The atmosphere and mood of your establishment serves as a reflection of the goods you provide. Consumers seek environments that are clean, inviting and comfortable. Consider all aspects of the experience, including lighting, amenities, available seating, traffic flow and the character of the location. Remember that positive employee-customer interactions represent an integral component of the overall experience, so make sure your employees are well attired, trained and polite.
9. Misunderstanding Consumer Desires
You may believe that you are catering to the needs and desires of the consumer, but oftentimes there is something missing. The advice is simple: listen to the customer and offer what they want. Consider providing feedback cards or surveys – this will provide a way to gauge whether or not your efforts are reaching the customer as you intend, and will show that you are committed to offering the best service through continuous improvement strategies.
8. Improper Sanitation Practices
Commitment to food safety practices is a nonnegotiable component of any foodservice operation. Failure to uphold a sanitary environment can easily result in potentially tragic and costly repercussions. It is your responsibility to offer safe food items to consumers. Seek national food safety certification, and also provide training for employees. Once policies are implemented you will feel confident knowing you are doing your part to protect the health of your customers.
7. Lack of Consistency
When it comes to food, consumers seek and desire consistency. If they left your shop and talked about the hazelnut gelato for the next week, you can be sure they will return expecting the same hazelnut as before. They will anticipate being met with the same level of quality products and services. No matter the day, the time or the server, product offerings must remain consistent in terms of freshness, quantity, flavor, texture, quality and presentation. (Furthermore, customers often appreciate seeing a consistent schedule and routine of recognizable employees.)
6. Insufficient Employee Training
Conveying your passion and knowledge to employees is one of the greatest challenges. However, it is necessary to create a knowledgeable staff that is capable of carrying out established duties on a daily basis. Communicate past, current and future goals of the business-allowing employees to share your vision. Be sure that your employees know the product or service you provide and can answer potential questions that may arise. A commitment to knowledge-based customer service and positive consumer relations is an imperative part of any business venture, as it signifies appreciation and ensures lasting patronage.
5. Error in Location Selection
Location, location, location. This most basic decision creates the foundation of your entire venture. You might serve the best gelato in town, but if your establishment is not in a convenient and desirable location, you will be unlikely to meet much success. Research is the most important and most reliable way to ensure that you select an appropriate place for your business. Be exhaustive in gathering information and seek local resources as aids in your investigation. Tune into our next issue of Views from the Tree, “Turning Your Passion into a Reality: Part 2 – Location, Location, Location. ”
4. A Flawed or Underdeveloped Business Plan
Opening a business without a clearly established plan is like baking a cake without the recipe – before long, you are sure to find yourself confused and frustrated. There are many integral components of a successful business plan, including short-and long-term goals, flexibility, knowing your audience and focusing your bottom line. Strive to be unique while remaining focused and realistic. Turn to page 6, to learn about the basics of creating a business plan.
3. Lack of Commitment
Committed work is the means to success. Career endeavors, especially in the food industry, demand an extraordinary amount of mental and physical effort. You can easily become absorbed by your work; however, you should always maintain a balance. Only after you have dedicated yourself to your venture will it fully reveal its rewards, and the sense of accomplishment resulting from your commitment will be well worth your efforts.
2. Lack of Passion
For our purposes, it will suffice to say that your passion is your drive. Passion serves as your internal guide and motivation; allowing you to remain focused on your goals. Passion is genuine and will carry you through the challenging times that you will encounter in your business. Many of the best things in life are the fruits of someone’s passion, so do not hesitate to share yours.
1. Failure to Use Quality Ingredients
Quality products require quality ingredients. When planning for your business, it is imperative to select suppliers who understand and support your vision. PreGel recognizes the challenges of the industry; and our ingredients are the product of years of research, innovation and hard work – all motivated by a commitment to provide only the highest quality offerings to consumers. So choose quality, commitment and support – let PreGel help you find success.