How can my sister start her new specialty retail food business?
August 31, 2012 11:43 AM   Subscribe

How can my sister start her new specialty retail food business?

My sister has a concept for a new specialty retail food business. Specifically it's for a certain type of food that is prepared and eaten on the spot. It's quick, fresh, tasty, made of quality ingredients, and customized, sort of in the same way Blaze Pizza in L.A. is (but her food is not pizza). Everyone who has heard the idea really likes it.

My sister is an accomplished cook (as well as kitchen designer and mediator) and has some business experience but not enough to execute her idea without a lot of help, especially because she wants to set it up from the get-go to have the potential to be a franchise. So that means she would start the first store to prove the concept, but then after that would want to sell franchises.

What kinds of experts and consultants does she need to pull this off, and where can she find them?
posted by Dansaman to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could she test the market with a popup store first? It appears to be a much cheaper way of setting up than renting space and is getting very popular over here (UK).
posted by humph at 11:52 AM on August 31, 2012

Sorry, if you google popup restaurant, not store, you get much better results.
posted by humph at 11:55 AM on August 31, 2012

She should get in touch with her local SCORE chapter and have them help her write two business plans: one for the individual restaurant concept, and a second for the franchising business. These are two very different businesses that will work very differently and she should understand the realities of both.

Once she has a business plan that's viable for the restaurant itself, she can go to investors or raise funds on Kickstarter. If she goes to investors, she needs to set aside some money to have an attorney represent her so that she knows what she's getting.
posted by gauche at 12:17 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Having recently opened a small specialty foods store, my advice is to pay, without hesitation, for an accountant, corporation and trademark lawyers and perhaps a business manager. She should of course read voraciously and continue to learn all she can. But, have someone who knows what they're doing get her set up.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:48 PM on August 31, 2012

Reading JWZ's blog would give some good insight into city&state regulations and bureaucracy, starting with
posted by anon4now at 2:49 AM on September 3, 2012

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