Starting a brand new restaurant from scratch is a big undertaking. It’s one thing to dream about leaving your day job to open a relaxing corner cafe. Actually learning how to get into the food industry is another. You’ll soon find yourself up against a mountain of tasks and time-consuming priorities, such as:
- Assessing opportunities in local markets
- Scouting real estate locations
- Building out a brand identity & marketing collateral
- Establishing vendor and supplier relationships
- Developing a training regimen
- Menu design and testing
- Site construction
- Hiring a workforce
The list goes on and on. Capital can also be a major concern. Investing your savings or borrowing on a large scale to launch a brand new food business involves a lot of risk. You’ll want to feel reassured that the business will succeed and turn enough profit to thrive and grow.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to make everything move a whole lot faster, preserve peace of mind, and make your dream a reality.
How to Start a Food Business Fast
You take the stress out of learning how to start a food business when you stop reinventing the wheel. Give a close look to food franchising opportunities in your area and see if the kind of business you’d like to run already exists. Franchising is the most sure-handed and secure way to open a restaurant because you have all the advantages of a proven winner on your side:
- Plentiful corporate resources & support
- A proven, profitable business model
- Brand recognition that will help drive business from day 1
- Step-by-step guidance on how to start a food business in the brand’s image
- A resilient style of business for uncertain times
- The flexibility to own & operate without handling the front lines
- Pre-existing vendor connections for services, supplies, and ingredients
You’ll have an immediate leg up over experimental new businesses and everything you need to hit the ground running. Things can move even faster (and with less investment) if you opt for a quick start model such as a kiosk, mobile catering, or food truck.
How to Start a Food Business That’s Affordable
Food trucks are ideal when you’re looking to start quick with a low initial franchising investment and high potential payoff. And there’s always room to grow — perhaps into a fleet of food trucks, or in some circumstances into brick & mortar locations, too.
There are some franchises out there, like Nashville Hot Chicken, that offer the flexibility to choose between a stand-alone location, a food truck, or a ghost kitchen model. The simplicity and ease of the Nashville Hot Chicken business model is one of their greatest selling points. Launching a food truck doesn’t require expensive real estate, allows you to manage from the comfort of your home, and can kick off quickly with minimal staff and inventory.
Many franchisees find a mobile model a rewarding business to run on its own, but it can also be a stepping stone to get your business up and running before gradually expanding into a more permanent location.
Plenty of successful, booming food franchise brands kicked off as single food trucks before popularity fueled the establishment of a full restaurant (or multiple restaurants). Take a look at Chick’nCone, which was founded as a food truck and catering service—serving forkless chicken tenders in waffle cones—before transitioning to a thriving retail headquarters.
It’s also possible to approach the situation the other way around, starting with the restaurant and adding food trucks later, in order to expand your revenue streams and increase profits. The Dolly Llama Waffles & Ice Cream snapped a photo of their exciting food truck offering and posted it to their Facebook page in April of 2022 along with this message:
“Did you know we do catering?😎
That’s right! You can hire this beautiful food truck for your next party and have a safe and unique party that’ll make your neighbors jealous 😉
We’ve got an extensive menu for parties that’ll guarantee a good time!”
A diversified business model with food truck or catering options can keep your franchise business affordable and profitable even when brick-and-mortar locations experience a downturn (as with the recent COVID crisis).
Looking for more tips on how to start a food business? Get in touch with America’s Best Franchises and we’ll help you identify food franchising opportunities that are the perfect match for your goals, passions, and lifestyle.