Going for it...

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Going for it...

Postby kil2k » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:59 pm

So, I was sitting at work the other day when we got an email asking us to do yet another pointless task to "boost the stats". I decided enough was enough, so I emailed my step-brother who owns a few pubs in London, and has a micro brewery, to ask his advice about getting into the food & drinks game.

So far I've set up a Ltd. company, got my Level 2 Food Hygiene and Safety certificate, and I'm going for my Level 2 BIIAB Personal Licence course on the 8th December. I've got all the equipment I need, but the problem is finding somewhere to produce. The way I see it, I've got 3 options:

1. Find a catering van and sell hot food at locations around the area to build up cash, and the brand.
2. Find a kitchen share to rent, and sell the raw product to other traders.
3. Try to find a restaurant to lease which doesn't have a huge premium for the old equipment and trade.
4. Look for a pub WITHOUT a tied lease.

I've given out samples to several friends / co-workers, and the feedback has been phenomenal. I plan to give samples to pubs etc. too, but that will need to wait until after the wedding & honeymoon. I will also need an EHS approved place to produce before I can sell commercially. So far I'm having a really hard time, as it seems that without a lot of capital, I'm screwed. My missus loves me dearly, but if I even hinted at releasing equity in the house, it could be a very short marriage.

The good news is that I get a lot of days off work, so I can start this as a sideline while still earning a good wage.

Anyone have any tips, or advice about how I could get this off the ground?
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Re: Going for it...

Postby wheels » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:56 pm

Given the family connection (and presumably free advice/mentorship) in the pub game, that would seem the obvious choice.

As to the others:

1. Set up costs at the quality end quite high for a fast depreciating asset (a van) and somewhat weather and pitch dependent.
2. Appeals, but margins are likely to be very small if selling wholesale.
3. Restaurant businesses are one of the most likely to fail, particularly those with a low premium. They're usually low for a reason.

I wouldn't rule out a tied pub from one of the older breweries (as against a pubco). Good ones will offer support, help with menu planning, publicity and even menu printing etc. My local brewery, Everards, even have a scheme where people can sell their own beer - Everards Project William.

Whatever you decide, I wish you good luck.

Phil
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Re: Going for it...

Postby kil2k » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:59 am

Cheers Phil. The reason I'd look for one without a tied lease is that I have a friend that got burned badly several years ago. He made the pub a success, so the brewery spiked the rent. They'd also sell him their own beer for one price, then go to freehold pubs and sell them the same beer far cheaper.

I'm getting married next weekend, so I'll start seriously considering my options after the honeymoon!


Richard
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Re: Going for it...

Postby Swing Swang » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:07 am

Regarding van. Former business partner went down the van route. Set up costs were reasonable - thousands rather than tens of thousands. Bought a very old van and had it converted to a coffee and food 'kitchen' selling home made natural energy snacks and drinks to cyclists on a very, very popular recreational route. Nice thing is that the conversion can be lifted off and bolted onto another van at a later date if desired. The authorities have been very helpful. Siting has not been an issue, and for limited periods no site licence required, and is very profitable at the weekends and worthwhile doing in his case for two to three half days per week. Going to work for him for a session or two just to get some inside knowledge of this type of business next year. Right product, right location, right opening hours. Look into it. Hope it works out.philip
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Re: Going for it...

Postby wheels » Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:16 pm

All the best for the future Richard. Best wishes to you and your bride to be.

Here's wishing you a long, happy and healthy marriage.

Phil :D :D :D
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Re: Going for it...

Postby onewheeler » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:32 pm

Slightly random thought: if you're contemplating doing the sort of food that could be sold from a van, and your aim is quality, another possibility might be to find a pub that would contemplate a deal over a food franchise. Probably you'd be looking for more of a boozer than a restaurant pub, but it could reduce the amount of up-front committment / risk and enable you to get established.

Good luck!

Martin/
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Re: Going for it...

Postby kil2k » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:43 pm

wheels wrote:All the best for the future Richard. Best wishes to you and your bride to be.

Here's wishing you a long, happy and healthy marriage.

Phil :D :D :D


Thanks! :D



onewheeler wrote:Slightly random thought: if you're contemplating doing the sort of food that could be sold from a van, and your aim is quality, another possibility might be to find a pub that would contemplate a deal over a food franchise. Probably you'd be looking for more of a boozer than a restaurant pub, but it could reduce the amount of up-front committment / risk and enable you to get established.

Good luck!

Martin/


Hmm, not a bad idea. I was already considering talking to the guy who runs the pub we're having our reception at, but the missus won't allow me to do that until after the wedding :P
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