You’ve escaped the rat race and followed your heart to combine your passion for food with making a living, the busy season is on your doorstep and you’re ready to go….. but are you really ready? Executing the right presentation of your business is exactly how you will stand out from the crowd and ultimately make more money than your competition. Here’s our top 10 list of must do’s to make your summer season sizzle.
1. Be Prepared. Have a plan! Whether it’s a plan of events for the exciting season ahead or a plan for the next street food gathering, make sure you’ve thought things through. Have contingencies in place – we all know things can change quickly, so be flexible enough to deal with it.
2. Signage. First impressions last! Make sure your signage is clear, easy to read, eye catching and reflects your brand appropriately. Good creative signage can help you stand apart from your competition, it’s crucial in generating sales, stops you from being wallpaper and enhances customer awareness.
3. Staff Uniforms. Your staff are a walking, talking, brilliant part of your brand. Uniforms and correctly groomed staff make a big impact on customers, and most definitely give your staff a sense of pride in your business. A well turned out team instils customer confidence and creates a professional purchasing experience for your customers.
4. Keep it clean. Presenting yourself to your best advantage means keeping your area clean, tidy and welcoming. Nothing turns a customer away faster than a dirty table covered in someone else’s leftovers, or a crowded untidy counter. Put a high value on your counter space and customer tables, and enjoy the turnover of happy smiling faces who will enjoy the whole experience with you from start to finish. And don’t forget your stall is a company asset on your balance sheet – look after it!
5. Menu. Make sure you have secured your niche, your point-of-difference, your raison d’etre. Your food is the heart of your business. It is your unique offering in the street food scene. Expensive ingredients means expensive menus, so keep a good balance on high and low food costs for reasonable profit margins. Keep menus simple, you don’t need to offer dozens of options – customers will take too much time to decide with too many options. Keep your crowd favourites to bring back regular customers and experiment with new exciting ideas to keep things fresh.
6. Volume. Make sure you have enough ingredients to keep serving all day long for the crowd numbers you expect. Find out where your emergency suppliers are, so in case you are running low, you can get back up fast. Ensure you have got to grips with portion control – how many portions do you have, what’s the cost of each portion, what’s the gross margin on each sale? It’s the nuts and bolts of the business! Check with your event organisers or local authorities or other vendors who know your location if they know the traffic you should expect.
7. Location, Location, Location. If you can choose your pitch, then great – it makes all the difference. Look and learn from whose doing well, why are they doing well, are they near a junction of people. It’s all about footfall – the more people going past, the more sales.
8. Safety first for fire and weather. Keeping the health and safety people happy gives you great peace of mind for you and your staff. Purchase your products from a reliable source (like In Your Corner!) to ensure your products have been tested and certified against fire retardant and wind resistance. That way you’ll have the necessary safety certificates on hand should the H&S guys pay you a visit. If it’s food suppliers, provenance is great, traceability is becoming ever more important.
9. Cash. Take the right float for your price list and keep it simple. Hopefully cash will come in thick and fast, so have a strong, secure box to keep cash in, and transport it safely. The last thing you want to do is stuff it in a plastic bag and have it spill all over the street at the end of a busy day!
10. Share your success. Tell your friends and followers where you’ll be – social media is great for the street food revolution. Facebook and Twitter followers will grow with your business. Be sure to take photos of your pitch before the crowds descend and if possible, when you’re in full swing, and remember your good friends at In Your Corner like nothing more than seeing our customers in action doing what they do best!
Remember our deal: you make your food taste great and we’ll promise to make you look great!
We want you and your business to succeed. Call us today on 0115 932 3955 or visit: www.in-your-corner.com to discuss how you can really make the difference between making this season a good one to making it a great one!