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How to Be a Successful Foodpreneur? The food & Beverage industry offers a plethora of challenge --tasty food, a delightful ambience, quality of service, interior design. Customer satisfaction is an end in itself

By Gaurav Bahl

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The Indian food market is a competitive one, you will find that there are a plethora of food and drinks businesses ranging from street-food stalls to cafes, gourmet fine-dining spaces - the fact of the matter is that new and innovative foodpreneurs are lining our market and streets. The road to success in a thriving industry, of course, does not come with a manual - you might have to compete for the attention of the audience which has a plethora of options, strict regulation and a profit margin that is pretty slim in the beginning, if you couple that with capacity limitations then you know that the food and beverage industry in India is quite challenging. Having said that, however, witnessing that smile of satiation on a customer's face after a great meal - makes all the effort really worth it!

So what is it that one really needs to succeed in the industry? If you're looking to start on your foodpreneur journey here are a few key pointers that shall help you to pave your path to success:

1. Finding a Niche: As tempting as it might be, to offer a vague variety of items on your menu - it really isn't the best strategy for a newcomer. Your cuisine preferences can help you in finding a target audience who would appreciate the food you offer the most. Once you have established that base - you need to start your research. Take a look at the current food trends which will help you in formulating the perfect recipes and also a novel take on the usual fare. In fact, leverage social media to your advantage - one of the best ways to keep track of the changing food trends is to keep an eye out for them on Instagram and Facebook.

2. Craft Yourself a USP: Yes, there are times when your niche might seem to already have a lot of offerings, crafting a Unique Selling Proposition hence, is what is really going to attract your audience. One can take the example of delivery joints who - while offering common good food - decided to target youngsters who are up late at night and always looking for joints that can offer them quality food for their cravings. Marketing their brand with this USP helped joints with midnight delivery options maximize their profits and increase their ROI.

3. Study Your Competition: This classic advice, is one that truly never gets old - identifying other foodpreneurs with similar offerings and then visiting their brick and mortar eateries gives you an invaluable insight into what your unique take on your food can be. Apart from the palate - you need to also see the marketing strategies of your competition to understand the market better and then leverage that information.

4. Price - Packaging and Prototype: The trifecta that holds the key to success in the end, is this particular one. Once you have designed your menu - you need to make sure you host tastings that will help you assess if your food is as good as you think it is. Invite friends and family and ask them to be brutal with their criticism (trust us - it really helps!). Once you have come up with the perfect menu, it's your pricing and packaging that shall make sure it sells. You cannot have a product that is so overpriced that the consumer will think of it as a one time buy or eat, on the flip side you cannot price it so low that you have no profit margins left. A quick market study will help you understand the ongoing rates and how you can find for yourself - pricing that works.

Last but not the least is the packaging - this is especially applicable when you are offering off the shelf products and to some extent even take away goods - a creative packaging is one that leaves an indelible impression on your customer's mind and stays. If you manage to perfect these three things - honestly most of your battle is won!

Starting out as a foodpreneur is a tricky and extremely challenging endeavour, however as cliché as it may sound when you really put your heart and mind to it - nothing is impossible. Take your time and research well - make sure to only enter the market when you've perfected your product - yes it may take time - but if you're really passionate about food, it'll be worth your while.

Read more about the new trends in the Food Industry

The Trick to Becoming a Successful Food Entrepreneur

#7 Reasons Why Food-tech Startups are Booming in India

How to Break the Clutter and Create a Niche as a Food Delivery Start-up

Amazon All Set to Enter into the Food Delivery Space?

Gaurav Bahl

Co-founder, Koolchas

Gaurav Bahl is an architect from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore and holds a Masters in Business Administration from MDI, Gurgaon as well as a Masters in Construction Management Programme from NICMAR, Pune. Before starting KOOLCHAS to diversify his portfolio, he started his R&D on the Food & Beverage Industry.
Koolchas is a new entrant in the F&B industry and is already dominating the Quick Meal scene with their 2 outlets in Gurugram
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