A healthy food restaurant refers to an eatery that targets health-conscious customers such as vegetarians — the restaurant deals in vegan, macrobiotic, low-fat, and organic food. The demand for healthy food has increased tremendously in the last two decades. As more people are diagnosed with diseases associated with poor feeding habits in New York City, the demand for healthy food is expected to rise significantly. Therefore, there is a need for the establishment of a healthy food restaurant to serve the growing market. This article presents a business plan for a healthy food restaurant to be situated on the outskirts of New York City.
Nature of Ownership
Since the healthy food restaurant is a new venture, it will operate as a sole proprietorship business. Therefore, a single person will own the restaurant and will be responsible for making decisions on matters affecting the business. The objective of opening the restaurant as a sole proprietorship entity is to facilitate smooth decision-making processes. According to Akbaba (2006), new businesses require multiple and regular adjustments before they adapt to the market. Hence, operators are required to make timely and firm decisions. For partnership companies, it is hard to make quick and appropriate decisions.
Thus, the restaurant will operate as a sole proprietorship business so as to facilitate decision making. The restaurant intends to give key workers an opportunity to own part of the business in the future. Nevertheless, this will depend on how it performs in the first two years. If the returns are high, the restaurant will transform into a partnership by absorbing essential employees. Else, it will remain as a sole proprietorship business.
Long-Term Growth and Exit Plan
The healthy food restaurant will target an ever-growing pool of health-conscious customers. The restaurant operator presumes that the market will expand and respond quickly in the first three years. The primary objective of the restaurant is to establish a reputation for consistency, quality, and security, which will enable it to dominate the healthy food market. The operator will monitor the restaurant carefully to determine if it performs as expected.
Besides, the restaurant will introduce novel products gradually based on demand. The operator will evaluate “the success of the restaurant based on the acceptance and strength of its products and services in the market” (Ritchie & Goeldner, 2006, p. 57). The restaurant operator anticipates stiff competition in the first two years. Thus, he intends to diversify products and services to overcome competition. Ideally, the operator anticipates opening multiple restaurants in the future to exploit the growing demand. In addition, he will decide whether to partner with other larger restaurants.
Ritchie and Goeldner (2006) aver that a business plan is incomplete without market analysis. Indeed, the main reason for coming up with a business plan is to understand the target market. The team hired to conduct marketing research will limit its analysis to the target market. It will only focus on customers that prefer eating healthy food like vegetarians. Besides, the team will analyze other market segments that the restaurant intends to target in the future. Thus, the market analysis will cover all potential customers who reside on the outskirts of New York City. The research group will use multiple sources of information to conduct marketing research.
It will liaise with the chamber of commerce to obtain data on the demand for healthy food in the local market. The chamber of commerce harbors crucial data that potential investors can use to forecast the success of their expected investment. The internet is another potential source of invaluable information. Consequently, the research team will conduct an internet search to obtain statistical data on the demand for healthy food as well as consumer behavior. According to Ritchie and Goeldner (2006), it is hard for investors to get all the necessary information from public sources. Therefore, they need also to rely on educated estimates. The team conducting marketing research will extrapolate data from various sources to come up with a comprehensive data of the target market. For instance, the team will utilize catalogs to gather information about the prices of different varieties of healthy food.
The research team will divide the target market into numerous segments based on age and level of income. Market segmentation helps organizations to focus on more definite market needs. The team will analyze individual segments so as to determine the correct pricing strategy to use. In addition, the research group will evaluate the buying behavior of each market segment to establish the factors that lead to a particular segment preferring one variety of food to others. The group will study rival restaurants to verify their market positioning, competitive advantages, and limitations. The research team will identify the opportunities that the existing healthy food restaurants have not exploited.
According to Renaghan (2005), healthy food restaurants should not restrict customers to a limited number of products. Instead, they should provide multiple products to allow customers to choose their preferences. The healthy food restaurant will prepare its menu based on consumer needs. The marketing research team will help to identify the products that are highly demanded. In addition, the restaurant owner will encourage employees to interact with customers and identify their changing needs. Hence, the restaurant will keep a tab of the changing demands and regularly update its menu to attract potential customers.
At times, the introduction of novel food varieties affects the sales of other varieties. Thus, the operator will be keen to make sure that the introduction of novel food items does not affect the sales of other varieties. He will achieve this objective by ensuring that he maintains and improves the nutritional values of the existing products.
The primary objective of the restaurant is to provide food varieties that are nutritious, tasty, and guarantee the health of consumers. The restaurant will prepare its meals from whole grains, fruits, lean meats, and vegetables. The vegetables will include broccoli, beets, bell peppers, asparagus, and eggplants, among others. Lean meats will include chicken and turkey. In addition, the restaurant will serve seafood such as salmon, cod, scallops, and sardines. Customers are likely to purchase these foods since they facilitate weight loss and curb risks of contracting heart diseases. The restaurant is certain that the meals will meet the health needs of most customers. Apart from meeting the health needs, the meals are easy to prepare and pocket-friendly. Thus, the restaurant will attract customers from both the middle and upper classes.
Renaghan (2005) alleges, “The customer’s perception of value is an important determinant of the rate charged” (p. 33). Customers evaluate the nutritional value of products before purchasing. Consequently, the restaurant operator will use multiple pricing tactics to lure consumers. The restaurant will not sell its products at low prices as this will lead to customers suspecting that it has compromised the quality of the products.
One of the strategies that the restaurant will apply is value-based pricing. The restaurant will set prices based on the value of the products. Food varieties with high nutritional value will be sold at higher prices than those with moderate nutritional value. The restaurant will also use a premium pricing strategy. It will keep the prices of a majority of the products high so as to invoke positive discernment among customers. The approach will help the restaurant to utilize the penchant for customers to presume that costly products are desirable, dependable, and of superior quality.
The location of a business contributes to its sales volume. Businesses such as restaurants and supermarkets should be situated in sites with high traffic (Renaghan, 2005). The restaurant will be located on the outskirts of New York City. The reason for choosing this location is to target a considerable number of customers in the city who might not afford to eat from the main restaurants. The location is convenient as customers can walk to the restaurant, have their meals, and go back to the city, especially the workers.
Besides, the fact that the site is adjacent to the city makes it preferable. Most customers would not like to associate with restaurants that are situated in unclean environments. Thus, locating the restaurant on the outskirts of New York City is in line with its objective of promoting healthy eating. All varieties of food will be prepared at the site. Therefore, the restaurant will not require shipping its products to the point of sales.
Before starting a business, one should plan how s/he will reach the target customers. A superior advertising strategy helps a business to reach a wide customer base, therefore increasing its sales volume (Zimmerer & Scarborough, 2007).
The healthy food restaurant will use multiple strategies to promote its products. First, the restaurant will publish leaflets and brochures that describe its products, as well as location. The leaflets and brochures will be distributed to potential customers, and others placed on notice boards of major institutions. In addition, the restaurant will use social media like Facebook and Twitter to promote its products. Most people in New York City have access to the internet and use social media. Therefore, the restaurant operator is certain that he will reach many potential customers through social media. The operator will also run television advertisements to reach customers who do not visit social media. Customers will be accorded a chance to sample the restaurant’s products during the first week. It will encourage many clients to visit the restaurant.
The main advantage of the restaurant will be its skilled workers. The restaurant will hire employees with extensive experience in preparing healthy food. Hence, customers will be guaranteed of delicious and nutritious meals. In addition, the hotel will be furnished with décors to make customers enjoy their visit and meals. Moreover, it will sell its products at competitive prices. The restaurant will offer special promotions to attract customers during low seasons. Hence, it will have customers at all times.
One of the restaurant’s weaknesses will be getting regular supplies. The restaurant will rely on multiple suppliers. However, with time, it will identify and contract reliable suppliers. Another weakness will be its inability to serve many customers at a time. The restaurant’s capacity will be low, and therefore some customers will have to wait for others to clear before they are served. As a result, the restaurant’s daily turnover will be low.
The demand for healthy food in the United States is expected to rise in the future. Therefore, the restaurant has the potential to open new branches in the future to meet the increasing demand. Moreover, the restaurant has a chance to invest in different varieties of food and drinks. Due to the high demand for healthy food, the restaurant will organize delivery services for clients who cannot afford to visit the premise due to time constraints.
One of the potential risks to a healthy food restaurant is stiff competition from existing restaurants. In addition, more restaurants are expected to come up due to the increasing demand for healthy food. Another potential threat is an increase in the cost of some food varieties due to environmental factors.
The healthy food restaurant will require employees with diverse skills to manage different tasks. It will need chefs who are skilled in preparing different cuisines. The chefs will be not only skilled in preparing foods but also able to select the most nutritious varieties. The restaurant will also require servers. The servers will be responsible for welcoming customers, directing them to the available seats, and taking their orders. Moreover, the servers will be required to interact with customers and inquire if they are satisfied with the services of the restaurant. They will act as a link between the restaurant and the customers.
They will identify unsatisfied needs and liaise with the chefs to meet the needs. Apart from chefs and servers, the restaurant will also require procurement staff. The staff will have knowledge of healthy foods. Besides, s/he will be capable of sourcing products at low prices. The owner of the restaurant will act as the manager. He will be responsible for ensuring that chefs prepare quality meals and servers offer quality services to customers. In addition, he will work as a clerk. However, the restaurant will hire a clerk once it establishes itself in the healthy food industry.
Employee Recruitment and Selection Process
The success of a healthy food restaurant is vested in its capacity to hire the right employees. Carroll, Marchington, Earnshaw, and Taylor (2008) allege that customers develop positive or negative perceptions of a restaurant based on the way they interact with employees. Thus, restaurants ought to hire the most qualified employees. Carroll et al. (2008) advise, “When you are screening for new hires, ensure that you are looking for employees who not only meet your company’s value and standards but also exceed them” (p. 239). Thus, the restaurant will recruit employees according to their skills. It will look for employees that value healthy eating.
The majority of healthy food restaurants operate the same. Thus, it is imperative to recruit employees with requisite skills to overcome competition. The restaurant will select employees based on the period that they have worked in the healthy food industry. Candidates with vast experience in healthy food restaurants will have high chances of being selected. Employees with extensive experience are likely to adapt to a restaurant quickly. The restaurant will consider its future needs during the recruitment process. In most cases, restaurants hire employees to satisfy immediate needs. Consequently, they are forced to recruit again in case of changes in customer demands. The restaurant does not intend to hire more workers in the near future. Therefore, it will look for workers with diverse skills who can cope with future changes.
Customer Relations Management
Customer relationship management brings long-term benefits to businesses. Today, the hotel industry deals with sophisticated and health-sensitive customers. Besides, the industry suffers from growing customer expectations and uncertain market. The industry can only surmount these challenges by using appropriate customer relations management strategies (Mohammed & Rashid, 2012). One of the strategies that a healthy food restaurant will utilize is customer orientation.
The success of the restaurant will depend on its capacity to satisfy customers and establish customer loyalty. The restaurant will invest in customer interaction as a way to boost service experience. It will use customer orientation to study its target clients and come up with strategies to fulfill their needs. The restaurant does not have adequate funds to purchase a customer relations management system. Thus, it will keep a database of its customers. The database will help to track customer behaviors and identify loyal customers.
The restaurant will establish a communication schedule that it will use to get feedback from customers. The schedule will not only be used to communicate with customers but also capture and store the contact history of individual clients. The history will help the restaurant to make a follow up of customers who take long without communicating to determine the problem. The communication schedule will enable the restaurant to respond to customer complaints on time, therefore avoiding cases of disgruntled customers taking their business to rival restaurants. The restaurant will occasionally contact customers to thank them for their loyalty.
It will strengthen its relationship with customers. In addition, it will, from time to time, conduct ethnographic interviews with clients to determine the challenges they encounter when using their products. The restaurant will give customers an opportunity to try novel varieties of healthy food by temporarily introducing new items on its menu. It will make it easy for the company to introduce new products gradually to both existing and potential customers.
Despite the increase in the number of healthy food restaurants in New York City, the chances are high that one can succeed if s/he opens a restaurant on the outskirts of the city. There are many customers who cannot afford to eat in the city. Therefore, the restaurant will target these customers by offering healthy food at low prices. To succeed in the healthy food industry, the restaurant operator will hire a team to conduct marketing research and give recommendations on the strategies that the restaurant should use. In addition, he will maintain a strong relationship with his customers. The operator will monitor the restaurant to ensure that it meets customer needs and make changes when necessary. Besides, he will conduct thorough marketing analysis to determine the internal and external factors that influence the healthy food industry. The restaurant will require recruiting experienced workers so as to withstand competition.
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