ast year, $2.12 trillion worth of food was supplied by the food industry in the US and 55% of this was food away from home. The resurgence of popular convenient food options has opened opportunities for food businesses to start and expand again. However, federal regulations and divergent dietary needs often block the paths of people trying to expand their food enterprises.
Hiring a food consultant can help you make your food business robust and ready for growth despite looming challenges. Food consultants are industry professionals who help food businesses navigate marketing, menu design, legal requirements, and more. For a more detailed look at the benefits these professionals bring, keep reading this article.
There were 352,815 independent restaurants in the United States at the last count. Many of these are family-owned businesses that are quite close to the owners' hearts. When this is the case, it can be tricky to know whether you're making the best business decisions.
A food consultant is someone you can bounce ideas off of and get an honest and objective answer in return. It's in their best interest to give you the best advice on marketing, cash flow management, menu design, and any other business advice with clear judgment.
Food consultants will know way more than just your business. They're required and trained to understand industry averages and know where your business can or should fit into the larger food economy.
They'll have at least a general idea of what your competitors' business models, pricing, and capabilities are. With this information, they can help you find a niche or improve your business model to a more competitive standard.
The FDA issues many guidelines, regulations, and requirements in documents that can seem technical, confusing, and tedious. A food consultant would have had a lot to do with these kinds of documents in their line of work.
Your food consultant will bring a basic understanding of the physical and administrative requirements these laws place on owners of a food business. They can help you set up your facilities to stay compliant with the law.
They can also handle the administrative tasks for you and will know which law firms are best to assist with serious legal business (if you ever need it).
What if a competitor does inexplicably better business than you with the same offerings and prices? What problems might you have with supply chains should you expand your menu or open a new location? Minor details can present unique challenges and unforeseen problems, but food consultants already have a rough idea about what kinds of challenges food businesses might face.
A good food consultant will already foresee or predict a few of your future challenges and have backup plans ready for you. In this way, business obstacles are far less shocking if they ever occur, as you'll be able to deal with them more efficiently and effectively. The effect is less reactionary stress for your management staff in the long run.
Food consultants who've been in the business for a while know all the major players on the local and national stage. If there's something they can't directly help you with, they will know someone who can help in that area. For instance, if your operation is big enough to need a food broker, they'll know who the best and worst food brokers are.
Their network also allows them access to information on various food market trends. They'll have insights into details like the effect of fuel prices on fertilizer or whether the nation's cattle herd has any diseases. With these insights, your food consultant can help you protect your operation from shocks in the near future.
These details can also work in your favor. There's going to be an imminent shortage of a food item; your food consultant and supply chain manager can secure a shipment before the price increases.
Food consultants need to have industry experience and a degree in the hospitality or culinary industry to be eligible to join a food consulting firm. They'll have knowledge about every aspect of a food business's operations, from kitchen safety standards to successful management styles and approaches.
They'll know who to hire if your staff is a member or two short. In a pinch, a full-time food consultant may even be asked to perform certain tasks if their contract is set up in the right way.
Hiring and training the wrong people (for the wrong positions) can be a costly mistake. Ordering stock at a higher price than you have to or designing sub-par menus can also be tactical blunders that cost your business.
Having a food consultant gives your business the expertise from learning from these mistakes without the operational risks they pose. Food consultants can help your food business become profitable and start growing sooner in its life cycle.
New trends in the food industry mean that big changes are coming for food businesses. Some see this as a negative, but with a food consultant, you can exploit these changes for all the opportunities they bring.
These objective professionals bring industry and legal insights to your business. They can help you set up your many, business, supply chain, and staff to be as successful as possible. These benefits can get your food business off the ground much faster than normal.
Are you looking for a brokerage partner with a massive network and tons of experience? We offer a wide range of products and services related to food company warehousing, food sales, and supply chain concerns. Contact us today to find out how your food business can benefit from a strategic partnership.