Oh No, it’s only Rock’n’Roll
Before you venture into any kind of food venture, whether it be 2* Michelin Chefs to your Auntie Mavis making the Nursing Home residents tea, anyone working in any kind of food environment must by Law, follow a “given” set of guidelines.
Rule No1 This is fight club, no sorry, wrong blog. There are no rules, well none that apply to you. Reason being, your business is unique. There is no other like it because it is yours. You’ve dreamt it, your prepared for it, every scenario gone through with a fine tooth comb night after night in preparation as your mind races at 300mph. “Heads up sunshine” here’s the brick wall. Unless you have considered some fundamental basics you’ll not go very far.
Calculating “Food Profitability” starts with something that is very dear to you and has taken a considerable amount of time and your effort creating, is the menu. Unless as a result of a wave from The Almighty’s hand, you have been blessed and are a “natural” so you knew exactly what it was you were doing was right, you’re going to have to trim it down a bit. I know you worked hard on it and don’t worry “less is often more, than enough. Concentrate on what you do, you’ll do it best. Don’t give the customer too much choice, it will cost you in every sense of the word. Offering the customer a choice of more than 4 mains theoretically equates to less than 25% of your time working on each dish which will reflect on that and every other dish. No one wants to eat street food that hasn’t been loved. Brought into this world with the utmost care, thought and consideration for you, the customer. I will be covering Sustainability, Provenance, no that’s Provence and yes that’s in France, yes very sure and Traceability. Less menu items that earn you more result in less initial expenditure on ingredients. Some items on your menu may incur a higher expenditure simply because it may be what you think you’ll become famous for, who knows? I do know 1 think though, getting it right is understandably difficult, like irony and Concorde it to goes over your head.
Every menu, has to have individuality. The imagination behind the product is vital, welcome to the world of food engineering. Much like achieving your financial obligations to yourself, your family and, if you have had to acquire considerable funding from a Bank, a hefty percentage of your profit, will magically make its way out of your bank account on a less than pleasing basis with immediate effect. To combat this you have to be prepared to diversify or die. To attain your position, you must be adventurous but careful, speak to your customers, they know what they want and all they want is more of what it is you have been doing. Develop your menu to continue your venture to be a success. Customers return to successful vendors. As someone who is passionate about every aspect of food, I am delighted with the explosion of private enterprise but lets not get carried away here. There are days its going to be really difficult just to get out of bed but stick at it, make it a success. If you have to swallow your pride and delay your announcement on the worlds stage of your entrance into the street food business, do it, your customers will thank you. Some sectors of the food industry are nothing short of villain’s. The amount of food they throw away each day, is nothing short of criminal. Providing you have done your homework and you’ve dotted the i’s and the lower case j’s and crossed the t’s you’ll be all right. If you find yourself in a position that you are throwing food out you might as well take out your wallet, open it and throw the money out with the food. Every item thrown away or dropped or returned for a refund is going to cost you dearly. It can’t be stressed how important it is to get right first time and then expand your menu. Street food doesn’t have a season par-say, only the Brave and Crazy do all year round. Consider adapting your menus to meet with the hardest seasons requirements. Good wholesome food sells, Soups, Broths, Casseroles, Stew and Cawl will fly out, especially if accompanied by a good bread or Corn Muffin. Chowders especially, are a great cockle warming favourite of mine. I blame New England. Just because your menu doesn’t suit winter, don’t mean to say you keep on throwing food out because of falling trade, reverse the process, some prior research and development in to your menu for the colder months will be beneficial to the point more customer will eat with you and result in selling out. I know no ones likes to have to go without because you have sold out but it does taste better the fact you’ve sold out again and you’ve made a profit, that person didn’t eat today because you sold out. That is by no means your fault, its theirs, they deserve to go hungry for 1 meal because you sold out. Its better than you going hungry because of lack of trade and having to throw food out resulting in no profit. Don’t let yourself down.
Now, you still want to be a street food trader?
Good, I’ll have some valuable hints and tips for those starting out in my next article.