A Guide To Spring Cleaning For Food Business Owners

 Food Business OwnersUnfortunately, when it comes to dining out, negative experiences are more memorable than positive ones. Because of this, you can be sure if any diners have a bad time at your restaurant, it won’t be long before their family, friends, neighbours or even casual acquaintances know about it. One thing is for certain though; the worst reputation you can get is one of poor hygiene.

While few can honestly say that they enjoy cleaning, there is some satisfaction to be gained from a job well done. Cleaning should be considered as part of the necessary preparation involved with handling or cooking food. Just as an oven needs to be preheated before a joint of meat goes in, surfaces need to be scrubbed, scoured and wiped before food can be prepared on them. These activities do not need to become a massive chore; once initiated into a routine, staff should be able to complete these actions effectively and regularly. Some chores will require a ‘clean as you go’ approach, others may need to be done daily and some less frequently still. It is important that all staff are aware of what needs doing and when to ensure that the correct level of hygiene is maintained all day, every day.

Aside from the obvious reasons to clean in areas where food is prepared, such as to avoid contamination and make a good impression on customers, there are other things to consider too. As well as keeping bacteria at bay, cleaning also reduces opportunities for bacterial multiplication by removing food particles and a clean area is also much less likely to attract pests. Keeping on top of spillages is also vital for safety in the kitchen as accidents can occur on wet or greasy floors which make it easy to slip. Finally, food establishment owners have a legal obligation to maintain food safety standards to a certain level.

Local authorities are responsible for producing a Food Law Enforcement Plan which identifies measures they will take each year within their area to ensure food safety within food businesses. Businesses therefore need to create and follow a cleaning schedule which can help them maintain a satisfactory status and avoid embarrassing cases of contamination.

So how should food businesses structure their cleaning to make sure it is of a high enough standard?

Six Stages of Cleaning

Stage 1 – Pre-clean. Remove loose and heavy soiling, for example, scrape plates and chopping boards, or soak pans.
Stage 2 – Main clean. Wash with hot water and detergent.
Stage 3 – Rinse. Remove any traces of detergent and food particles with clean hot water.
Stage 4 – Disinfection. Use a chemical disinfectant, and leave it on for the correct contact time.
Stage 5 – Final rinse. Use clean hot water.
Stage 6 – Dry. If possible, leave items to dry naturally in the air, because the use of drying cloths can spread bacteria. If you have to use a cloth try to use disposable paper ones.

The development of a cleaning schedule is an employer’s responsibility. It should set out which tasks should be done, how certain areas should be cleaned and who is responsible for each task. Plenty of time should be allowed to ensure that all cleaning duties are carried out to a satisfactory level.

Starting Your Handmade Food Business

Handmade Food BusinessDo you love and enjoy cooking? How about considering selling them? Doesn’t it sound nice to sell your home made food and generate income? Now that we are experiencing financial instability, another source of income will be very much appreciated. So if you decide on selling your handmade food, read on to know what you have to do.

Before putting up your food business, you should know the law governing it. You should take a look of the Food and Cosmetic Regulatory Responsibilities. The document will make you aware of legal requirements in manufacturing and distributing food. Also, read about the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 that outlines what you should know about the different ingredients. For more information about FDA’s rules and regulations, visit their web site.

More so you have to comply with the requirements mandated by your state with regard to selling handmade food. And do not forget to protect yourself and your business if something bad arises. Get an insurance policy about business liability. Another important thing to tackle before starting your handmade food business is the registration of your company name at the trademark office.

Once you have completed your legal requirements, you can start selling your handmade food. There several options on how to sell them. You can either sell them in your own store or you can also sell them online. You can also join expos and fairs to gain audience for your goodies.

Having your own store to sell you handmade food will be costly to starting businessmen as you have to set the rented place to entice audience. You have to spend for tables, chairs, utilities and your crew. You will need large amount of capital if you want to do so. But if you already have created a name in handmade food business, your patrons and new customers already know where to head when they want to partake your goodies.

But if you are starting with a little capital, you can consider selling your handmade food online. You can create your own website to sell and talk about your products. But the drawback is, your website must generate high traffic so that you will earn ranking in different search engines. Another option for online selling is be a member of buy and sell online sites across the internet. The site gives opportunity to small and starting businessmen to sell their products on their page. Online stores have already been on the internet for quite some time and you can be certain that many visitors are checking their page on a daily basis.

Selling handmade food will never go out of business as food is a basic need of every individual. As long as you know how to market your goodies and you know how to handle your finance, your business will certainly boom.

Three Important Keys on How to Start a Home Vegetarian Food Business in Your Home

Home Vegetarian Food BusinessMany have turned to the vegetarian lifestyle for the health and environmental benefits. The availability of vendors for this product is rather slim. Maybe you are interested in prospering in this niche market. This article will cover three important keys on how to start a home vegetarian food business in your home. You have to remember first that this is a business. You must run it like a business to stay afloat.

1) Create a plan. It has been said many times that businesses fail due to poor planning and nearly 80% of food businesses fail in the first 3 years. The wrong idea, mismanagement, or not enough financing can be tracked back to poor planning. Think about what you are going to sell, how you will distribute the product, how you will store the goods, and how much the cost will be prior to starting the business. Most food businesses work on a 20% profit margin; after the overhead and food cost. Can your plan become profitable in the first three years?

2) Be sure to get the proper licenses, etc. The US Small Business Administration could be a great source of information. The local chamber of commerce can give you all the necessary business information for your area. You will want to meeting with your local health department for a list of requirements pertaining to the food industry in your county. Business licenses, taxes, payroll, and general book keeping processes should all be in place before you open the doors.

3) A lot of people start a cooking business because they love to cook or their friends are always commenting on how good they cook. That is a great reason to be a cook, but can be a disaster if they have little or no business talents. There is much more to this type of business that cooking. Owners will need to wear many different hats to make this profitable. Another solution may be to surround yourself with others who have the talents that you are lacking. Be sure to factor in the cost of this talent as you begin the planning process.

These are a few tips on how to start a home vegetarian food business in your home. One more aspect is marketing. You will need a way to let your customers know you are in business. There are a lot of resources out there to help you with that as well.

Easy Way To Start Your Food Business

Start Your Food BusinessDuring these hard days, everyone is searching high and low for ways to earn and make both ends meet. Employment is one of the options. Unfortunately, not everyone can avail of this opportunity, either due to the limited availability of jobs or due to lack of qualifications for the jobs available.

Another means to earn is to go into business which I believe is a better and a more promising option. Here are some simple and practical steps that may guide you in putting up a food business the easy way:

1. Start! As in any endeavours in life, getting started is the most difficult part. Procrastination is the first hurdle we must overcome. We may have the best idea but it remains just that, an idea, until we do something tangible about it. How?

a. Set your goal. If you have a passion for cooking, decide what aspect of your culinary expertise you want to utilize for your business (do you plan to put up a small restaurant? do you prefer to go into catering? will opening an outlet for special delicacy fits you best? etc.) Directly targeting a particular aspect of the business makes it more achievable. Avoid being overwhelmed at the start by targeting several possible aspects of the business at the same time.

b. Learn all you can about the food business and add details to your idea to make it more concrete. Read, surf the net, browse over articles in magazines, attend seminars and exhibitions, consult with friends or associates who are or had been in the business. You can learn from their experiences, be they good or bad.

c. Once you have decided which aspect of the food business you think will fit your dream, think of how you will finance it. This may seem to be a major problem but it need not be.

2. Plan how you will finance your dream business. Depending on what you plan to put up, decide how much you are willing or is capable of investing. For a first-timer it is good to plan for a modest, single propriety business. This is a more prudent step to take to minimize possible losses in case things do not go as expected at the start. Also, this will avoid first-timers’ over concern on failing and affect momentum in your plans. To help you finance your dream, you may want to consider these financing sources:

a. Your personal saving

b. Applying for loans with your bank, credit groups, friends, relatives, or NGO organizations. It is advisable not to exhaust your credit limit from any one possible source. Also, approaching as few as sources as possible (preferably only one of them) allows you more fall back assistance in case you grow bigger and require additional financing.

c. Get a business partner who shares the same passion as yours.

3. Now, you are ready to start your business. Consider these important aspects of a business.

a. Location: This may not be a priority if you plan to go into catering but just the same, your cooking facility should be within the area of those you plan to serve. Delivery should not take so much time so fresh food reach your clients faster. This will also save you transport expenses.

However, if you are opening a food outlet like a restaurant, a small stall, or a food cart, consider a place where traffic of potential clients is from moderate to heavy. A stall in food court in malls is a good consideration plus it may cost less than renting a separate space in a shopping complex (but preferably near the food centre as well).

b. Personnel: At the start, hire a minimum number of people. For a small outlet, a cashier (which may be you), two servers, two cooks, and a busboy will suffice. Using disposables will eliminate the need for a dishwasher. But if it is a stall in a fast-food or food court, you dispense with a dishwasher even if reusable utensils since food court managements provide this. Also, there will be no need for a busboy. Daily marketing for supplies can be assigned to your cooks.

c. Work on all the necessary government and health requirements to open up a business legally. Legalizing your business saves you a lot of troubles later on.

d. Marketing strategies: As in any business, advertising play a big part if your are to grow. Here are a few suggestions you may consider:

1) Flyers to let clients know what you offer and for how much.

2) Offer a special price (and smaller portion) for a particular item for the day. This is to let them sample your food without giving it away for free.

3) Offer a free meal for groups of 4 or 5 (whichever is viable to your budget).

4) “Bring-a-friend” incentives (you may give special discount cards to your endorsers).

With the above guidelines, I hope you will find it easier to START your dream food business soon.

NOTE: There are those who engage in this business who give up after only a few months of operation. Among some reasons for this are:

a. Lack of sustained interest.

b. Realization of a better business venture for them. A change of heart is not uncommon.

c. Seeming “slow” growth of the business as per their expectation. Remember, there is a sound Latin adage that says: “Festina lente”(hasten slowly) which can be adopted in running a business.

d. Loss of patience due to the feeling that the business does not seem to grow at all. Usually this situation happens when we fail to apply simple arithmetic in running the day-to-day operation of the business.

Remember that doing exactly the same thing results in getting exactly the same result each time. So if the amount of your investment stays the same each day, your profit will be as was yesterday’s as well. What to do? This may seem to be a slow process BUT it surely works:

At the end of each day, compute your gross income. Deduct a certain percentage of that income (1% or 2%) and add that to your investment for the following day. In this way, your investment grows by so much EACH day painlessly. You will be surprised that your investment (and your net profit) has grown so much in a month’s time or two!

GOOD LUCK!

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