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    8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 5, 2013 9:14 AM by Moderator_JoleK

    Going from restaurant to retail

    icetzou Scout

      Time for me to ask a question this time.

       

      I started my first cafe 3 years ago and it quickly grew into 3 locations today. However, the problem that plagues every restaurant is the revenue ceiling. Even if the cafe seems busy all the time, there's always a cap that cannot be surpassed due to number of tables and table turnover rate. So the grow parallel to our brick and mortar locations, I'm considering put a few of our signature drinks such as the house "milk tea" on shelves. However, I have ZERO experience in food retail and the different hoops that I have to jump throw to get there. So any takers?

        • Re: Going from restaurant to retail
          Moderator Berta Guide

          Congratulations on the quick growth of your company! You've asked some wonderful questions and I'm sure that someone within our community can help you with suggestions and advice.

           

          ~Berta

            • Re: Going from restaurant to retail
              Jim Peters Tracker

              Are you also doing takeaways. They would help in increasing your revenue and would not burden your logistics. You could also package your spices / tea/ pickles/ savouries/ desserts and sell them through stores.

                • Re: Going from restaurant to retail
                  icetzou Scout

                  Yes, we are already doing take out, but I want to go further than that. Retailing will help us reach customers outside of our demographics and establish a stronger brand.

                    • Re: Going from restaurant to retail
                      Guide

                      Hi Icetzou,

                       

                      My question to you is, are you already selling your "milk tea" drink on your own shelves (I don't mean take out)? I would start there. Then you could expand to your own site (if you already have one). This way your customers don't have to come into your shop.

                       

                       

                      Melinda

                        • Re: Going from restaurant to retail
                          icetzou Scout

                          We make our milk teas to order right now. I'm not sure what you mean, but it wouldn't make sense to have it on shelves inside the store, because they can just order right there. The point is to have them in retail and super markets so people can pick one up along with way maybe even when there weren't thinking about it in the first place.

                           

                          Thank you for all your feedback, perhaps I wasn't very clear in the question. I need help in the process of going retail and break into a new market, not just expand on what I already have.

                           

                          Thank you all so much.

                            • Re: Going from restaurant to retail
                              Guide

                              I was think more along the lines of selling the same product but in a larger quantity so they would not have to stand in-line for just a cup. This way your customers could enjoy your product in the convenience of their own home. You can also familiarize your clients with the new design and packaging so they know what to look for in the stores when you are ready to expand. You can also experiment with which one of your products sells the most. Of course, I don't know how much you have to spend in order to expand into retail. I gave you the least expensive way of starting out. It would be a shame to spend a ton of money on a product that is not moving off of the store shelves, which will only cause the retailer to not reorder your product if and when they do sell.

                               

                              Melinda

                    • Re: Going from restaurant to retail
                      AngelBiz Tracker

                      icetzou - Congratulations on great growth. Putting your products in the retail shelves is a great idea. Number of well-known brands have done exactly this. Think Starbucks, Taco Bell and many other restaurants. The problem you are going to run into is finding store shelves and willing manages to put your product on the shelves. The space is very competitive and usually occupied by large brands. You might want to look into niche grocery stores who are willing to try smaller brands. Your best bet is to work with a distributor who is willing to try smaller, niche products like yours.

                       

                      Another thought.. Have you looked into online sales?