Health restaurants are rapidly gaining popularity across the globe, with customers becoming more and more body-conscious. With global obesity reaching a record high, the demand in the market for healthier options has started becoming louder and louder.
But, the question is, is this something that is sustainable? And just how big is the market for a profitable business? Although there is a demand for health restaurants, the segment of the market is still somewhat small. Secondly, there’s the cost that is associated with fresh, healthy food. Unfortunately, unlike fast-food chains, the cost of health and fresh food is substantially more than its mass-produced counterpart.
In saying that, there are a number of elements for you to consider to safeguard yourself when opening your health store. Let’s dive straight in.
Have The Right Policies, Protection And Permits In Place From The Get-Go
Many people overlook this aspect in the planning stages of their restaurant. But, it is certainly one of the most vital aspects to get right from the moment you consider opening. Insurance is one of the most critical aspects to have for your fledgling business, especially in these COVID-times.
From protecting your workers with worker compensation policies to overall business insurance, it might seem like a grudge purchase, but when it comes down to it, it can protect you from a huge financial loss and lawsuits in the long run.
Luckily, there are hospitality-focussed insurance options that are available for restaurants in particular. These will cover you as a whole with food liability insurance and will ensure that you are not left out of pocket should something happen. So, whether a chef accidentally chops a finger off, your fridge fails, and you lose your stock, or a customer slips on a wet floor, you don’t need to worry about losing the business.
Before kicking off, it is also important to know what kind of permits you will need. Permits like business, food service, liquor or music licenses, certification of occupancy need to all be considered early in the planning process.
Create A Solid Business Plan
The next avenue to consider is your business plan. It is critical for you to have this carefully mapped out before launching any kind of venture. Let’s unpack what needs to be included in your business plan.
Who are your customers? Who are the people that are going to be walking through the door and who are going to become regulars? What are their demographics and what are their price points? Mapping out exactly who your target audience is will allow you to understand their interests, behaviors and budget to create a concept around them.
Where will you be launching your health restaurant? Not only do you need to consider monthly rental, but you need to know what is around you to be able to market to the locals. Are you in the city center? Are there offices around you? Are you in close proximity to your competition? What is your accessibility like, not only to customers but to suppliers too?
This is important to look out for. Firstly, you do not want to be opening up shop next to or opposite another health restaurant. However, one in the area does indicate that there is a market for it. So, do some digging and find out what kinds of restaurants are open in the area, and if there were any that recently shut down. If there were, why?
Adding your unique selling point into your business plan is crucial for you to keep your strategy top of mind. What sets you aside from your competitors? What do your customers get that no one else does? What is it that is going to get people through the door? Tie this USP into your branding, and make sure that it is carried through into the running and operations of the restaurant.
Spend Time On Your Marketing
We mentioned earlier that locality is vital in getting customers through the door, and this, together with word-of-mouth, is vital for the success of any restaurant or retailer. However, digital and traditional marketing are necessary channels that you will need to spend time and money on to extend the reach of your brand.
Social media is a cheap, easy way of reaching your target audience in your area. Create content that will appeal to your direct audience, who will most likely be health-conscious, active customers.
Pay attention to the success of your campaigns. You can track this on social platforms by measuring engagement, click-through and reach metrics. Successful campaigns can be boosted with a small budget, and you are able to target the campaign to your direct audience outside of just your followers.
Consider An Online Channel
Times have been especially tough for brick-and-mortar stores during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have either had to pivot their operations or close their doors entirely.
Although it is a risky time to be opening a restaurant, don’t be put off. Rather, look at alternative ways to keep the cash flow coming into your business, even if physically serving customers is challenging.
Opening a delivery, or even the eCommerce side of your restaurant could be a great way to keep your brand relevant and money coming in. Open up a channel where customers can purchase your meals to either cook at home themselves, or assemble themselves. You could create packages with all of the fresh ingredients and instructions on how to cook it, or ready-made to simply warm up.
The restaurant industry has always been a challenging and temperamental environment to be in. But once you have the recipe right (see what we did there), you can create a strong, loyal fanbase, and ensure a profitable turn-over every month. Keep your ears to the ground when it comes to trends and customers’ needs. Monitor what competitors are doing, and globally, where similar brands are venturing. With that in mind, ensure you have strong branding, key messaging and a unique selling point that you stay true to.