Talk:Food and Beverage Subgroup

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Let's strike up a's something to chew on -

I think most people believe their industry a difficult one to bootstrap a business and be successful. Is the food industry more difficult than other industries? Do permitting, health codes, and regulations hinder bootstrapping in this industry? If so, why is it such a popular industry for people wanting to start their own business?

How hard?

Unfortunately this industry is almost all I know. Functions performed have included all positions in a restaurant, outside of ownership. It almost seems second nature to operate this wonderful thing. I don't know other industries so there is no comparison available.

Challenges arise with the wrong outlook. Do you want to have a business that sells your food, or will you offer what people want to buy. I moved from Va. to southeast Tx., I had french influenced training, and that took me only so far in the bible belt and gulfcoast seafood market. I had five mother sauces, they wanted chicken fried steak and cream gravy. I had lovely imaginative, and colorful veg blends with a variation on seasoning blends and fusions, they wanted cajun, blackened, creole(yes, there is a difference), Poboys, greens with bacon fat, and good mashed pots(what defines "good"? excellent question).

My point is this, if you travel this path of sevice with your eyes open seeking a balance of your dream and what the guest wants to pay for, success will follow.

Permits, inspections, andcodes do not hinder anything.

Ego and/or tradition seem to be the main reasons for starting a restaurant.

Next question: How to define success.

Food Industry & Bootstrapping

I don't think the food industry is any more difficult than other industries when it comes to bootstrapping. Perhaps even less so. It depends on your knowledge and available resources. If you are able to rent a place that is turn-key, you can get in at a fairly low cost. Good food, good service and a clean operation will carry you a long way.

Permitting, health codes and regulations definitely hinder bootstrappers who don't do their homework. I've seen many bootstrapping foodies rent a place and then fail to open because of their lack of knowledge on permitting, health codes and regulations. Some have rented a great restaurant space only to find there isn't enough available parking to get permitted. Others have rented and not opened because although the space appeared ready to operate it was not equipped with a grease-trap or an exhaust hood, both needed for most operations and very costly to install. Many don't know you need a state certified sanitarian on staff before you may open.

If you have a good product, have done your homework, are resourceful and willing to gain the necessary knowledge pre-startup you can succeed in the food industry for very little upfront costs. Maybe that is the reason the food industry is such a popular choice for Bootstrappers. T

Food tastes and regionalities

Food tastes and food preparation styles widely vary from region to region. It helps to be familiar with the regional tastes. For instance, in the Chicago area we use a relish that is glowing neon green. Outside of the Chicago area, people think that is a very strange condiment and most won't even try it. T