Sam Coldbeck, one of our seven expert retailer columnists, explains why you should make your store a destination for food to go
With food to go sales on the up, it’s great news for retailers looking to grow their business or expand into new areas.
Careful planning and good staff training can make your store a destination for new customers looking for a quick fix or tasty lunch.
There are many entry levels so it’s easy to see if food to go is right for you without selling the family silver. We’re seeing some of the best ideas brought to life with imagination, passion and the need to drive sales in this category.
Two of my friends, who are also Premier retailers, are investing in very different ways.
One recently bought a Tassimo machine to give shoppers coffee, making £1 a cup profit, and another purchased an empty unit next door to his store and launched a café bar with an open log fire.
The key to making food to go work is planning and consistency. Customers depend on a good quality, cost-effective, reliable service if they adopt your services into their daily schedule.
Most environmental health officers are happy to chat to you about food hygiene requirements and effective record keeping. There is also some excellent advice on the Food Standards Agency website: “Safer food, better business”.
Waste is always an issue with food to go as dates are often short and the window of sales opportunity is as short as four hours when dealing with hot food. By adopting a good rotation schedule from the start and being able to adapt recipes and ingredients, most of us can make a nice profit from food to go.
Independent retailers are well placed to change direction quickly and efficiently, reacting immediately to changes in taste, trends and weather conditions.
There are some fantastic retailers across the country doing food to go brilliantly on so many levels and proving that the market is there for the taking.