Making Your Culinary Hobby Your Job: Setting Up a Home-Based Food Business

The culinary world is filled with inspiring success stories. Take for example Shelia McCann, a former lawyer who has given up the practice to pursue her baking passion, who is now the owner of House of Bread, a nation-wide culinary franchise. What aspiring chefs all around the world often fail to understand, though, is that sheer passion is only one ingredient in these success recipes.

Before they managed to kick off their restaurants, Shelia McCann and thousands of similar small business owners had to work out a way around a number of different legal, logistical and financial obstacles. Let’s see if we can help you to overcome some of these common problems.

Research the local legislation

If you want to start a culinary business, strict legislation will come knocking at your doors sooner or later. Obviously, you should avoid learning these things along the way and familiarize yourself with the local requirements and regulations as soon as possible. For a start, you should research the requirements for acquiring a business license, health permits and safety permits. If you are setting up a small restaurant, you will also need to check the regulations regarding music copyright licensing.

Research the market

Before you start investing any money in your new culinary venture, you should take some time to thoroughly research your local market and see if your business idea is even commercially viable. If you want to ensure you will be able to produce revenue, you should explore the nearby competition, make contact with local suppliers and take some time to get to know your future customers (e.g. how much they are earning, how often they order food or dine in local restaurants, etc.).

Take the future expenses into account

Depending on the type of business you want to set up, your costs may vary drastically. For instance, if you want your service to include a craft brewery, you will need to make necessary home adaptations and contact companies like heat exchanger manufacturer Teralba Industries to check the prices of their products. It is important to understand that all these expenses can be addressed with a good business plan and investor pitch. You need to be aware of the total startup cost of your future company, though.

Write a detailed business plan

Speaking of a business plan, this important piece of paper represents a short summary of your business’s strategies, assets and overarching goals. It represents an excellent reference point you can use to measure your current progress and look for the steps you should take in a time of uncertainty. Also, without a viable business plan, no serious investor will agree to back you up. So, check out how to create an industry-specific business plan and start writing one as soon as you get a good grasp of your business’s future finances.

Develop a unique brand and concept

In the situation where a couple of business offer similar services and similar pricing, customers will naturally gravitate towards the services they find the most interesting and appealing. That is why you should work very hard to provide your home-based food business with at least something that will help it stand out among the competitors. This can be achieved through thoughtful branding, a unique concept, focusing on a niche market (e.g. vegan meals) or all of the above.

Nail the pricing

Pricing can make or break your business. When you’re working with so many ingredients, there are too many variables to take into account. And yet, your pricing model should strike the perfect balance between making your service financially viable and keeping you competitive. One of the most common ways of overcoming this problem is making arrangements with suppliers to buy materials in bulk for more favorable prices.

We hope these six considerations gave you a better insight into the business side of the culinary world. Passion for food makes a great foundation for your own success story. Now you have to make sure to take care of all the additional building blocks.