30 Delicious Ways You Can Become A Million-Dollar Food Entrepreneur!
Food businesses are super hot! The popularity of reality TV’s “Top Chef,” “Bar Rescue,” Eat,Drink,Love,” “Iron Chef” and many other food-based programming concepts has created a booming interest in the food industry. Food trucks are becoming a mainstay in communities across the U.S. Bartenders are now “mixologists” and cakes are as much of a star at any wedding as the bride and groom. Food is hot! Consider starting one of the many food businesses mentioned in this feature.
There are more than 980,000 restaurants in the United States and the figure grows every year, according to the National Restaurant Association. The US bar and nightclub industry includes about 45,000 establishments (single-location companies and branches of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $20 billion. No major companies dominate; varying state liquor laws complicate the ability to form large chains. The industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for about 5 percent of revenue.
Food Businesses To Launch At Home
You don’t have to own a restaurant or hot bar to get into the food business. You can start right at home at your kitchen table. The food industry is vast and includes every type of enterprise from herb growers and gift basket services to bread baking, cake making and pushcarts and food trucks. It is impossible to estimate the dollar sales figures for all food enterprises combined, say the experts. But specialty foods alone—such as cheese, chocolates, energy bars, gluten-free snacks– raked in $86 billion last year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has put together an entire section of their website to help food entrepreneurs learn and comply with the various regulations affecting home and outside facility food businesses. Visit http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Industry/ucm322302.htm to learn more.
We’ve come up with plenty of ways for you to cash in without opening a supermarket or a worldwide chain of restaurants that you franchise. Welcome to 30 delicious food businesses you can launch now and have fun in the process! Bon appetit!
1# – FIVE Steps To Your Own Food Delivery Service
Convenience and time are commodities that busy people cherish. Food delivery services capitalize on clients don’t have the time or want to make the effort to pick up a meal. Here are 5 steps to start your own food delivery service.
1. Identify restaurants that don’t deliver. Make a list of businesses that you could work with to provide delivery service. Contact them and start negotiating how it will work (see #4). This is a mutually beneficial business. Get to know their prep time, how they will package the meals, and how you will contact them with the orders.
2. Create menus for the restaurants you will represent. Post them on your website. Print them up for distribution to apartment complexes, industrial parks, etc.
3. Come up with a fun name. Develop a website that can take orders, track them and even handle the payments via credit card.
4. Consider your revenue sources. You can make money by negotiating a discount or commission with restaurants you will be working with; after all, you are bringing them an entire new source of revenue. If your clients are paying $20 for that dinner, the restaurant might sell it to you at a discount. Next, you’ll be able to tack on a “delivery charge” for your service. Finally, the client might give you a tip.
5. Work on a marketing program. Go to office complexes, residential neighborhoods, colleges, etc. to market your new business. Don’t forget local motels in the area. The restaurants you are working with might post your service on their websites, too. Develop a brochure, do a targeted mailing, put together a great logo and post it on your vehicle to attract attention as you drive around town. Include your phone number and website.
#2 – 10 Ways To Be A “Top Chef”
By Nissa Larsen
With shows like “Top Chef”, “Iron Chef”, and Gordon Ramsey’s “Hell’s Kitchen,” chefs are becoming the new rock stars. Chef Carla Hall catapulted her way from local chef to appearing on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef”, and is now one of the hosts of ABC daytime’s “The Chew”.
Here are the ten primary stations that need to be staffed in any world-class kitchen:
1. Saucier is responsible for sautéing foods and preparing soups and stews. Their most vital role is creating the sauces and gravies that accompany other dishes.
2. Poissonnier is the fish chef responsible for buying fresh fish on a daily basis.
3. Rotisseur is the roast chef and is in charge of preparing any roasted or braised meats on the menu.
4. Grillardin is responsible for any foods that must be grilled.
5. Entremetier is the vegetable chef.
6. Friturier handles any foods that must be cooked in oils or other animal fats.
7. Tournant is the all-purpose chef in the kitchen brigade. The tournant must have a broad knowledge of the basic operations of each station, and must be able to step in when someone is absent or the workload approaches a hectic pace.
8. Garde manger is in charge of cold dishes on the menu, as well as making any large buffet services look presentable.
9. Boucher is the butcher and is in charge of preparing all meats and poultry before they are delivered to their respective stations.
10. Patissier is the pastry chef, responsible for creating or preparing baked goods, such as breads and pastries.
Lynnae Schneller, a lifelong pickler
turned her family pickling pastime into Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles, a thriving commercial business. Since 2011, Lynnae has produced her savory pickles from her company headquarters in Fircrest, Washington, with sister-in-law, Aly Cullinane – Partner and VP of Sales. The duo has gone from selling 1,000 jars in the first month of business to producing 10,000 jars a month. Sales for this year are expected to come in at $240k. Visit www.lynnaesgourmetpickles.com for more info.
#3 – Go Gourmet!
You can take a simple food product and turn it into a gourmet delight! Consider entrepreneur Scott Nelowet, founder of French Fry Heaven, the first gourmet fries-only franchise in the country. Starting a niche brand in a down economy wasn’t an easy task, but Scott, a passionate and determined entrepreneur, quickly learned strategies to help keep his business successful that he could teach future entrepreneurs.
There are currently eight French Fry Heaven locations open and operating throughout the U.S. and more than 50 units planned to open within the next two years.
Showcasing the entrepreneurial spirit: Nelowet drove a French Fry Heaven food truck 5,000 miles over the first two weeks of Sept. 2013 to share his fries and franchise opportunity with potential franchisees across 8 major U.S. markets. Nelowet’s point is this: rather than waiting for something to happen, he put the opportunity right in front of people. He recognizes the importance of leading by example, inspiring like-minded people that would do well with French Fry Heaven.
Visit frenchfryheaven.com for info.
#4 Market Your Product
Lynnae Schneller, a lifelong pickler turned her family pickling pastime into Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles, a thriving commercial business. Since 2011, Lynnae has produced her savory pickles from her company headquarters in Fircrest, Washington, with sister-in-law, Aly Cullinane – Partner and VP of Sales. The duo has gone from selling 1,000 jars in the first month of business to producing 10,000 jars a month. Sales for this year are expected to come in at $240k. Visit www.lynnaesgourmetpickles.com for more info.
#5 – Be Your Own Cake Boss
By Nissa Larsen
Carlo’s Bake Shop is a family owned bakery that creates wedding cakes, specialty cakes and baked goods. The original location in Hoboken, NJ opened in 1910, and in 1964 was acquired by the Valastro family. Since then, the Valastro family has not only maintained the excellence of its delicious desserts, but has attracted a loyal crowd. They have even been able to expand their empire with two more locations in Ridgewood and Westfield New Jersey.
Although they gained national attention on the TLC show “Cake Boss”, Carlo’s Bakery is dedicated to serving quality and delicious desserts to all who walk through their doors. The current Cake Boss is Buddy Valastro Jr. a fourth generation baker and cake decorator. Along with the help of his family, Buddy uses what he learned from his father and has taken his skills and artistry to new heights. Every cake made is customized to the individual’s needs and desires. At Carlos’ Bakery every customer is treated like part of the family. Customer Service is one key to the bakery’s success.
Not only is Carlo’s a bake shop, they also offer classes in cake decorating, baking, and cooking. In addition, they sell all types of bake ware and cooking tools to create your own desserts at home.
To start your own “Cake Boss” business, focus on a few themed cakes using the latest techniques in cake décor. Create a website to showcase your dessert portfolio. Use social media with Facebook and Twitter accounts. Place an ad in local media. Promote good will by dropping off a few cakes at your local senior centers, a non-profit organization, and at the offices of local event planners and caterers.
To learn more about Carlos’s Bakery visit their website www.carlosbakery.com
#6 – Sell Ingredients Online
The Milky Whey is an online dairy resource for butterfat, dry milk, whey. Whey or milk serum is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Sales for the webpreneurs are $30 million a year. Visit www.themilkywhey.com for more information.
#7 - Open Your Own Juice Bar
Daily Juice serves made-to-order juices and smoothies prepared from fresh vegetables, fruits and superfoods, as well as highly nutritious grab-and-go foods in a quick-service, uniquely cultural environment. Health-conscious consumers who are on the go see Daily Juice as a destination for unique drinks and products with an emphasis on health and nutrition.
Daily Juice is poised to capture a significant portion of the rapidly growing $5 billion lifestyle restaurant segment of the $170 billion quick-serve restaurant market. Many quick-service concepts have struggled to shift their offerings to meet this new customer demand for nutritional quality and transparency.
The first Daily Juice bar was opened in 2003 in Austin, Texas by co-founder Keith Wahrer. A second Austin location opened within a year followed by the first franchised location in 2008.
Daily Juice expects to have a broad, national presence in the U.S. with approximately 100 locations through 2016.
The estimated initial investment in a single Daily Juice franchise location ranges from $275,000 to $325,000, including a $30,000 franchise fee.
Contact the Daily Juice Group, LLC in Austin, Texas, by calling 512-614-3355 or visit www.dailyjuice.org for information.
#8 - Start Your VERY Own GreaseBusters Business
Industrial Steam Cleaning, Inc. “The GreaseBusters”, was founded in 1971, specializing in the complete cleaning of kitchen exhaust hood systems. The company teaches entrepreneurs how to provide hood-cleaning service to restaurants and all cooking facilities. The market is booming.
Says the company, “We proudly service the nations most recognized brands. In 2012 the U.S. hospitality industry will be approaching 930,000 units and is projected to reach $632 billion in revenues (source: National Restaurant Association
“Each of these facilities preparing food are required to have their kitchen exhaust systems cleaned at a regular frequency by a certified hood cleaning company. Do you want to be their preferred service provider? We will show you how to engage your customers and their loyalty by performing a necessary service with quality methods and tips to ensure customer satisfaction.” Visit greasebusters.com for more information.
#9 - DEVELOP A NEW PRODUCT
In an effort to find the “perfect” walnut butter and, after researching literally every aisle from coast to coast, Anthony Novelle, founder of Novelle Naturals discovered many important factors missing in the world of walnut butters. What he found was a lack of good ingredients, taste, texture and beyond that, quality. So, Novelle decided to create his own product along with his partner, Chef James Gillepsie. The product is composed of the best California grown walnuts and organic ingredients, packed with Omega- 3, protein, fiber and antioxidants.
Anthony Novelle has dedicated himself to a healthy lifestyle and “clean” eating and has helped many people as a wellness specialist and sports nutritionist. We asked Anthony to share his tips on how to bring your food product to the store shelves:
1. Be super passionate and determined about product and get ready to roll up the sleeves as it’s a lot of work – If the passion is not there it won’t happen.
Choose a name for product, form LLC or Corp, and get everything trademarked.
2. Put together a detailed Business Plan/ budget w/ projections, start up costs etc.
3. Know your target market. Research your competitors.
4. Develop well thought out packaging. Designing a great logo, labels, jars, lids, all very important part of the process; presentation is crucial.
5. Know your product value in terms of nutritional and health standpoint along with taste, texture etc.
6. Getting all required testing and certifications. Contact the fda.gov.
7. Do test batches for taste texture etc. before the actual “production run.”
8. Develop marketing materials to create buzz. Press Releases, Editorials, Reviews, and using all social media.
#10 - Top Chef Rolls Out Burger Franchise
Former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn contestant is ready to franchise his family’s fast-casual burger concept, Good Stuff Eatery.
The franchise opened in July 2008 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Since then, two additional company locations have opened, one each in Arlington, Virginia’s downtown Crystal City and in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood.
DC was key to the plan. “You sell people on the brand and the feel and the food. They spend four to six months here, and they go back to their respective cities,” he says. “It’s great because they take the experience that they had in D.C. with them—so it literally gave us national recognition.”
That experience revolves around a fast-casual concept that capitalizes on locally sourced ingredients.
Good Stuff balances its farm-raised beef burger selection with hand-cut fries, four wedge salads, and hand-spun milkshakes. The high-quality food, Mendelsohn says, will be one of the biggest draws for franchisees.
“Everything about the menu and the concept invokes family and comfort and locality,” he says. “I think it’ll be a home run.” Visit www.goodstuffeatery.com for more information on how to open one.
#11 – Bottle Your Beverage
A couple from New Orleans turned their love of Roselle hibiscus flower into a multi-functional beverage concentrate and ready-to-drink specialty ice tea blends. Today the young company’s sales are topping $200,000.
Entrepreneur Esailama Henry said: “Tyrone and I have always loved to experiment with different flavors and ingredients in the kitchen (Tyrone was raised amongst a family of New Orleans women who were known for their cooking), we began to sample our own hibiscus beverage blend for friends and family. Needless to say, it went over well with everyone that tried it and with much encouragement we forged our way forward with Bissap Breeze and our first product, Bissap Breeze beverage concentrate. We first began bottling by hand and selling in the New Orleans French Market. Then in mid-2012 we won a pitch competition that gave us grant money to hire a manufacturer and expand our retail locations.
“I’d say that when we got into the New Orleans French Market and realized how much people liked it, that was the ‘aha moment.’ The idea came first. Like most entrepreneurs, it was the idea, and we trusted our ideas,” said Henry, who said that she and her husband were self-taught.
Contact http://bissapbreeze.com for more information.
#12 – Big Bucks Bread
We know of an elementary school teacher who baked bread and rolls for all of his friends and family. One day, he picked up the phone and made an appointment to meet with the head of a local catering business. He baked a dozen rolls and artfully presented them in a basket. The response was, “We’ll need 220 rolls for a wedding on Saturday. Can you deliver them by noon?” He was stunned but accepted the job. He worked all night to get those rolls ready and made the delivery.
The caterer gave him three more jobs that week. Our teacher needed to step up get a bigger kitchen. A commercial kitchen to handle the workload. He met with the local bakery owner and rented the bakery kitchen from 11 pm to 4 am when the bakery was closed. The rest was history. In two years, baker was making $400,000 a year from baking alone.
#13 – Employment Service
You can launch your own employment agency in your region helping waiters, bartenders, hostesses and other members of the restaurant and hospitality industry find jobs.
Shiftgig, Inc. is an online professional networking and employment community for the hospitality industry. Just as many white collar professionals depend upon Linkedin for jobs and connections, Shiftgig plans to be the website for the service industry business Shiftgig is the largest and fastest service industry job website, which now has one million job applications. Shiftgig doesn’t cost either the applicant or the employer a dime! Visit shiftgig.com for more info.
#14 – Clean Barbecues
The BBQ Market is Red Hot!
77% of all households in the U.S. own a barbeque or smoker
Grill sales are expected to increase by 15.6% by 2012
The niche luxury grill market is booming
The fastest-growing category is the $400-$800 range
Year round grilling is at an all-time high
The BBQ Cleaner can help you establish your own mobile barbecue cleaning business. They have a proven and tested system for cleaning barbeque grills. You purchase the system from the company and they will show you how to use their patent pending cleaning operation. They also provide marketing materials and a startup guide to help you start making money.
Plenty of restaurants, pubs and bars now have a outdoor barbecue set-up on a deck or patio and they can become your clients as well as homeowners, beach associations, community parks and any other place where there is a grill.
According to the company, “We’ve developed a truly amazing system that can transform even the dirtiest BBQ Grills back to their sparkling best. A system that is fast, efficient and cost effective. Our system is currently used in over 200 global locations and has been used successfully since 1994.
“Equally impressive is that our truly amazing grill cleaning materials are eco-friendly by being bio-degradable, non toxic and harmless to the environment. Add this to our proven business model and you have a recipe for success. We’ll lead you every step of the way once you’ve decided to join our rapidly expanding network of BBQ Grill cleaning experts.
“We’ll help and guide you through each and every aspect of starting up your new cleaning business, right the way through induction training and beyond. You’ll see all of these features and benefits as you view the pages and videos throughout this website.”
You can have onsite training if you like and enjoy a small business where you are home-based and work according to your own schedule. Call 888-296-8368 or Visit www.thebbqcleaner.com to learn more.
#15 – Food Truck Fortunes ON THE MOVE
Food trucks are hot. So hot that even Martha Stewart invites one to drive into the service elevator of her Omnimedia’s West 26th street headquarters to provide a delicious lunch to her staff each day.
If you see these trucks parked in various locations in your community, and dream of your establishing your own “Wheels of Fortune” enterprise, follow the lead of successful Flirty Cupcakes.
Flirty Cupcakes provides cupcakes and other dessert items: home made pop tarts, ice cream, cookies, brownies, cake pops. Sales for the business are now hitting $490,000.
One of the first things business owner Tiffany Kurta had to do was obtain a truck and arrange for a kitchen. You’ll need to contact the county clerk in your area to determine whether or not you need a Food Handler’s License. The licensing is regulated by the State and varies from one state to another.
#16 – Open a WineStyles Tasting Station
WineStyles Tasting Station®, a newly re-branded boutique concept dedicated to simplifying the wine and craft beer shopping experience, has successfully converted 15 WineStyles locations across 10 states to its newly revamped business model. This latest milestone is part of the company’s national efforts to revitalize and reenergize the brand under the new franchisor ownership team.
To fuel WineStyles Tasting Station’s growth across the country, the company is seeking entrepreneurs with retail experience. WineStyles Tasting Stations will be developed through single-unit and area developer agreements. Depending on the real estate site selected, franchisees can expect the total cost of investment for one store to be approximately $229,000 – $380,500. Call 866-424-WINE or visit www.winefranchise.com for info.
#17 – Personalized Labels For Candy & Water Bottles
You’ve seen them create excitement at weddings, graduations, fundraisers, showers, and holidays and in business settings—now you can be a part of the customized wrap industry. You can tie in with Occasionography and they will help you establish your own custom wrapped business for personalizing candy bars, mints, water bottles and much more. All you need is a PC/Mac and you are ready to launch! The company has hundreds of designs for you to use for special events.
To learn more visit them at their website www.wrapperprofits.com.
#18 – Vending Ventures
Wouldn’t it be great to make money while you sleep? As a successful vending machine entrepreneur you can do just that.
You can start a business placing and supplying vending machines around your community. You don’t need any experience or sales training to get this business started. UTurnVending can help you get started and they have four different vending machines for you to consider. Their website www.UTurnVending.com has a lot of information on how to get started and they’ll send you a free eBook on starting a small business. You can also call 800-584-8887 for information.
According to the company, “U-Turn has been helping people like you become successful business owners for over 25 years. The mission of our company is to offer the very best vending machine equipment with the highest quality support on the market.
#19 – Frozen Yogurt Is Hot!
One of the fastest growing franchise opportunities is in frozen yogurt. Add health and nutritious offerings to the mix and you have a winner. Yumz Gourmet Frozen Yogurt is a healthy product in a self-serve store concept. The company is very big on social media and the customer experience—winning concepts in any marketing plan.
Yumz says, “Healthy is back. Nutritionally speaking, Yumz Gourmet Frozen Yogurt has got it going on! Our frozen yogurt has natural ingredients, is less than 100
calories per serving* and fat-free.” Visit www.YumzFrozenYogurt.com to learn more.
#20 – “RAISE THE BAR” OF YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
Jon Taffer is the host and executive producer of Spike TV’s hit show Bar Rescue.
He is also considered the best authority in the food, beverage and hospitality industries.
His book, Raise The Bar (with Karen Kelly, New Harvest, $26), is a treasure trove of do’s and don’ts for any small business owner no matter what your business focus.
Jon’s theory of “Reaction Management” can help any entrepreneur perform better. Here are five tips from Jon:
• Businesses are defined by the details.
• The customer’s expectations for your business must match the reality.
• Everything we do is part of a process, never a result.
• Every business process, step or communication must create a positive customer reaction each and every time. That reaction is the product.
• Any business, no matter what it is, lives or dies by the customer reaction it creates.
“My overarching philosophy is this: all successful business is about creating the right reactions in customers. You are not selling a product or a service. You are selling an experience,” says Jon.
#21 - Cash-In With A Hot Dog Cart
There are plenty of estimates out there from seasoned hot dog cart vendors that suggest that you can make an average of $500 a day selling hot dogs from carts.
You’ll find everything you need from carts, training manuals and accessories to launch your own hot dog vending cart business at Ben’s Carts.
Ben’s Carts start at low-prices for a do-it-yourself model and go up to $3000 and more. There is something for every style and budget. The company also sells umbrellas and accessories and can even sell you a used cart if you are on a tight budget. The website is http://store.benscarts.com/ for more information.
#22 – Open A “Paint & Sip” Studio: No Artistic Talent Required
As a pioneer and leader in the “Paint & Sip” industry, Pinot’s Palette has put a spin on the traditional girls’ night out, date night, and corporate event by creating a social experience that is delivered in the form of a 2 to 3 hour painting event where the guests enjoy their favorite cocktails and snacks.
Working with local artists, Pinot’s Palette provides the paintbrushes and easels, and will guide the visiting guests step-by-step through a featured painting. Although most Pinot’s Palette locations are BYOB, about 1/3 of Pinot’s Palette studios have built-in bars, depending on local laws or franchisees preferences.
To start up a Pinot’s Palette, franchisees can expect to spend around $100,000, including a franchise fee of $25,000, retail build-out, grand opening marketing, initial inventory, staff hiring and training, and three months of operational support. Visit www.pinotspalette.com to for more information.
#23 – 7 Steps To Launch A Bartending Biz
No matter what shape the economy is in, liquor and alcohol-related businesses seem to be recession-proof. You can start a bartending business and cash in on a part-time, weekends-only or full-time basis.
Here are 7 steps to launch your biz:
1. Learn. Many people think they can launch a bartending service without any training. While this is possible, bartender school will teach you the tricks of the trade and will help you to professionalize your business. To find a bartending school, go online. There are hundreds. Find one in your region.
2. Get on the job training. Get a bartending job. If you don’t want to work in a bar or a restaurant, go to local catering services and offer your bartending skills. You can work cocktail parties, corporate events, etc.
3. Learn about business. You will need to understand the basics of running a small business, including accounting, bookkeeping, marketing and customer service.
4. Formulate a business plan. Write down everything you want to accomplish with your business. Set goals for the next six month, twelve months.
5. Pick a name for your business and register it. Go to your county clerk’s office and register your name with a “doing business as” document. This way you can open a bank account with the name of your business. Ask the county clerk if you need to register further with a state agency.
6. Buy bartending supplies. Speed pourers, bottle openers, wine keys, coolers and garnish trays. A uniform. This is not a necessity, but is a good way to present a professional appearance to customers.
7. Develop marketing materials. Business cards, flyers and postcards are good start-up basics. Get a Facebook page, twitter account; start tweeting about your service and connect with entertainment professionals. Market your service every day. Place ads online. Buy ads in local newspapers especially around holidays.
#24 – Dollars In Donuts
For more than thirty five years, Lil’ Orbits has been helping entrepreneurs make money selling donuts with their easy to set-up and use mini-donut operation.
The brainchild of Ed Anderson, the Lil’ Orbits donut maker has been helping people all over the world become financially independent.
In 1975, the first Lil’ Orbits mall location was opened. Called Little O’Nuts, the freestanding mall kiosk was operated by Ed, his wife Pat, and their son Charlie. When customers began asking about the name, confusing the kiosk with a nearby hot peanut vendor, the name was changed and Lil Orbits was born.
Today, the company estimates that entrepreneurs can make more than $300 an hour at a basic outdoor event with one of their small machines. There are different machines to suit every budget.
You can visit lilorbits.com or call 800-228-8305 or 763-559-7505 for more info.
#25 – Italian Ice Push Carts
This is fun, moneymaking venture that can be taken anywhere you find the crowds. You’ll be selling Italian ice from a push cart thanks to Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice. The cost is low, the products are delicious and contain no fat/no dairy/ no cholesterol and no high-fructose corn syrup, and the carts are easy to run and maintain.
There is no experience required and oh, did we mention that the cart can fit in most mini-vans or SUV’s? Plus, the carts require no electricity or dry ice, so you can take them anywhere and set up your business.
Bring your cart to the local sports event, beach or community gathering. Call the local Village Hall to inquire about any permits or license you might need to sell in your area.
Your clients will also be Fundraisers- Organizational, Church and School Parties – Birthday, Reunions, Picnics, Weddings, and Pool Parties.
What more can we say? Visit www.ITALIANICE.net to learn more about Little Jimmy’s Italian Ices & Psuh Carts or call the company at 800-763-4348.
#26 - Fresh, Nutritious Foods For TODAYS Kids
Founded by CEO Debbie Blacher, Wholesome Tum-mies is the first and only kids’ food franchise in the U.S. Its mission is to make fresh, nutritious and exciting foods available to every child, everywhere, by introducing a Healthy School Solution to local schools. By working with Wholesome Tummies, schools receive access to the freshest, highest quality foods available through school lunch, catering and healthy vending programs. By choosing Wholesome Tummies, schools make a firm commitment to student health. That decision improves parent satisfaction, increases student enrollment and helps fight childhood obesity.
The school foodservice industry is valued at more than $40 billion. System-wide sales for 2012 were $1.5 million, with $3 million in sales anticipated in 2013. Wholesome Tummies expects to have at least 25 units by the end of the year and double every year thereafter, with long-term goals calling for 250 units, 2,000 schools, and $200 million in system-wide sales by 2017. Sales are $3 million.
Franchise fees vary based on territory size. The total startup investment ranges from $77,000 to $115,000 including a $30,000 franchise fee and a $5,000 software license fee. Financing assistance is available for certain qualified candidates. Call 800-709-4190 or visit www.wholesometummies.com for more info.
#27 - Sell Snacks
To You Snacks is a healthy snack bar company with sales of $3.2 million a year.
How did they get there? After 17 years of making granola bars for schools in Mexico, Sergio and Aline Font moved to Central Florida to start a business producing healthy snack bars. In Mexico, the Fonts churned out 126,000 bars a day and posted sales of $3.2 million—a high-volume, low-profit margin venture.
From a 1,500-square-foot facility in Oakland, Florida, near Orlando, the Fonts turn out exotic flavors such as Apple Pecan, Chocolate Cranberry and Mango Yogurt—with no preservatives or added sugar.
The company also came up with a special feature: They’ll produce personalized bars for customers. “We let customers choose their own ingredients and flavors,” said Aline Font. “We also make private labels for companies that want to to provide their own lines of snacks.” Within three years, their brand, To You Snacks, landed on shelves of 27 retail outlets, hotels and health facilities. Sales are $35,000 a month.
Call 407-614-8942 or visit www.toyousnacks.com for more inforomation.
#28 – 5 Steps To Starting A Catering Business
Do you love to cook and entertain? Do friends and family often suggest you should do it professionally?
Welcome to the world of catering. Having a catering company is a far cry from shopping and preparing a meal. You can take it from a small company that plans dinners for families to a company that handles weddings, corporate affairs and more. Catering is hot. The industry takes in $7 billion in the U.S. alone. Most of the money is generated via corporate events, holiday parties, weddings, reunions, trade shows, sales functions and special events. Currently there are about 10,000 catering businesses in the U.S.
There is always room for another great catering enterprise. We offer five tips to get you started in the right direction—we’ll leave it to you to conduct your own due diligence mission to make this business happen.
1. Build your niche. Create your menus. Consider staffing. What type of caterer will you be? Will you be more of a personal chef that also includes special events on occasion? Will you be a catering hall business that invites weddings, corporate affairs and others into your domain? Fine-tune your goals and targets and
start mapping out what your catering business will entail.
2.The first thing you need to do is get a professional food handler’s license. Call your county clerk’s office and ask them about the requirements in your state. Some states do not require them, while a state like California has one hundred pages of regulations on handling food in your home to sell to customers, shops, etc.
3. Get your business in order. Talk to a lawyer about liability. Look into buying a $1 million liability policy. You’ll be using kitchens in catering halls as well as your own. What if an employee gets hurt; are you responsible or is the hall? Pick a proper business structure. Incorporate if you are going for the big jobs, big halls, big events. You can remain a sole proprietor if you focus is on dinner parties or backyard events. Put together a contract for your events. What if the person who hires you doesn’t like the food on the day of the event? Maybe include a clause that says your liability is limited to the amount paid by the customer. Protect yourself with very explicit details. Check with state laws, too, to make sure you comply. You’ll need a business license from the state—some states have different types of business licenses, so pick the right one. You may also need to obtain a city business license. Look into food-serving licenses and liquor licenses, which vary widely from city to city and even block-to-block in larger cities. Learn about taxes from an accountant and/or take a class at a local school, online or from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Many of the SBA classes are online.
4. Your startup costs will vary depending on what type of caterer you will be. Do you need to rent a commercial kitchen? Write a business plan to help you organize what your company will be and to help you understand your costs that will range from buying food and staffing events to printing up marketing materials and building a website to sell your business. Do you need a loan? Visit sba.gov to investigate their programs and check out microloans, grants, peer lending and more.
5. Marketing will include everything from word-of-mouth and social media to your website, business cards, brochure and networking. Look into attending trade shows that are in your field. Learn, grow, develop your business acumen. You might be the greatest chef, now you need to fine-tune your marketing know-how. Or, you could take on a business partner that will be the marketing guru for your firm.
#29 – Cantina Cash-In
Salsarita’s is the Fresh Mexican Cantina that offers a bright and colorful atmosphere featuring signature wet burritos, Mexican pizzas, house-made salsas, seasoned tortilla chips, cantina combos and family/group meals to go.
Salsarita’s is well positioned in the fast-casual marketplace offering a variety of meal choices to its core audience of 25- to 49-year-old suburban and lunch-urban guests.
Salsarita’s was founded in 2000 in Charlotte. In June 2011, franchising industry veteran Phil Friedman acquired the chain. Friedman has a long history of success in franchising and most recently served as chairman, CEO and president of McAlister’s Corporation.
Salsarita’s operates more than 80 locations in 19 states. Two restaurants are company-owned. The company expects to have about 300 locations nationwide within five to six years
The estimated initial investment for a Salsarita’s restaurant ranges from $317,500 to $607,500, inclusive of a $30,000 franchise fee. For more info visit www.salsaritas.com or call 704-540-9447.
#30 – JESSICA MILLER RESTAURANT CZAR
By Nissa Larsen
Jessica Miller is a culinary marketing specialist who was featured in Bravo TV’s Eat, Drink, Love which followed the lives of five women who ran in the same Los Angeles culinary world. With broadcast journalism as her major at the University of Missouri, Miller reported on agriculture policy before she graduated in 2008. Two yeas later she moved to LA to handle marketing for the Ellen DeGeneres Show. While in LA she met restaurateur Harry Morton. He noticed her talent and hired her as the Director of Marketing for representing Morton brands on a national level.
This year Jessica was hired as Senior Director of Sales & Events at Cardiff Giant, continuing to corner the LA restaurant scene. Crushing stereotypes in a male-dominated industry, Jessica is on target to become a restaurant mogul in her own right.
Q: How did you become fascinated with the restaurant business?
JM: As a child, I loved to watch my mother cook, and as an adult I became fascinated by the simple fact that food is something every living being on this planet can unite over.
Q: What are the factors that make a restaurant a success?
JM: The real secrets to the success of a restaurant are the girls or guys working the line in the kitchen. Of course having a great exec chef is great, but it takes a village, as they say. The people that are staying overnight or coming in early to prep for the next day, and make sure your line is running smoothly are really what can make or break you.
Q: What are the biggest challenges for a woman in a typically male-dominated industry?
JM: Making sure you set the bar high for the tone of the kitchen is important. You never want to be the buzz kill, but the bottom line is making sure all employees feel happy to come to work. Creating an appropriate environment can be challenging and ostracizing. Knowing that you’re doing the right thing will always be the best reward.
Q: What is the best part of your job? The hardest?
JM: I love working in this industry because it allows me to explore a creative side I didn’t know I had. I’ve always been very “by the book” if you will. Chefs tend to be quite the opposite and working along side of them I get to learn and explore a creative side of myself I had never tapped into.
The hardest part directly correlates to why I love this industry so much. Marketing, operations, and culinary artists tend to greatly differ, and when the positive aspects of those personalities and skill sets shine though, magic happens.
Q: Sixty percent of restaurants close in the first 5 years. What separates the winners from the losers?
JM: Location location location. The truth is, consumers are very territorial of their neighborhood. If they feel like you’re trying to pull business away from other venues, they won’t be happy. Catering to your market and making the community feel like they are part of the process is a must in order to secure revenue longevity.
Q: What makes the LA restaurant scene unique?
JM: The LA restaurant scene is the melting pot of delicious eats. Within 20 miles, you can visit restaurants with cuisine from all parts of the world.
Jessica’s Marketing Skills Make You Want to Stay, Enjoy & Eat!
Jessica Miller’s love for the restaurant industry shows through her unique marketability talents. For more information on Jessica Miller – including the restaurants she works with – please visit:
Jessica’s website: www.jess-miller.com
Cardiff Giant Hospitality Group: www.cardiffg.com
Fifty Seven: www.fiftysevenla.com
Clover Juice: www.cloverjuice.com