How To Open A Food Business


If you’re looking to start a food business, you have a lot of things to consider. You need to make sure that you have the space for it and that your location will allow for customers (and potential employees) to access your products easily. You also need to determine how much the equipment will cost and how much staff you’ll need on hand at any given moment. Finally, there are all sorts of regulations and paperwork that come with running a full service restaurant or bakery, so be prepared for some red tape before opening day!

Location is key

When considering how to open your own food business, you first need to decide what type of restaurant or catering service you want to provide. Then, once you’ve figured out the type of cuisine you want to offer, think about what kind of location would fit best with your business plan.

It's important to find a location that is convenient for your customers. A central location will make it easy for people who live nearby to stop by and check out what you're selling, while a more remote area may have fewer potential customers. If the area you've chosen isn't popular with the people in your community, think about relocating, offer delivery services, or consider advertising your business via social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook instead of relying solely on foot traffic.

You also want to consider factors such as parking availability and whether there are any other businesses nearby that might attract more customers than yours does (if so, this could hurt rather than help). If possible, try visiting the area during peak hours—for example, if you're planning on opening an ice cream shop in downtown Seattle during summertime when everyone is looking for refreshment from the heat—to get an idea of how many people frequent it on average each day/week/month etcetera

Understand your space

Before you begin designing your restaurant, it’s important to understand the space you are working with. You will want to measure the space and determine if you have enough room for customers and employees. Space will also affect your budget if it is not large enough or too small. Some areas are more expensive than others, so make sure there is plenty of room for customers to move around and employees to work comfortably.

Define your audience

Defining your audience is a crucial step for any business. You need to know who you're selling to and what they want, so that you can provide a product or service that will have them coming back for more.

This doesn't mean limiting yourself to only one type of person—you should always be open-minded when it comes to your target audience, even if they're not exactly what you expected. Even if there's only one person out there who loves the exact same thing as you do, they're still worth pursuing as long as their requirements match up with yours.

The answer ultimately depends on how well your business model works in practice: if it turns out that customers are happy with what they're getting from a certain company or brand (even if their first impressions were less than stellar), then chances are good that those customers will stick around—and maybe even recommend their newfound favorite foods to others!

Consider the size of your facility

It's important to consider the size of your facility. The right-sized space can help you grow, but too much space can be costly and difficult to manage over time.

The ideal square footage for a small food business ranges from 2,000–5,000 square feet; it should have enough room for storage, processing and workstations without feeling cramped or crowded. A larger facility is probably better if you plan on hiring employees or subcontractors in the near future (more than 10 people). You may also want more space if your business requires lots of equipment or machines such as refrigerators, freezers and walk-in coolers/freezers as well as sinks for handwashing purposes

Map out your location’s utilities

  • Electricity

  • Gas

  • Water (hot and cold)

  • Sewer/septic system (if you need one)

  • Phone lines, internet access, etc.

Determine the best layout for the kitchen

Your kitchen layout depends on the type of food you will be preparing. For example, if you are preparing raw meats, then your sink should be at least 3 feet from your cooking area. It is also important to make sure that all equipment and supplies are accessible and easily seen so they can be used as needed.

Kitchens should meet all local regulations such as building codes, health codes and fire safety requirements before they open their doors for business. This will ensure that the kitchen is safe for customers and employees alike while helping protect the investment made in opening up a restaurant or catering business.

Make a list of the appliances and tools you’ll need

The first thing to do when considering the equipment you’ll need is make a list of appliances and tools that you think would be useful in your kitchen. This includes things such as:

  • A refrigerator (the size will depend on how much food you plan on storing)

  • An oven, stovetop, or other cooking surface (this should be big enough to accommodate the amount of food you intend to prepare)

  • A microwave (if it's not built into your oven or stovetop)

You should also include any extra items that might be essential for your business. Your equipment stack can look very different depending on your food business concept. For example, if part of what you'll be selling are pre-made meals from a restaurant supply company like Sysco Foods then you'll need refrigerators where these meals can be stored until someone picks them up. Or if one of the items sold at your catering business is homemade quiche—which requires baking time—then an oven with a timer function would allow owners more freedom when preparing their dishes compared to those who simply turn on an electric stovetop element at set times throughout each day (or week).

Estimate startup and monthly expenses

To estimate your costs, you’ll need to take into account the following:

  • Cost of food. While it depends on your business model, you can expect that around 60% of your total expenses will be dedicated to ingredients. The other 40% will go toward labor, supplies, equipment and overhead.

Consider all of these things when starting a food business

  • Location is key. If you’re opening a restaurant, you should find a spot that's accessible but not too busy and has parking nearby. If you plan on selling food at farmers markets or events, choose locations that are easy to get to and well-attended by potential customers.

  • Size matters! A larger space will give you more room for storage, production and employees or contractors—but it also means higher overhead costs like rent and utilities. Smaller spaces can save money but limit the amount of supplies that can be stored there as well as how much food can be produced in one batch (which could increase wait times).

  • Map out your location’s utilities: This includes power sources such as power lines/plugs; water sources such as sinks; natural gas lines; waste disposal systems like drains or toilets—and anything else necessary for operations at the site (like internet access).

  • Determine the best layout for your kitchen: Consider where things like refrigerators should go based on their size/capacity compared with other appliances; think about how all those ingredients will flow through each step in your process without getting lost along the way (or while waiting); determine whether there are enough counterspace available throughout all stages of preparation—and account accordingly when estimating startup costs below!

We're Here To Help!

Now that you know the basics of starting a food business, it’s time to get started! The most important thing is to do your research and plan ahead. You can always change your mind later on if you find out something doesn’t work for you or what kind of food concept would be best suited in your area. But remember: when starting any kind of business, even one as simple as selling baked goods at farmers markets or pop-up events around town – always be ready with a backup plan just in case things don’t go according to plan (which they almost never do). We hope this guide has helped give some insight into how much thought goes into starting any type of food company: from finding investors who believe in what you do (if needed), all the way through designing menus based on seasonal trends so customers keep coming back year after year!

If you’re ready to start a food business of your own, we at Food Business Machines have tons of resources available on our site. From our catalogue of top selling commercial food equipment from brands you can trust, determining what kind of business structure makes the most sense for you, and expert food business industry consulting, we have everything you need to get started.