy servants astray as long as their spirits are in their bodies." And Allah replied: "(Then) I shall continue to pardon them as long as they ask for My forgiveness." [Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 742]

  • #2
    Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

    Challenges involved will be, we have to first do a SWOT analysis and a PEST analysis. We have to see which area we are going to cater to, what other shops/restaurants are in the area and what will be the USP of our business. Every business has to have a USP. Even if they sell similar products to what others in the area are selling, there should be something that differentiates your product or business from the other. Why should people come to your establishment instead of the shop next doors? If it is a takeaway shop serving kebabs etc, will have to see if we can open it in an area where there is a demand for it. If we can exploit a market gap, that would be beneficial. If we're going to do that, or we are going to hijack the market and grab market share by making our products unique.

    Maybe the kebabs and sandwiches etc can be packaged in a better way, compared to the ones the other shop is serving up. One of the basic things about a restaurant is, either you should have a totally new concept and you have to take some risk in to introducing it - you have to be confident about your product, or you have to have a concept that's already there and make it better somehow. Either way, it isn't easy. If you are totally introducing something new, you have to face a lot of challenges. You have to position yourself well, you have to do a lot of marketing. You have to make people aware of what you're going to sell or are selling. If you have a concept that's tried and testing, you are just borrowing it and trying to make it better, in that case too, it is challenging because people have established benchmarks in mind when they come to your establishment. They have a certain standards in their mind. Your food can either be better than the other place, or it can be as good as the other place and even in some cases, can be worse than the other place.

    Creating a business plan for a restaurant or a small eatery requires, capital, requires time energy and devotion, requires extensive insight in to the menu. Long gone are the days where you could serve up anything and it would run, people would love it. These days everything counts, from food safety & hygiene, to presentation and décor.
    Heart in London. Mind in Lahore. Physically in Dubai. Loving it every millisecond.

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    • #3
      Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

      Thanks Dubai wali , its a great insight . Lets get some help from you in planning a small shop .. Lets say we have a capital of £50K. How would you suggest we move forward? What are the first few things we need to do concretely to set the shop and get it up and running?

      Lets say we have already created the generic business plan , menu and advertising strategy. Now to add finer details to it.
      What advertising strategies work best ? what are outdated ones and what are the new ones that can bring good results ?
      What about finding stocks? best way to buy stocks? what machines are an absolute must?
      Legal procedures? health and safety food inspectors ? what kind of stuff should be check up to ensure we remain within the legal framework and dont get sucked up by food inspector visits every few days ..

      Looking forward to your input
      The Prophet Muhammad SAW reported that the Satan said to Allah: "I shall continue to lead Thy servants astray as long as their spirits are in their bodies." And Allah replied: "(Then) I shall continue to pardon them as long as they ask for My forgiveness." [Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 742]

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      • #4
        Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

        Ensure a payment process is in place before the customers take away the food.
        Why isn't the Dividend story among the featured threads?

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        • #5
          Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

          Hey Dubaiwali, how is your new business going?

          Your posts pushed me to finally activate my Facebook business page, up till now I'd only been using Instagram and Twitter..
          Confidence is silent, insecurities are loud..

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          • #6
            Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

            First of all it depends on where the business is being opened. Secondly, 50,000 pounds can never be a fixed capital. In my experience, you always have a tentative figure and must plan to put in more later, because as you move towards opening up your cafe, restaurant etc, different hidden costs come up. Especially if you're opening a restaurant, there's so many things that seep your money, especially kitchen related. For a restaurant, the most important area is a fully function kitchen. If you won't have a functional kitchen, how are you going to produce good quality dishes to serve up your customers.

            Food safety and hygiene is paramount. Be it in the UK or UAE. Establishments get surprise inspections from inspectors and if the kitchen amongst other things, is not up to the mark, they can fine you and even ask you to close down.

            Outdated advertising strategies I don't think there are any. Any kind of outreach is good. Be it contemporary media methods or social media these days. If you advertise in a newspaper, that's still good. If you make an advertisement for television, that's good too. If you make a leaflet or pamphlet and get it across to people through newspaper delivery or handouts, even that's good. But however, I would say, because of the digital age, you have to push your brand and establishment on the digital platforms. Social media marketing is very important these days and it helps boost word of mouth marketing too. People tweet about your restaurant, write a review in a blog, see your advertisement on Facebook etc.

            Stock what do you mean? As in supplies? You have to do a credit note agreement with suppliers. You get deliveries at the start of the month, you check for ingredients quality, you send back some (if they aren't up to the mark) and retain only the ones that match your needs. At the end of the month, you send your supplier a little note reminding them about how much quantity you actually kept to yourself. They will send over an invoice. You will pay and get the receipt.

            As for equipment, it depends again on what type of restaurant or cafe it is. What are you going to serve? If you are going to mainly be serving up burgers. Then you need a grill. You need a convection oven. You need a deep fryer. You need a chiller. A freezer. You need a salamander, to keep your cooked food under, so it remains hot. If it is a restaurant that is Asian in nature, then the equipment differs slightly. You would need a Bratt Pan. To make stocks, soups etc in. You would need rice cookers. You would need an actual cooking range, because you'll be frying most of the time. What equipment is a must, is freezer, chiller and salamander. Rest depends on what the restaurant or cafe will serve.

            Legal procedures differ from country to country. Every country and not only that, but city's municipality has different legal procedures etc for restaurants and cafes. Serving food in mass to people is a big responsibility and the government department wants to make sure that it is done in a correct way. Even Abu Dhabi's (the capital of UAE) food safety and hygiene regulations and laws aren't as stringent as Dubai's. You have to follow everything by the book. No short cuts when it comes to legal procedures. As for health and safety, coordinate with the local municipality. They provide assistance, they provide instruction manuals etc.

            Legalities related to food and hygiene include, having done the food safety level one course. That is a must, no one without a level one can enter a kitchen. If you are going to be handling food and instructing others what to do, you need to have a PIC (Person In-Charge) level 3 food and safety course certificate. This is applicable in the UK as well as Dubai. I got mine from City & Guilds London. Your kitchen should be clean at all time. You should have a pest control contract. You should have a grease trap cleaning contract. You should have at least one insect killer in your kitchen and you should have all the required fire extinguishers. Your kitchen door should have an exit sign on the top etc.

            Originally posted by Chicken Biryani View Post
            Thanks Dubai wali , its a great insight . Lets get some help from you in planning a small shop .. Lets say we have a capital of £50K. How would you suggest we move forward? What are the first few things we need to do concretely to set the shop and get it up and running?

            Lets say we have already created the generic business plan , menu and advertising strategy. Now to add finer details to it.
            What advertising strategies work best ? what are outdated ones and what are the new ones that can bring good results ?
            What about finding stocks? best way to buy stocks? what machines are an absolute must?
            Legal procedures? health and safety food inspectors ? what kind of stuff should be check up to ensure we remain within the legal framework and dont get sucked up by food inspector visits every few days ..

            Looking forward to your input
            Heart in London. Mind in Lahore. Physically in Dubai. Loving it every millisecond.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

              Facebook is really important and alhumdullilah the new business is going well.
              Originally posted by Deeba1234 View Post
              Hey Dubaiwali, how is your new business going?

              Your posts pushed me to finally activate my Facebook business page, up till now I'd only been using Instagram and Twitter..
              Heart in London. Mind in Lahore. Physically in Dubai. Loving it every millisecond.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

                DW, such awesome info, girl , you rock and cant thank you enough for sharing so much detail. I always used to wonder how the supplies / Stocking of ingredients works with restaurants and now am so clear on how it works !

                I am positive your post will help many others out there in their research in this specific business.

                I have a few other questions , if you dont mind me asking , this is purely for information basis.

                What kind of initial budget do you think should suffice for a 30 table restaurant?
                Are buffet businesses very different in operation as compared to a restaurant serving on orders?
                what is best strategy to manage a menu? how many dishes should one ideally begin with?
                what in your experience has been the best restaurant running strategy that you have come across till date?

                Many thanks again buddy for all your awesome help
                The Prophet Muhammad SAW reported that the Satan said to Allah: "I shall continue to lead Thy servants astray as long as their spirits are in their bodies." And Allah replied: "(Then) I shall continue to pardon them as long as they ask for My forgiveness." [Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 742]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

                  30 table restaurant, I have one in Dubai Marina. It is my dad's, but I look after it. I won't name it here, for obvious reasons. But the initial budget was roughly 4 million dirhams. My restaurant in JLT only sits 12, it is basically a takeaway and delivery restaurant, but even then I had to increase my investment from 750,000 dirhams to 1.2 million dirhams.

                  Yes buffet restaurants are different in operation than an ala carte menu only restaurant. There's many variables in a buffet restaurant and you can never have a fixed inventory list. You have to do costing for both differently. Usually high end restaurants won't offer a buffet, unless it is a hotel, because it costs more than just offering a fixed menu.

                  As for menu, it depends on what kind of a restaurant it is and how many dishes you can manage in the beginning. Basically your team. Usually it is good to start with a moderate menu, not too many, not too little. As your business establishes, you can then do experimentation on new dishes, limited edition dishes, see which dishes on the menu are doing well, which aren't etc and change it likewise.

                  Best restaurant running strategy is, coordinate and plan everything beforehand. From cooking to serving. Everything should be planned. If you don't plan you'll fail.
                  Heart in London. Mind in Lahore. Physically in Dubai. Loving it every millisecond.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

                    Originally posted by Dubaiwali View Post
                    30 table restaurant, I have one in Dubai Marina. It is my dad's, but I look after it. I won't name it here, for obvious reasons. But the initial budget was roughly 4 million dirhams. My restaurant in JLT only sits 12, it is basically a takeaway and delivery restaurant, but even then I had to increase my investment from 750,000 dirhams to 1.2 million dirhams.

                    Yes buffet restaurants are different in operation than an ala carte menu only restaurant. There's many variables in a buffet restaurant and you can never have a fixed inventory list. You have to do costing for both differently. Usually high end restaurants won't offer a buffet, unless it is a hotel, because it costs more than just offering a fixed menu.

                    As for menu, it depends on what kind of a restaurant it is and how many dishes you can manage in the beginning. Basically your team. Usually it is good to start with a moderate menu, not too many, not too little. As your business establishes, you can then do experimentation on new dishes, limited edition dishes, see which dishes on the menu are doing well, which aren't etc and change it likewise.

                    Best restaurant running strategy is, coordinate and plan everything beforehand. From cooking to serving. Everything should be planned. If you don't plan you'll fail.
                    Last line of your statement is almost true for any business.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

                      Yeah, that's correct.
                      Heart in London. Mind in Lahore. Physically in Dubai. Loving it every millisecond.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

                        you can sell both just to have some variety of choices since some people don't have the same taste when it comes to foods.

                        Your location for your burger shop is vital since you want to sell as many burgers as you want. Choosing a place were many people would do the task. It's either you can settle on places near school or near working and crowded cities.
                        Last edited by Chicken Biryani; Nov 27th, 2014, 06:13 AM. Reason: Please dont post any advert links. Thanks

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                        • #13
                          Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

                          One thing that's very important for restaurant business (and is overlooked most of the time in Desi restaurants here in US/Canada) is that you do not have to promise moon. Dont have 101 dishes on menu just to make it look "good" rather have few dishes that you can handle properly (cook fresh daily)
                          Goyan keshk aqbat taskeen ast...Awal shor ast aqbat namkeen ast
                          Har chanz aasiyat sang zeerey...Ee surat-e-beqrar barbin ast

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                          • #14
                            Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

                            Making a plan is not that difficult, but actually implementing it and getting the better results is.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Plan a small business: Food Take away shop

                              Is there anyone who has opened property business? Have heard a lot about it, would like to know more reviews.


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