A friend put up for sale his RV and contacted you. He called to check if you would be interested. He recalled a conversation that the two of you had about entering the restaurant business at some point. He said that the RV could be converted into a food truck and that he got it from a company that sold and customized RVs.
Cooking has always been one of your passions. You could have been a contestant in the reality TV show MasterChef. But other work commitments prevented that from happening. Could this be a sign?
According to Technomic, a research and consulting company for the food service industry, the size of the restaurant business globally is roughly $4.75 trillion. Global sales are steadily increasing at an annual rate of 5.6%.
You suddenly feel a tingling sensation and want to think about it seriously. Will the concept of an RV as a restaurant work? Are there options other than a full-blown restaurant? What about those things they call pop-ups? Consider these ideas before taking the plunge:
Knowing the State of the Industry in NZ
You now know that the global market is enormous. What about locally? In September 2018, the Restaurant Association of New Zealand reported that locals and tourists spent $11 billion eating out or buying takeaways. Auckland has the biggest slice of this pie at 38% ($4.325 billion), followed by Canterbury at 12.7% ($1.42 billion). IBISWorld reports that the annual growth in New Zealand is 4.6%, which is even higher than the 3.4% for the USA.
The outlook is promising. But you need to be aware of the challenges as well. Industry experts, for example, said that two of their main difficulties are the lack of skilled workers and the soaring costs of wages.
Yes, business is about the product and the customer. But the New Zealand School of Food & Wine emphasizes that being in the hospitality business is all about YOU. You must have the warmth and the charisma that would make people feel genuinely welcome. Attention to details and knowledge of your product are also among the requirements to become successful in the restaurant business.
If you have all the boxes checked for these requirements, then you might be ready to serve the Kiwi Burger!
Reviewing the Options
The RV is an option. One of the attractions to this concept is the amount of investment required. The most significant chunk of the budget would probably go into customizing the vehicle and the equipment. You don’t need to worry about answering to investors and writing reports the way you do with a typical restaurant. You still need to know about the requirements like licensing and local ordinances.
The next option is the pop-up restaurant. A pop-up concept is a dining event held at a temporary location. It is at these pop-up restaurant events that chefs showcase their new food ideas. You could host pop-ups at another restaurant or do one at the rooftop of a building. Because these events are usually exclusive, the number of your dining guests will be limited.
The third option is the typical restaurant. You will deal with the challenges of renovating a place, securing permits, and dealing with contractors. As mentioned, it will likely come with more investors and more accountability.
The market is good, you’ve looked at yourself in the mirror, and you’ve explored options on entering the business. Are you now ready to take the plunge?