The fast-food business continues to flourish despite potential health risks. Being one of the highest mass-produced types of food, fast food restaurants can be a better means of earning. Starting your own fast-food business implies that you can make a considerable profit. The fast-food industry is growing at an alarming rate, and so is the need to prepare and produce fast food of different varieties.
The fast-food restaurant business is a growing, customer-driven market. You can leverage this opportunity to enter the market and accumulate a large share of the pie. Kicking off a fast-food business may be challenging, but the journey is rewarding if done aptly.
If you're one of those who aim to have their restaurant, here is what you should be focusing on:
1. Understanding Target Consumers
Pleasing consumers and delivering something that exceeds their expectation level is the first thing you need to ensure. Considering the switching power of consumers, if you fail to deliver customer-friendly food, you will fall behind. The fast-food business comes with loads of complexities and expectations. Thus, it is better to prepare in advance.
The fast-food market is flooded with multiple niches. Thus, consider targeting people who are in your locale and would be interested in you. Similarly, if you plan to invest in a brand's franchise, focus on suitable suppliers. However, suppose you wish to have your own brand, narrow down your niche first—whether you wish to get into Chinese, Mughlai, Indian. In that case, Italian, or any other cuisine, other options to select are tempting smoothies, momos, etc. The choices are limitless. Hence, it is advisable to pick your preferred niche and then try to prepare other varieties.
2. Get Started
Now that you've decided to take up the franchise, you'll have to incorporate the regulations agreed by the owner. For example, suppose you decide to take the franchise of a renowned pizza shop. In that case, you'll have to include their name, work on the interiors as per their preference and incorporate their conditions to decide the menu, price, recipes, and so on.
Additionally, you will be earning the profits that you make through the business. However, this is entirely different when you choose to set up your restaurant.
You will have to pick a location that gives maximum exposure to your business and help you reach a broad audience. The area you decide should be able to target users of different groups.
Your next step should be to make the business attractive for kids and their parents. Choose a place where parents would like to take the kids.
Be very particular about the quality control issues; parents should be convinced to buy food from your fast food restaurant. Though starting a fast food business may seem exhausting initially, the returns it brings along make it an ideal choice for investors.
3. Get Your Outlet Registered
If your premise is a roadside restaurant, you don't require registering it with the concerned authorities. If you are planning for a large-scale business, you must get it registered under the Food Operator License—one that works under the Safety and Standards Authority of India. This should be a state-level license and is valid for 12 months. You will need to reapply for the license after a year. So, make sure you get your funds sorted.
The major expenses that any fast food restaurant requires are rent, raw materials for supply, staff salaries, maintenance, and so much more. So, it is crucial to arrange for funds at the very beginning. To make things less chaotic and get rid of the financial burden, the best option would be to take help for financing bodies, banks, and government programs.
4. Rent a Space
For setting up a mid-size fast food restaurant, you need an area of approx. 350 square feet, irrespective of the location. And when it comes to figuring out the area, you need to consider traffic volume, local regulations, and customs, how accessible the area is, is there any parking availability, rent terms, and sales projections, etc. All of these factors come into play.
Now is the time when you need a concrete business plan in action. This includes deciding the number of workforces required for cooking, serving, or maintaining the restaurant. The map of the restaurant lets you decide how you want it to function or look like. The total space you wish to accommodate for seating, washroom, etc., all counts!
5. Get the Required Equipment and Recruit Staff
Once you've finalised the rates, the next steps should be hiring professionals—waiters, chefs, attendants, etc. Not only this, but you also need to get the necessary appliances and utensils in place. You would require utensils, cutlery sets, design plates and bowls for serving too. Make sure the employees you hire and the serving areas you handle are all organised. This will reduce stress. Be in talks with a responsible supplier to acquire your daily needs of ingredients and raw items at the wholesale price.
Train your staff and design their pay scale too. Also consider aspects like training, bonus, and other career opportunities. If you are still unwilling to initially invest on a large scale, ask your friends and family if they can help you cook, serve, and manage other things.
6. Marketing is Super Important
Your food is ready to be gulped now! What's next?
Market yourself so far that people get to know more about it. The simplest thing would be going with promotional flyers. Put flyers in high traffic localities and pass them to those who pass by your restaurant every day. You can even distribute brochures/ handouts or offer some discounts to entice people. How about an added appetiser or a discounted combo meal contest? The cost you would incur with a flyer and handbill would be comparatively low, but the benefits you acquire will be laudable. Down the line, don't skip investing in print media, television, or digital marketing. In fact, digital marketing is the most potent promotional tool available. The target customer group for any fast food joint is mostly the youngsters, young couples and children. All of these people are active social media users. Create an instance and Facebook page to advertise the food you serve, the ambience you provide and the festival specials, if any. Keep posting some lip-smacking food on social media. It will grab the user's attention.
In the fast-food restaurant business, the competition is fierce. One of the best ways you can do marketing is through online food delivery. You can partner with some best online food apps and get your business geo-targeted ads and continuously assess your social presence.
Last but not the least, ensure good word of mouth by maintaining quality food and service. A good word of mouth is the best advertisement - it is the biggest crowd-puller, helps build a reputation and ensures repeat customers for your fast food restaurant. So pull up your socks and get ready to serve gastronomic delights and happiness together in your fast food joint.
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