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Out of all the categories of entrepreneurs, I think the restaurateurs and food truck owners are the ones I’ve been the most intrigued with lately. Food businesses are so difficult to get right, and they’re hard to quickly make changes on the fly, so I really admire these people, because many of them do quite well. (Many crash and burn too – but that’s too be expected.)
And given that I’m currently running a food-themed biz promotion, I thought it was the perfect time to chat about how the foodies make their businesses soar. Here are 4 of my most common observations.
Leap Into Calculated Risks
As I mentioned, food businesses are risky ventures. You have so many up front costs to get things right, and at the end of the end of the day, it’s up to an individual’s taste buds whether or not your product is worth coming back for more. You’ve got so much advance planning: how to get the ingredients, how to store everything, what to do with waste, how often and how much to change seasonal menus – that’s not if you use only seasonal ingredients and have to plan a new menu every day based on what you found in the market!
The successful foodie entrepreneur embraces risk – because they know their numbers. It’s a risk because you don’t know everything, but you can reduce risk by knowing your numbers – how big is that risk, really?
Restaurants are killer at the upsell – presented tactfully and tastefully (and NOT deceptively), this can be a huge money maker. Even the celebrity chefs like Rachael Ray know this one – with her branded product deals and all the many other products and services she has, she isn’t just a cookbook saleswoman anymore.
Your customers want to know what the “nice thing is that they should have in addition to the thing they already chose to purchase.” What’s the worst thing they could say? No.
Presentation is a Deal Closer
Good, delicious good presented poorly won’t taste as good. Foodie entrepreneurs know that, but why do so many entrepreneurs leave their presentation – namely their websites, their product packaging, the marketing materials – looking utterly craptastic? It’s bad. Have you ever seen a great speaker who had good ideas but their weird body language left you having difficulty listening to them?
No matter how good you are, people will silently judge you on your presentation. Make sure it’s on-brand; it doesn’t have to be fancy. When you go to an old fashioned fish and chips shop, you DO want your chips to be wrapped in newspaper, because it’s part of the experience.
People who own/run food trucks SMILE ALL THE TIME. Chefs (except for Gordon Ramsay) smile in the restaurant, even when the kitchen is going insane. And if you’ve got a team, the people who work their and enjoy it, smile, because they know the customers they’re serving are about to have an amazing food experience.
If you are so excited and happy and proud of your product/service, why aren’t you smiling? If you aren’t smiling, then what do you need to do to fix it? If you are happy and proud, remember smile more – your customers will appreciate it, even if they say nothing.
Oh… and About that Food Thing
Don’t forget, if you want a helping hand to help you get some perspective on the coming year, you need to grab this special offer before it’s gone. Hurry: there are a few slices of pumpkin pie left!
Creative Commons Photo is by pbody in Flickr – thx!