How to Be a Food Entrepreneur

If food is your passion, why not try to make a career out of it? There are more self-confessed foodies than ever before, so if you have a good idea for a food business, there will always be a market. So how exactly do you become a food entrepreneur?

The statistics around the foodie craze are compelling. More than 50% of Americans consider themselves to be a foodie. What’s more, 62% of Americans would go to an event simply for the food alone. We live in an age where we have access to global cuisines and all the ingredients we could wish for. Along with this incredible access come incredible possibilities to fuse different culinary influences together, and try different combinations of ingredients.

If you have a passion for food, a little skill in the kitchen, and an entrepreneurial streak, you may have what it takes to become a successful food entrepreneur. Here’s how to go about it.

Choose your Foodie Niche

The first thing to decide as a would-be foodie entrepreneur is what your niche will be. This goes for both the kind of food you want to create, and how you will serve it. For example, you may want to focus on incredible baked goods that you sell from either a bakery or a food truck. You may have an idea for a café or restaurant concept that people can physically come to, where they can sit and be served. You could decide that a ghost restaurant is more your thing. This is where you only create food for delivery through apps such as Uber Eats.

It is also worth remembering that you don’t necessarily have to create food to be a food entrepreneur. If you also have a love of photography, for example, you could become a food photographer or a food stylist, where food is designed specifically for photographing it. You could also set up shop as a food consultant, where you do things such as recipe development, or consulting on designing menus. The possibilities with food really are endless.

Learn Some Skills

You don’t necessarily have to be a trained chef to become a foodie entrepreneur. Many successful food business owners do not have a formal food qualification. That said, it is always advisable to gather as much expertise and relevant training as you can to have good foundations for your business idea. Not only will this help you become more robust as a business, it can increase your exposure to different ideas, best practices and concepts. So if you think it will help – and it often will – look at enrolling in some form of formal food training.

Remember that running a successful food business will require you to be just as good at business as the food side of things. If you don’t have any formal business training, read up around the subject and take some classes to learn the basics of areas of business you need to know about. This could range from accountancy to health and safety rules.

Business Plan and Roadmap

Once you know your food niche and have a few skills to bring to the table, draw up a business plan. This should include everything from target audiences based on market research, to costs, budgets and projected profits. It is important to be as detailed and realistic as you can in a business plan. This is what you’ll show investors if you need financial investment, and it’s what you should be referring back to at every step of your entrepreneurial food journey.

You should also add texture to your business plan by creating a roadmap that incorporates more detail on how you will achieve certain things. This will include aspects such as the build and interior design of your restaurant, food truck or food warehouse. Include information such as what labor and fittings will cost. Also plan for the marketing and promotion of your food concept, thinking about whether you want to work with a public relations firm, and what your restaurant marketing ideas are. This is all really important information that can help drive success.

Plan Your Launch

Depending on the scale of your entrepreneurial food business, it can take some time from the concept stage to launch. Along the way you will need to refine your product to make it the very best it can be, sort out the financial side and create a space that will be home to your business. But once the process has started, you’ll be heading towards your launch at a fast pace.

Make sure you have a good plan to raise awareness of your business when you do launch. This could be a combination of a launch party, PR and marketing, and special offers to get business as soon as you do launch. Be prepared to keep the momentum going even once the buzz of the launch itself has settled down. In particular, you should keep planning for the next steps, whether this is launching new food products or finding new marketing techniques to reach a wider audience. As a food entrepreneur, you won’t sit still for long, but this is all part of the fun!