A Guide To Spring Cleaning For Food Business Owners

Unfortunately, when it comes to dining out, negative experiences are more memorable than positive ones. Because of this, you can be sure if any diners have a bad time at your restaurant, it won’t be long before their family, friends, neighbours or even casual acquaintances know about it. One thing is for certain though; the worst reputation you can get is one of poor hygiene.

While few can honestly say that they enjoy cleaning, there is some satisfaction to be gained from a job well done. Cleaning should be considered as part of the necessary preparation involved with handling or cooking food. Just as an oven needs to be preheated before a joint of meat goes in, surfaces need to be scrubbed, scoured and wiped before food can be prepared on them. These activities do not need to become a massive chore; once initiated into a routine, staff should be able to complete these actions effectively and regularly. Some chores will require a ‘clean as you go’ approach, others may need to be done daily and some less frequently still. It is important that all staff are aware of what needs doing and when to ensure that the correct level of hygiene is maintained all day, every day.

Aside from the obvious reasons to clean in areas where food is prepared, such as to avoid contamination and make a good impression on customers, there are other things to consider too. As well as keeping bacteria at bay, cleaning also reduces opportunities for bacterial multiplication by removing food particles and a clean area is also much less likely to attract pests. Keeping on top of spillages is also vital for safety in the kitchen as accidents can occur on wet or greasy floors which make it easy to slip. Finally, food establishment owners have a legal obligation to maintain food safety standards to a certain level.

Local authorities are responsible for producing a Food Law Enforcement Plan which identifies measures they will take each year within their area to ensure food safety within food businesses. Businesses therefore need to create and follow a cleaning schedule which can help them maintain a satisfactory status and avoid embarrassing cases of contamination.

So how should food businesses structure their cleaning to make sure it is of a high enough standard?

Six Stages of Cleaning

Stage 1 – Pre-clean. Remove loose and heavy soiling, for example, scrape plates and chopping boards, or soak pans.
Stage 2 – Main clean. Wash with hot water and detergent.
Stage 3 – Rinse. Remove any traces of detergent and food particles with clean hot water.
Stage 4 – Disinfection. Use a chemical disinfectant, and leave it on for the correct contact time.
Stage 5 – Final rinse. Use clean hot water.
Stage 6 – Dry. If possible, leave items to dry naturally in the air, because the use of drying cloths can spread bacteria. If you have to use a cloth try to use disposable paper ones.

The development of a cleaning schedule is an employer’s responsibility. It should set out which tasks should be done, how certain areas should be cleaned and who is responsible for each task. Plenty of time should be allowed to ensure that all cleaning duties are carried out to a satisfactory level.

What You Need To Know About Food Business Consulting

A lot of effort and work can go into manufacturing a new food product before it hits the shelves, and is ready to be purchased by the public. There are so many different food products on the market these days that it is hard for companies to launch new products, without spending a lot of time and money on product consulting.

Any company that wishes to bring a new product onto the market, will need to be fully up to speed on the latest market trends, otherwise their new product could well turn out to be a spectacular, not to mention costly, failure. In this article, we will look at the importance of food business consulting, and how it can help you when launching a new product.

Getting to know the market trends

Market trends tend to change quite rapidly and what is popular one day can be unpopular the next, however, one trend in the food industry which is here to stay, is healthy eating. Whether it is low fat, low salt food, or something made entirely from organic produce, the health food market is one of the fastest growing in the world. With so many food manufacturers coming under fire for the high fat and salt content of their foods, more and more companies are looking at ways to market their products as healthier than they once were. With more people becoming health conscious, it would be wrong for the food companies not to embrace the new culture of healthy eating. However, there is still a lot of work that needs to take place before a company can launch a new healthy product onto the market.

Getting the balance right

For all those people who want healthier versions of their favorite foods, there are still plenty of people who would rather keep buying the more traditional version. And this delicate balancing act is something that most food producing companies need to find, if they want to make their products a success. This is where food product consulting can help, as this will involve keeping an eye on market trends and doing some market research.

It is not just the ingredients that can sway people into buying a certain product, the packaging is also important to product development. The history of the food manufacturing industry is littered with products that failed to attract sufficient sales, because the packing was badly designed, and it did not give the consumer enough information about the product. So this is something else that food product consulting can help with.

Easy Way To Start Your Food Business

During these hard days, everyone is searching high and low for ways to earn and make both ends meet. Employment is one of the options. Unfortunately, not everyone can avail of this opportunity, either due to the limited availability of jobs or due to lack of qualifications for the jobs available.

Another means to earn is to go into business which I believe is a better and a more promising option. Here are some simple and practical steps that may guide you in putting up a food business the easy way:

1. Start! As in any endeavours in life, getting started is the most difficult part. Procrastination is the first hurdle we must overcome. We may have the best idea but it remains just that, an idea, until we do something tangible about it. How?

a. Set your goal. If you have a passion for cooking, decide what aspect of your culinary expertise you want to utilize for your business (do you plan to put up a small restaurant? do you prefer to go into catering? will opening an outlet for special delicacy fits you best? etc.) Directly targeting a particular aspect of the business makes it more achievable. Avoid being overwhelmed at the start by targeting several possible aspects of the business at the same time.

b. Learn all you can about the food business and add details to your idea to make it more concrete. Read, surf the net, browse over articles in magazines, attend seminars and exhibitions, consult with friends or associates who are or had been in the business. You can learn from their experiences, be they good or bad.

c. Once you have decided which aspect of the food business you think will fit your dream, think of how you will finance it. This may seem to be a major problem but it need not be.

2. Plan how you will finance your dream business. Depending on what you plan to put up, decide how much you are willing or is capable of investing. For a first-timer it is good to plan for a modest, single propriety business. This is a more prudent step to take to minimize possible losses in case things do not go as expected at the start. Also, this will avoid first-timers’ over concern on failing and affect momentum in your plans. To help you finance your dream, you may want to consider these financing sources:

a. Your personal saving

b. Applying for loans with your bank, credit groups, friends, relatives, or NGO organizations. It is advisable not to exhaust your credit limit from any one possible source. Also, approaching as few as sources as possible (preferably only one of them) allows you more fall back assistance in case you grow bigger and require additional financing.

c. Get a business partner who shares the same passion as yours.

3. Now, you are ready to start your business. Consider these important aspects of a business.

a. Location: This may not be a priority if you plan to go into catering but just the same, your cooking facility should be within the area of those you plan to serve. Delivery should not take so much time so fresh food reach your clients faster. This will also save you transport expenses.

However, if you are opening a food outlet like a restaurant, a small stall, or a food cart, consider a place where traffic of potential clients is from moderate to heavy. A stall in food court in malls is a good consideration plus it may cost less than renting a separate space in a shopping complex (but preferably near the food centre as well).

b. Personnel: At the start, hire a minimum number of people. For a small outlet, a cashier (which may be you), two servers, two cooks, and a busboy will suffice. Using disposables will eliminate the need for a dishwasher. But if it is a stall in a fast-food or food court, you dispense with a dishwasher even if reusable utensils since food court managements provide this. Also, there will be no need for a busboy. Daily marketing for supplies can be assigned to your cooks.

c. Work on all the necessary government and health requirements to open up a business legally. Legalizing your business saves you a lot of troubles later on.

d. Marketing strategies: As in any business, advertising play a big part if your are to grow. Here are a few suggestions you may consider:

1) Flyers to let clients know what you offer and for how much.

2) Offer a special price (and smaller portion) for a particular item for the day. This is to let them sample your food without giving it away for free.

3) Offer a free meal for groups of 4 or 5 (whichever is viable to your budget).

4) “Bring-a-friend” incentives (you may give special discount cards to your endorsers).

With the above guidelines, I hope you will find it easier to START your dream food business soon.

NOTE: There are those who engage in this business who give up after only a few months of operation. Among some reasons for this are:

a. Lack of sustained interest.

b. Realization of a better business venture for them. A change of heart is not uncommon.

c. Seeming “slow” growth of the business as per their expectation. Remember, there is a sound Latin adage that says: “Festina lente”(hasten slowly) which can be adopted in running a business.

d. Loss of patience due to the feeling that the business does not seem to grow at all. Usually this situation happens when we fail to apply simple arithmetic in running the day-to-day operation of the business.

Remember that doing exactly the same thing results in getting exactly the same result each time. So if the amount of your investment stays the same each day, your profit will be as was yesterday’s as well. What to do? This may seem to be a slow process BUT it surely works:

At the end of each day, compute your gross income. Deduct a certain percentage of that income (1% or 2%) and add that to your investment for the following day. In this way, your investment grows by so much EACH day painlessly. You will be surprised that your investment (and your net profit) has grown so much in a month’s time or two!

GOOD LUCK!

New Demands Bring Delicious New Trends In The Dog Food Business

Do you know what actually goes into the making of the standard dog kibble that you purchase and feed your dog friend on a regular basis? Are you sure that it is as nutritious as it should be and that it is also healthy. Is the Dog food that you are feeding your pet leaving it more susceptible to chronic diseases and even various forms of cancer? All of these questions are things that you should be giving some thought to if you currently are a dog owner.

Horrible True Facts

For years, dog food businesses across the globe have been using recycled restaurant grease as an additive in their products. This grease is loaded with unhealthy trans-fatty-acids that have been proven to wreak havoc on a dogs health. Also, Chinese dog food companies that export their product to the U.S. and Canada were recently found to be putting dangerous chemicals in their dog food that mimics the presence of protein when it was tested.

New Safer Dog Food

This means that you have to be more vigilant then ever when choosing the food that you are going to feed your pet. Fortunately, there are now dog food businesses that are actually interested in the health of your faithful friend and they are marketing dog food that is not only safe to eat but it is healthy as well. These same dog food businesses are also making and marketing newer tastier dog snacks that your dog will simply relish.

Consider Your Dogs Health

The fact is that trying to save a few bucks by feeding your dog cheaper, unhealthy, fat laden, corn meal based dog food will only cost you in the end. This is because, your dog will end up being chronically ill and you will lose out in the end when you have to pay the vet bills. Take a good look and smell of the kibble that you have been feeding your dog and then ask yourself how you would feel if you had to eat it every day.