I am known to say this to clients and while delivering a seminar. It was recently brought to my attention that that is actually a ridiculous statement. Most fledgling entrepreneurs simply don’t know what questions to ask, I was told. Well, isn’t that just obvious. And who was I to put the onus on the one that is learning and, frankly, drinking from the fire hose of information.
Great point! Much appreciated and very insightful. Here is a list of the top level topics that I believe are the most important for a foodservice operator to know well. In my Next post I’ll do the same for the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) arena.
Here are the topics that I think are the most important:
1) Mission and Vision Statement- these will become your guiding lights and the guard rails from which to make future decision.
2) Know your cost to produce your product. This is often known as the ‘Cost of Goods Sold’ or COGS more commonly. IN the hospitality industry this is also often called a ‘Food cost’
3) Know your target market- this took me years to actually truly wrap my mind around. Who are they? What do they care about? Where do they live? What lifestyle needs do they have that you are fulfilling?
4) Operations- how does it all work? I close my eyes and imagine a full course of sales from beginning to end. Ordering food, receiving food, storing food, prepping food, cooking food, customer receiving food, customer paying for meal etc.
5) Tools- what systems and tools do you need in place to make all of this happen effectively and without pulling your hair out. Order guides, job descriptions, inventory spreadsheets, accounts payable and receivable etc.
By separating the important topics into categories you’ll better be able to see what you know and where you need some more support. And, in my experience a solid knowledge of these 5 areas and you’ll be well-suited to get up and running.
So that’s what you should be asking about. I’ll delve into each topic in more detailing the next set of blog posts.