Category Archives: Food/Cooking

There is No Business Like Food Business

Right right I know there is no business like show business, but show business and food go hand in hand. Just look at all the reality shows based off of food and restaurants and now everyone is a celebrity chef.

It is a very interesting crossroads at my life right now. In the past month I have decided to help a friend open a restaurant and within a short time after that (in the spring when it is warm) send a food truck out into the big world. I am doing what I do best, and that is researching like crazy how to get both of them off the ground and flying efficiently as possible.

Think about all the rules and regulations you have to follow for starting a business. All the tax, banking, insurance, accounting and other business related things. Then add all the extra stuff the food industry requires such as food and drink licensing, food safety training, food storage, and other food related things. Now try to start a restaurant and a food truck almost simultaneously. Could I have picked a harder option?

It will certainly be one big learning experience no matter what happens, but with all the up front preparation and investment I think it will be hard for it to fail.

For one, vendors are very accommodating because their business is competitive too and they want your business no matter what it costs them. It is a good environment to make a win-win situation for both parties involved. Besides commercial kitchen equipment everything is readily available at a good price. You can always buy food for retail at a grocery store in a pinch. Even kitchen equipment is a one time buy in which you can spend time searching for the right piece at the right price.

The markup on food is huge and it has to be. Most of your costs revolve around employee wages and food costs. The combined total of these two things are called the Prime Cost and should not exceed 70% of total revenue. They should average between 62-68% of total revenue. Rent costs are the next biggest and should not cost more than 8% with an average of 6-7% considered normal. If you own the building then this includes the taxes, insurance, etc.

I stumbled across this article entitled 10 Restaurant Financial Red Flags that has some helpful information when it comes to analyzing a restaurant’s financials.

In spending time on research I keep coming across random but fun and interesting things about food. Here are a few…

How many times can I reuse fry oil? – I thought it had to be replaced every day, but evidently not. Lots of cool science here.

Induction Cooking: Induction Cookware – I kind of knew about this already but discovering the specifics was fun. I also learned about 18/10 stainless steel here.

Have you heard of the Quesarito??? Neither did I till I read this.

Apparently Lodge makes the best Cast iron Skillet and All Clad makes the best overall cookware for the price. All Clad also happens to be in my backyard of Canonsburg, PA.

Finally I leave you with this inspiring video from the National Restaurant Association…