The Way to Success is Through the Stomach
Being an entrepreneur means having a hunger for success that needs to be fed. This is especially true in the highly competitive restaurant and fast food space. We take a look at the trends shaping the local and international food industry while serving up some much-needed New Year inspiration. Perhaps you’ll leave your home kitchen in 2016 to become a restauranteur?
The 2016 food forecast
The world has gone food-mad and South Africa is no exception. Websites like Yuppiechef.com cater for every cookery whim, while food bloggers and chefs are the new celebrities. How food is grown, cooked and presented – we’ve all been bitten by the culinary bug.
According to global market intelligence firm Mintel 5 major trends influencing how we’ll think about food in the coming years are;
|1.||Good enough to tweet: The rise of food-centric media has sparked new interest in sharing one’s creations via social media.|
This share-focused society has also seen the rise in colourful and artfully constructed meals. It’s no surprise then that the hashtag #food is has been used 133 million times on social media platform Instagram.
|2.||Fat is back: There has been a global and local mind shift on fat. No longer in the bad books, fat content is not the first and foremost consideration in the search for healthy products.|
In South Africa, we can see this switch to Tim Noakes-style Banting diets which include low-carb and high fat choices. Many retailers and fast food franchises are hopping on the Banting bandwagon; from cauliflower pizza bases at your local Col’Cacchio Pizzeria to a box of Banting goodies delivered to your door.
|3.||Purity: While fat may be back in foodie fashion, new baddies need to be found. Today’s shoppers and diners are much more concerned with the make-up of their foods.|
The demand for greater purity and transparency means that consumers hold retailers, producers and restaurants responsible for protecting them against unhealthy additives in their food. Think more artisanal and less artificial.
|4.||Alternative protein: While this trend is not hitting our shelves as yet, global experts predict that the rise in novel protein sources including many vegetarian options and (gulp) insects.|
This is a profound change in how we view and consume food. There’s even a US-based non-profit called Little Herds working with governments, entrepreneurs, farmers and chefs to help create a market for bug-eaters.
|From shopping carts to clicks: While online shopping is yet to boom in South Africa, Mintel expects e-commerce to strongly influence the landscape of grocery shopping.|
A vibrant restaurant industry
This strong interest in food doesn’t necessarily translate into more home cooking; by contrast a taste for the good life coupled with busy lifestyles means that we tend to eat out more.
In response to consumer demand, restaurant and fast food franchises have to walk the line between offering healthy options while also providing those menu items that promise comfort and indulgence. Eating out should after all, feel like a treat.
That’s good news for savvy entrepreneurs looking to get into the food business.
4 Must-haves to succeed as a food franchisee
|1.||A great location|
A great brand with a strong operator can nevertheless fail if the location is poor. A great location depends on a number of factors including foot traffic, accessibility, parking and demographics of the surrounding community.
|2.||A real love of food|
Tinkering in your home kitchen is vastly different from running a restaurant operation. From enjoying the clatter of a busy kitchen, to keeping a tight handle on quality your passion for creation and great taste are paramount to succeeding.
|3.||Lots of hard work|
You can expect to work incredibly hard – even if you have a great manager and team in place. This often means working weekends, holidays and evenings. You’ll need to have a supportive family structure to hold the fort while you’re making sure that things run smoothly.
|4.||A passion for people|
Working in a restaurant or fast food franchise demands strong people skills. Not only to deal with customers but also to manage, motivate and train employees. With low-pay and long hours you can expect a fair bit of employee churn.
In South Africa, the Fast Food and Restaurants is the largest franchise sector with 24% of all franchises falling into this category.
South Africans enjoy their international brands including some the leaders in their market sectors; these include pizza-giant Dominos, doughnut franchise Krispy Kreme and sandwich outlet Subway.
Then there are local favourites like King Pie, Mugg & Bean and Maxis.