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How challenging to start from scratch?

Would there be a way the make a cafe and the extend it into a bakery or restaurant? I am of course that’s possible but how challenging would that be? To start from scratch and just build a cafe and expand it into something else.

Thank you comment icon Don’t ever sacrifice doing everything from scratch. If you’re going to start the project, do it right and focus on the mindfulness to the smallest details. It’s the one thing that separates an OK place from an award-winning place is the smallest decisions.. Keep in mind that in the food and beverage business your only looking to net profit about 10% of overall prime and operating costs so you need to look outside the box, work very hard and try to lower the bottom dollar in any area that you can while maintaining your integrity and your quality of product. Don’t ever let people tell you to sell out and not stay in alignment with truly scratch and authentic food and beverage. If you do, you might as well hang up your apron and go do something else.. Cole Dunbar

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Subject: Career question for you

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Jerome’s Answer

The restaurant business can be tough, but with recent laws, you can get a license to bake some items at home. You could enter the market relatively inexpensive and pop-up at local events and farmer markets. You’ll be able to potentially gain a following and then use those resources to grow if it’s right for your business. I’ve also know people who start with a food truck and eventually grow into a building.

From scratch will be challenging, but not impossible!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice I will try to start that soon! Ash
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Ash,

Starting a business from scratch, particularly transforming a cafe into a bakery or restaurant, can be a challenging endeavor. There are several factors to consider, including legal requirements, financial aspects, market research, and operational management. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the challenges involved:

Legal requirements:

Business registration: You’ll need to register your business, obtain necessary permits, and follow local zoning and health code requirements.
Licenses and permits: Acquire the appropriate licenses for food service, alcohol (if applicable), and music or entertainment (if you plan to have live performances).
Taxes: Set up your tax identification number and understand the tax implications of your business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation).

Financial aspects:

Secure funding: Obtain the necessary capital to cover startup costs, such as rent, equipment, inventory, and employee wages. You may need to apply for loans, grants, or seek investors.
Budgeting: Create a detailed budget to manage expenses and monitor cash flow. Be prepared for unexpected costs that may arise during the initial stages.
Pricing: Conduct market research to determine appropriate pricing for your products and services, ensuring they are competitive and profitable.

Market research:

Analyze the competition: Study the existing cafes, bakeries, and restaurants in your area to understand their offerings, pricing, and target audience. Identify gaps in the market where your business can differentiate itself.
Identify target audience: Determine the demographics and preferences of your potential customers to tailor your menu, ambiance, and marketing strategies accordingly.
Marketing and branding: Develop a strong brand identity and marketing plan to attract and retain customers. This may include social media presence, promotional events, and partnerships with local businesses.

Operational management:

Hiring and training staff: Recruit and train knowledgeable and skilled employees who can help you run the cafe and eventually expand into a bakery or restaurant.
Menu development: Create a diverse and appealing menu that caters to your target audience, ensuring a balance between cafe offerings and potential bakery or restaurant items.
Quality control: Maintain consistent food quality and presentation to ensure customer satisfaction.
Inventory management: Monitor inventory levels and maintain an efficient system to minimize waste and ensure freshness.

Expansion:

Assess the feasibility of expanding your business: Evaluate the performance of your cafe and determine if the demand and financials support the transition into a bakery or restaurant.
Plan the expansion: Develop a clear roadmap for the transformation, including renovations, staff training, and menu changes.
Monitor progress: Continuously evaluate the success of your expansion and make necessary adjustments to ensure its continued growth and profitability.

In conclusion, starting a business from scratch and expanding it from a cafe to a bakery or restaurant can be challenging. However, with thorough planning, market research, financial management, and dedication to providing quality products and services, it is possible to achieve success in this endeavor.

GOD BLESS!
James Constantine.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! This is very very helpful and I will make sure to remember it for when I start planing! Ash
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Elizabeth (Betsy)’s Answer

Hello Ash,

Building on the excellent advice from Kiran, I'd encourage you to explore internships and job opportunities with local eateries, bakeries, cafes, and food trucks, as well as vendors at your nearby farmers markets.

Take a moment to connect with the proprietors and inquire about the decisions and compromises they made when launching their ventures. Their firsthand knowledge of establishing and expanding a food business can be invaluable to you. Some folks kick-start their journey by baking at home and supplying their goods to places like cafes. On the other hand, some individuals look for financial backers to inaugurate a fresh food service, eventually growing it into a chain of establishments.

By understanding the different paths others have taken in your area, you'll gain valuable insights that can guide you in shaping your own journey.

Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, I have already found some internships that I might do! Ash
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your sharing. I am glad to hear that you would like to start your own cafe or bakery.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Attend some courses related to baking, cooking, etc. and management courses
2. Watch videos on baking & cooking, read recipes, etc. online. Practise more. Practises makes perfect.
3. Work in the bakery and cafe some time to understand the operating model and establish people network.
4. Start the bakery online first before physically establish the physical cafe and bakery
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
May Almighty God bless you!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Ash
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Kiran’s Answer

Hello Ash,

I love your concept! Starting something like this does require some funds and experience. Why not consider kick-starting your cafe venture with a cloud kitchen model? It's a great way to get to know your market and customers better. Plus, it'll provide you with valuable experience and plenty of chances to grow into a full-fledged restaurant.

Wishing you nothing but success!
Thank you comment icon That’s sounds like an amazing idea! Thank you and I will do that! Thank you so much! Ash
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HECTOR’s Answer

Hello Ash,

Yes, it's definitely possible to start with a cafe and then expand it into a bakery or restaurant. The level of challenge would depend on various factors such as your initial resources, location, market demand, and your ability to manage growth effectively. Starting with a cafe gives you a foundation in the food service industry and allows you to build a customer base and establish your brand. Expanding into a bakery or restaurant would require additional investment in equipment, space, staffing, and possibly different permits or licenses. It's essential to carefully plan and strategize each step of the expansion to ensure success and manage any challenges that may arise.


Drawing from my experiences as a chef working in various restaurants in New York City, owning a restaurant is undoubtedly challenging. It requires a dedicated team and a comprehensive understanding of the industry. If I were in your shoes, I would highly recommend gaining firsthand experience by working at a local cafe for a day. This allows you to observe the operations, understand the dynamics of running a food establishment, and gain insights into customer preferences and demands. Such practical experience can be invaluable when considering starting your own venture or expanding an existing one.

good luck!
Hect
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I will definitely work at a cafe for a while for the firsthand, and I think ima stay planing and looking into the different permits and licenses, thank you so much! Ash
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