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Catering Business Plan Sample

Thinking of getting into catering? Make sure you have a detailed business plan to start with.

Entrepreneur

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Thinking of getting into catering? Make sure you have a detailed business plan to start with. Use this example to compile your own.

1Executive Summary

Fressen Catering is a kosher catering company that serves the Philadelphia market. Fressen offers creative, colourful, and unusual food options for kosher as well as the traditional standbys.  The service offerings are quite a change relative to the existing kosher catering market which is quite stagnant.

Most people make the incorrect assumption that kosher food means ordinary, boring food. This assumption prevails throughout the Jewish community so there is not much demand for new offerings.

Fressen catering will inject new life into the kosher catering market, leveraging Chef Susan Cheflly’s culinary skills to develop creative new catering options.  Susan’s advanced skills, industry insight, and a great market opportunity will allow Fressen Catering to reach profitability by month 11 and generate $395,000 in revenues for year three.

Download: Free Business Plan Template Download

1.1 Objectives

The objectives for the first three years of operation include:

  • To create a service-based company whose primary goal is to exceed customer’s expectations.
  • To increase the number of client’s served by 20% per year through superior service.
  • To develop a sustainable start-up business.
  • To develop enough cash flow to pay all salaries as well as grow the business.

1.2 Mission

Fressen Catering’s mission is to provide the customer with the finest kosher catering.  We exist to attract and maintain customers.  When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place.  Our services will exceed the expectations of our customers.

1.3 Keys to Success

The key to success is to meet and exceed the customer’s needs in terms of quality of food and excellence of service.

 Related: Creative Ways to Find New Customers


2Company Summary

company-summary-for-catering

Fressen Catering, located in Philadelphia, PA will offer high-end kosher catering to the Philadelphia community.  Fressen Catering will serve parties of 25-300 people with high-end kosher foods that are currently only available in New York City. Fressen Catering will offer a large menu repertoire, from traditional favourites to creative inventions. All of the food and drink items served will be done under strict supervision of the Orthodox Rabbinic authority.

Fressen will rent space for the office and kitchen in an industrial area of Philadelphia. Renting in the industrial area will significantly lower the cost. Since the space will be used for food production it is not relevant for the store front to be aesthetically pleasing, or in a nice neighbourhood. Fressen Catering is forecasted to generate $395,000 in revenues for year three.

2.1 Start-up Summary

Fressen Catering will incur the following start-up costs:

  • Two commercial stoves with ovens.
  • Dishwasher.
  • Two sets of cookware.
  • Two sets of dishware.
  • One van with rolling racks built in (a rolling rack is a wheeled rolling cart system that is insulated for both hot and cold food).
  • Assorted serving trays and utensils, knives and cutting boards (two each).
  • Desk and chair.
  • Computer with printer, CD-RW, Microsoft Office, and QuickBooks Pro.
  • Copier and fax machine.

2.2 Company Ownership

Fressen Catering is a sole proprietorship owned by Susan Cheflly.

Related: A – Z Easy Small Business Ideas


3Services

catering-food-services

Fressen Catering will provide Philadelphia with high quality kosher catering.  The catering service will be for weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and other assorted parties.

Kashrut is a specific, ritual/set of rules that applies to certain sects of Judaism in regards to food/drink preparation and consumption. A kitchen or catering service must be specially set up to provide kosher meals.

The explanation below regarding the prohibition of dairy and meat served together or made in the same kitchen by the same pots and utensils is the reason that Fressen Catering will require two sets of everything, including two stove top ranges and ovens.

The Hebrew word kosher means fit or proper as it relates to dietary (kosher) laws. It means that a given product is permitted and acceptable. The sources for the laws of kashruth are of Biblical origin and expounded in Rabbinic legislation.

These laws are codified in the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law). Though a hygienic benefit has been attributed to the observance of kashruth, the ultimate purpose and rationale is simply to conform to the Divine Will as expressed in the Torah.

Kosher and non-kosher meat, poultry and fish:

  • The Torah (Leviticus Chapter 11) lists the characteristics of permitted mammals and fish, and indicates the forbidden fowl. The only mammals permitted are those which chew their cud and are cloven hoofed.
  • The Torah does not list specific characteristics to distinguish permitted from forbidden birds. Instead, it details 24 forbidden species of fowl.
  • The Torah establishes two criteria in determining kosher fish. They must have fins and scales. All shellfish are prohibited. One, however, should not eat fish with meat.

Another element of Kosher meat consumption applies to the way in which the meat is slaughtered.  There are several different methods:

  • Shechita. Only a trained kosher slaughterer (shochet) certified by rabbinic authorities is qualified to slaughter an animal. The trachea and esophagus of the animal are severed with a special sharp, perfectly smooth blade causing instantaneous death with no pain to the animal.
  • Bedika. After the animal has been properly slaughtered, a trained inspector (bodek) inspects the internal organs for any physical abnormalities that may render the animal non-kosher (treif).
  • Glatt Kosher. Some Jewish communities or people only eat of an animal that has been found to be free of all adhesions. “Glatt” means smooth,  that the meat comes from an animal whose lungs have been found to be free of all adhesions. “Glatt Kosher” is used more broadly as a consumer phrase meaning kosher without question.
  • Koshering. The Torah forbids the eating of the blood of an animal. The two methods of extracting blood from meat are salting and broiling. Meat once ground cannot be made kosher, nor may meat be placed in hot water before it has been “koshered.”
  • Salting. The meat must first be soaked in salt.  After the salting, the meat must be thoroughly soaked and washed to remove all salt.
  • Broiling. Liver may only be koshered through broiling, because of the preponderance of blood in it. Both the liver and meat must first be thoroughly washed to remove all surface blood. They are then salted slightly on all sides. Then they are broiled on a perforated grate over an open fire, drawing out the internal blood.

One of the main tenets is the prohibition of meat and dairy in the kitchen together. The Torah forbids cooking meat and milk together in any form, eating such cooked products, or deriving benefit from them.

As a safeguard, the Rabbis extended this prohibition to disallow the eating of meat and dairy products at the same meal or preparing them on the same utensils. One must wait up to six hours after eating meat products before any dairy products may be eaten.

Fressen Catering will serve a wide variety of dishes.  This is offered for two reasons.

  1. The larger repertoire of menu items is a benefit to the customers.
  2. A large selection is required because meat and dairy cannot be mixed within the meal, therefore, in essence you have to have two different menus, one with dairy and one with meat.

Some of the menu offerings will be traditional kosher/Jewish meals such as beef brisket with potatoes and vegetables and a roasted chicken with rice and spinach.  More inventive meals will also be offered to appeal to the higher end, more discriminating customers such as chicken pesto dishes or a red pepper coulis sauce, or maybe salmon with curry coulis and plum chutney.

Kosher catering is not cheap. The ingredients cost more, as well as the additional equipment that is needed to eliminate the mixing of dairy and meat products. Per person costs range from $45-110.

Related: How to Your Business ‘Gap’ in the Market


4Market Analysis Summary

catering-market-analysis-summary

The Philadelphia kosher catering market is an interesting one. There are several caters that offer services that are quite similar to each other in terms of price and menu options. For whatever reasons, there has been little demand by consumers to get caters to innovate their menu.

This is not too say that consumers would not welcome new kosher menu items, it is just that people have incorrectly made the assumption that kosher meals have to be boring. Fressen will occupy a niche in the kosher catering market that offers new, creative menu items, broadening people’s conception of kosher food. This market consists of two target segments that are differentiated by household income.

Related: How To Create A Marketing Strategy

4.1 Market Segmentation

Fressen Catering has two distinct target populations:

  1. Middle class kosher clients. This group of people does not have huge amounts of disposable income, recognises that it is costly to sponsor a kosher dinner party, and is willing to incur the expenses, but will try to minimise them.
  2. Upper class kosher clients. This group has intertwined kosher values throughout their lives and is willing to spend whatever it takes to throw a high-end kosher dinner function.  Typically, this group is characterised by a wealthy one-income family where the male works and the female does not.  The female of the household typically thoroughly enjoys the planning of these events.

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

The target market segment strategy will not be significantly different to address the two different groups. Both groups, regardless of income typically belong to the same group of religious congregations. Therefore, to reach the different groups does not require a distinctly different strategy.

What differentiation it will require is different menu offerings needed to satisfy the different groups. The upper-end menu items are cost prohibitive for the middle class target segment.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

The kosher catering business in Philadelphia is fairly unique.  At the low- to mid-price point of the cost spectrum, there are four other kosher caters.

These caterers tend to serve the part of the market that must have kosher food served at an occasion due to religious beliefs, but struggle to able to afford the cost variance between standard and kosher catering. All four of these caters have fairly standard menu offerings.

There is a fifth caterer that also serves the lower end of the market (defined as middle class) but serves the high end of the market as well.  Although there is a large wealthy population in Philadelphia that follows the laws of kashrut, they have been underserved.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

As stated in the previous section, there are four other kosher caterers that serve the low to middle end of the market.  These caterers compete to some degree on cost (due to budget constraints of some clients), but more so on service.  The quality and the serving of the food are the main areas of service that the caterers compete on.

There is one high-end caterer who will compete with Fressen.  This caterer, while serving the upper-end market, does not provide its clients with upper-end service. This company is not a strong competitor because of their overpriced service offerings relative to the service provided, and its business has been declining over the last few years. Lastly, one competitor for the high-end market is kosher caterers from New York City.  When cost is no object, there are many people that are willing to pay the additional cost of bringing in the caterer from NYC.

The buying habits of consumers of kosher catering is to some degree price sensitive at the middle end of the market. Between two different service providers, the middle class group will choose the service provider with the best services. However, cost is certainly an issue and some of the caterers are not even options because they are priced out of this consumer groups price range.

The buying habits for the high end of the market is price insensitive. Choices are made by menu offerings, reputation, and attention to service.

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Food and Farming

Bakery Business Plan Sample

Get baking with this bakery sample business plan.

Entrepreneur

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Thinking of starting your own bakery? Are you the next great baker? Make sure you have a detailed business plan to start with. Use this example to compile your own.

1Executive Summary

Introduction

Jolly’s Java and Bakery (JJB) is a start-up coffee and bakery retail establishment located in southwest Washington. JJB expects to catch the interest of a regular loyal customer base with its broad variety of coffee and pastry products. The company plans to build a strong market position in the town, due to the partners’ industry experience and mild competitive climate in the area.

JJB aims to offer its products at a competitive price to meet the demand of the middle-to higher-income local market area residents and tourists.

Download: Free Business Plan Template Download

The Company

JJB is incorporated in the state of Washington. It is equally owned and managed by its two partners.

Mr. Austin Patterson has extensive experience in sales, marketing, and management, and was vice president of marketing with both Jansonne & Jansonne and Burper Foods. Mr. David Fields brings experience in the area of finance and administration, including a stint as chief financial officer with both Flaxfield Roasters and the national coffee store chain, BuzzCups.

The company intends to hire two full-time pastry bakers and six part-time baristas to handle customer service and day to day operations.

Products and Services

JJB offers a broad range of coffee and espresso products, all from high quality Columbian grown imported coffee beans. JJB caters to all of its customers by providing each customer coffee and espresso products made to suit the customer, down to the smallest detail.

The bakery provides freshly prepared bakery and pastry products at all times during business operations. Six to eight moderate batches of bakery and pastry products are prepared during the day to assure fresh baked goods are always available.

The Market

The retail coffee industry in the U.S. has recently experienced rapid growth. The cool marine climate in southwest Washington stimulates consumption of hot beverages throughout the year.

JJB wants to establish a large regular customer base, and will therefore concentrate its business and marketing on local residents, which will be the dominant target market. This will establish a healthy, consistent revenue base to ensure stability of the business.

In addition, tourist traffic is expected to comprise approximately 35% of the revenues. High visibility and competitive products and service are critical to capture this segment of the market.

1. 1. Mission

JJB aims to offer high quality coffee, espresso, and pastry products at a competitive price to meet the demand of the middle- to higher-income local market area residents and tourists.

1.2. Keys to Success

Keys to success for JJB will include:

  • Providing the highest quality product with personal customer service.
  • Competitive pricing.

Related: How To Start A Bakery Guide


2Company Summary

starting-a-business-bakery

JJB is a bakery and coffee shop managed by two partners. These partners represent sales/management and finance/administration areas, respectively. The partners will provide funding from their own savings, which will cover start-up expenses and provide a financial cushion for the first months of operation.

A ten-year Small Business Administration (SBA) loan will cover the rest of the required financing. The company plans to build a strong market position in the town, due to the partners’ industry experience and mild competitive climate in the area.

2.1. Company Ownership

JJB is incorporated in the state of Washington. It is equally owned by its two partners.

2.2. Start-up Summary

JJB is a start-up company. Financing will come from the partners’ capital and a ten-year SBA loan. The following chart and table illustrate the company’s projected initial start-up costs.

Related: How to Write a Funding Proposal


3Products

bakery-products-for-sale

JJB offers a broad range of coffee and espresso products, all from high quality Columbian grown imported coffee beans. JJB caters to all of its customers by providing each customer coffee and espresso products made to suit the customer, down to the smallest detail.

The bakery provides freshly prepared bakery and pastry products at all times during business operations. Six to eight moderate batches of bakery and pastry products are prepared during the day to assure fresh baked goods are always available.


4Market Analysis Summary

bakery-market-analysis-summary

JJB’s focus is on meeting the demand of a regular local resident customer base, as well as a significant level of tourist traffic from nearby highways.

4.1 Market Segmentation

JJB focuses on the middle- and upper-income markets. These market segments consume the majority of coffee and espresso products.

Local Residents

JJB wants to establish a large regular customer base. This will establish a healthy, consistent revenue base to ensure stability of the business.

Tourists

Tourist traffic comprises approximately 35% of the revenues. High visibility and competitive products and service are critical to capture this segment of the market.

4.1.1 Market Analysis

The chart and table below outline the total market potential of the above described customer segments.

Related: Conducting a Business Plan Market Analysis

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

The dominant target market for JJB is a regular stream of local residents. Personal and expedient customer service at a competitive price is key to maintaining the local market share of this target market.

4.2.1 Market Needs

Because Washington has a cool climate for eight months out of the year, hot coffee products are very much in demand. During the remaining warmer four months of the year, iced coffee products are in significantly high demand, along with a slower but consistent demand for hot coffee products. Much of the day’s activity occurs in the morning hours before ten a.m., with a relatively steady flow for the remainder of the day.

Related: Target Market Worksheet

4.3 Service Business Analysis

The retail coffee industry in the U.S. has recently experienced rapid growth. The cool marine climate in southwest Washington stimulates consumption of hot beverages throughout the year.

Coffee drinkers in the Pacific Northwest are finicky about the quality of beverages offered at the numerous coffee bars across the region. Despite low competition in the immediate area, JJB will position itself as a place where customers can enjoy a cup of delicious coffee with a fresh pastry in a relaxing environment.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

Competition in the local area is somewhat sparse and does not provide nearly the level of product quality and customer service as JJB. Local customers are looking for a high quality product in a relaxing atmosphere. They desire a unique, classy experience.

Leading competitors purchase and roast high quality, whole-bean coffees and, along with Italian-style espresso beverages, cold-blended beverages, a variety of pastries and confections, coffee-related accessories and equipment, and a line of premium teas, sell these items primarily through company-operated retail stores.

In addition to sales through company-operated retail stores, leading competitors sell coffee and tea products through other channels of distribution (specialty operations).

Larger chains vary their product mix depending upon the size of each store and its location. Larger stores carry a broad selection of whole bean coffees in various sizes and types of packaging, as well as an assortment of coffee- and espresso-making equipment and accessories such as coffee grinders, coffee makers, espresso machines, coffee filters, storage containers, travel tumblers and mugs.

Smaller stores and kiosks typically sell a full line of coffee beverages, a more limited selection of whole-bean coffees, and a few accessories such as travel tumblers and logo mugs. During fiscal year 2000, industry retail sales mix by product type was approximately 73% beverages, 14% food items, eight percent whole-bean coffees, and five percent coffee-making equipment and accessories.

Technologically savvy competitors make fresh coffee and coffee-related products conveniently available via mail order and online. Additionally, mail order catalogs offering coffees, certain food items, and select coffee-making equipment and accessories, have been made available by a few larger competitors. Websites offering online stores that allow customers to browse for and purchase coffee, gifts, and other items via the Internet have become more commonplace as well.

Click here to view this full business plan

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Food and Farming

Agriculture Business Plan Sample

Start your agricultural farming business with this sample business plan.

Entrepreneur

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Thinking of starting your own farm? Make sure you have a detailed business plan to start with. Start your agricultural farming business with this sample business plan.

1Executive Summary

Botanical Bounty is an existing farm dedicated to the production of botanical perennials. Botanical Bounty has been formed as an Oregon-based Limited Liability Corp. (L.L.C.) located outside of Albany, Oregon. Botanical Bounty is working hard to become a leading producer of botanical plants for the natural supplement industry as well as plant nurseries. By leveraging a well thought out business plan executed by a skilled management team, Botanical Bounty will generate over $216,000 in year three sales.

Download: Free Business Plan Template Download

Keys to Success

Botanical Bounty has identified three keys that will be instrumental in their success. The first is the implementation of strict financial controls. By having the proper controls, production efficiency will be maximised. The second key will be the never ending pursuit for the industry’s highest concentration levels of botanical ingredients in each plant. The third key is the recognition and implementation of the philosophy that 100% customer satisfaction is required to ensure a profitable business. Profits are a by product of satisfying customers, not the other way around.

Products

Botanical Bounty is a 10 acre farm that concentrates on the growing of botanical medicinals. Botanical Bounty has chosen five plant species that have significant market demand as well being well suited for growth in the Willamette River Valley. Botanical Bounty will feature: Echinacea – an immune system booster; Ginseng – a source of energy; St John’s Wort – for mild depression; Skullcap- for inflammation; and Ginger – a stomach soother.

Related: How Do I Start Chicken Production In South Africa?

Market

Botanical Bounty has three distinct customers: Supplement companies, processors of botanicals for supplement companies, and nurseries that resell the plants. The first two customers purchase the plants for use in their products which they ultimately sell to the end consumer. The market for natural supplements is quite exciting. Surveys show that over 158 million consumers (over 55% of U.S. population) use dietary supplements.

An estimated 115.3 million consumers buy vitamins and minerals for themselves, and 55.8 million purchase them for other members of their family, including children. Consumer surveys consistently find that nearly half of all Americans now use herbs – a statistic that is particularly remarkable when we realise that today’s herbal products industry is just over a quarter century old.

Management Team

Botanical Bounty will be lead by the husband and wife team of David and Sue Nealon. David brings a wealth of business and project management skills to the company. While working at Yahoo!, David was responsible for the successful launch and market lead capture of Yahoo!s driving directions section. Utilising these skills, David will be responsible for the business operations of the farm.

Sue, with a background of plant biology will be the driving force of the operation, growing the highest active ingredient content plants in the country. Additionally, because of her wealth of knowledge, she will be the leader of the sales department.

Financial Plan

Botanical Bounty began as a hobby for David and Sue two years ago. Over the last two years they have worked out all of the bugs related to production. Additionally, they are now quite hungry to succeed, creating one of the premier botanical perennial farms in the country.

To finance our growth and full-time production, we need to purchase $35,000 worth of new equipment as long-term assets. To that end, we are seeking a $100,000 10-year loan. Sales forecasts conservatively indicate that $190,000 revenue will be generated in year two, rising to $216,000 the following year.

1.1 Objectives

The Botanical Bounty has identified several objectives for the business:

  1. Become a leading supplier of botanical perennials for the health/vitamin industry.
  2. Reach the point of sustainable profitability.
  3. Enjoy work while making a good living.

1.2 Mission

It is Botanical Bounty’s mission to become the leading provider of botanical perennials to the health/vitamin industry. This will be accomplished by providing quality plants at fair prices while exceeding customer’s expectations.

1.3 Keys to Success

Botanical Bounty will adhere to three keys that will be instrumental in its success:

  • Strict financial controls.
  • The never ending pursuit of the highest concentration of botanicals in every plant.
  • Ensuring that all customer’s needs are met and they are satisfied with the purchased products.

Related: Conducting a Business Plan Market Analysis


2Company Summary

farm-company-summary

Botanical Bounty is an Oregon based perennial farm that grows a variety of botanical medicinal perennials. The company has been formed as an Oregon L.L.C. The farm has been in existence for two years now, initially operating as a hobby as rather than a profit producing business.

2.1 Company History

Botanical Bounty has been in operation for two years. Initially it was started as a hobby where Susan could use her plant biology skills while covering some of the costs. The Nealon’s were able to achieve this lifestyle due to a windfall that David received as a result of exercised stock options. After the second year, the Nealon’s decided that although they had the money to live on for many years, it would be irresponsible to needlessly spend it so they got serious about the business and made a concerted effort to become profitable.

Botanical Bounty has chosen the Willamette River Valley as an ideal place to grow perennials. Botanical Bounty has 10 acres of land which they use for production. During several of the winter months, production is moved into their green house for propagation. Botanical Bounty employs a drip irrigation system for all of the plants.

2.2 Company Ownership

Botanical Bounty is an Oregon L.L.C. owned by David and Susan Nealon. The L.L.C. business formation has been chosen as a strategic way to shield the Nealons from personal liability.

Related: Steps for Starting a Farming Business


3Products

farming-products

Botanical Bounty offers a range of botanical perennials (plants where the root structure remains, allowing the plant to regrow every year). Botanical perennials were chosen for two main reasons. The first is the medicinal value that they offer, therefore the plants have a positive contribution to society by improving people’s health. The second reason is that the market for medicinal herbs is a very strong industry with excellent growth, ensuring demand for their plants.

Botanical Bounty will offer the following excellent:

Echinacea

Echinacea was used extensively by Native Americans and the early settlers also adopted its use. It has been used for years in alternative medicine to support the immune system, and to purify the blood, especially during season changes and during the cold and flu season. Scientific studies have confirmed the presence of natural chemicals, echinacosides, which increase white blood cell activity.

Ginseng

Ginseng stimulates and increases endocrine activity in the body. Promotes a mild increase in metabolic activity and relaxes heart and artery movements. Stimulates the medulla centres and relaxes the central nervous system.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort has been used as a medicinal for thousands of years, but has only recently been studied for its medicinal value. Now proven to have many highly active compounds including rutin, pectin, choline, sitosterol, hypericin and pseudohypericin. The flowers and leaves are medicinal as analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, nervine, resolvent, stimulant, vermifuge and vulnerary. Some compounds of the plant have been shown to have potent anti-retroviral activity without serious side effects and they are being researched in the treatment of AIDS.

Skullcap

Skullcap is a powerful medicinal herb, it is used in alternative medicine as an anti-inflammatory, abortifacient, antispasmodic, slightly astringent, emmenagogue, febrifuge, nervine, sedative and strongly tonic. Some valuable constituents found in the plant are scutellarin, catalpol, other volatile oils, bitter iridoids and tannins. Scientific studies are proving this to be a valuable plant in many areas for mental disorders. Skullcap is used in the treatment of a wide range of nervous conditions including epilepsy, insomnia, hysteria, anxiety, delirium tremens, withdrawal from barbiturates and tranquilisers.

Ginger

Ginger roots and dried herb are medicinal and edible, it has a spicy, hot, crispy, taste and can be eaten fresh in small quantities in salads, used as a relish, a condiment, or made into a sauce for meat, especially good on chicken, or used to make ginger candy. Widely used as an alternative medicine ginger contains the valuable constituent aristolochic acid, scientific study shows it to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antitumor activity, cures warts in some cases and is a broad-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal.

Botanical Bounty sells these excellent perennials in plant form for the botanicals to be extracted by their customers. Botanical Bounty concentrates on producing the healthiest plants which have the highest concentration of active botanicals.

Related: How to Write a Funding Proposal


4Market Analysis Summary

farm-market-analysis-summary

Botanical Bounty has identified three main customer groups: supplement companies; botanical processors; and other nurseries. The customer segments are distinct enough to be able to target each one differently. The industry that Botanical Bounty produces for has been undergoing consolidation for several years now. Botanical Bounty will be able to serve the industry by leveraging their competitive edge of healthy, potent plants.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Botanical Bounty has identified three different target market segments which they will sell to:

Supplement Companies

This customer group manufactures botanical supplements for their own label products. The companies purchase the plants and extract the active ingredients and transform them into sellable products for their own brand. There are a handful of large companies that operate in this market space. Ten years ago there were many different ones but through consolidation the industry has grown in size but decreased in the number of different players.

Processors

These customers purchase the the plants, extract the botanicals and either sell the concentrated botanicals to the end producers or they themselves produce the supplement and sell the final product to other companies for their private label products. In essence they are the subcontractor for the supplement companies. These companies therefore are one layer within the manufacturing system and do not sell to the end consumer. They act as a supplier/processor for the retail brands.

Other Nurseries/Garden Centres

This customer group purchases the plants which they in turn sell at retail to the individual end consumer. The typical consumer is a health conscious individual who is interested in either extracting the botanical from the plant immediately or growing the plant in their own garden for future use.

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Botanical Bounty has chosen the three market segments based on the consistent demand for botanical extracts. While there are other potential customers, they are smaller, less consistent in terms of demand, and more difficult to reach.

The supplement companies, processors, and to a smaller degree the nurseries are attractive customers due to the their consistent demand and typical long-term contract needs. There is significant value to these customers for a grower to consistently offer the same high level of active botanicals in each plant and to be able to meet the needs of large volume, long duration contracts.

Related: Target Market Worksheet

4.3 Industry Analysis

The botanical perennial growing market is typically concentrated in several regions around the U.S. which have optimum growing conditions. While there are a couple mega farms, on the whole, 78% of the U.S. production comes from growers with 5-20 acres of land. Approximately 23% of botanical extracts are grown abroad and imported into the United States. Reasons for botanical growth to occur overseas is typically based on the type of herb and its ability to grow better in the respective region.

The market for supplements is huge and growing:

U.S. Supplement Market

Surveys show that over 158 million consumers (over 55% of the U.S. population) use dietary supplements. An estimated 115.3 million consumers buy vitamins and minerals for themselves, and 55.8 million purchase them for other members of their family, including children. Consumer surveys consistently find that nearly half of all Americans now use herbs – a statistic that is particularly remarkable when we realise that today’s herbal products industry is just over a quarter century old.

The basic reason cited for dietary supplement growth is the desire for self-care. Consumers use dietary supplement products to help them achieve their self-care goals that arise out of a sense of alienation from the established health care system. Results from a national survey conducted in 1999 by Men’s Health magazine show that consumers use dietary supplements as a means of ensuring good health. They also use supplements for very specific medicinal purposes such as treating and preventing serious illnesses, colds, and the flu; increasing mental sharpness; and alleviating depression.

The consumer’s desire for self-care and the widespread use of dietary supplements may cause problems for public health. An estimated 22.8 million consumers use herbal remedies instead of prescription medicine, and an estimated 19.6 million use them with a prescription product.

In the past, except for vitamin and mineral products, dietary supplements, particularly botanical products, were sold mainly to adults in health food stores. In contrast, now such products are available in supermarkets, other retail stores, and on the Internet, making these products readily accessible to children and other vulnerable populations. The Nutrition Business Journal estimated that in 1999, U.S. consumer sales of supplements over the Internet amounted to $142 million, almost three times the previous year’s total of $48 million.

The five main channels of distribution are: consumer-direct (includes direct mail/catalog, direct from sales representatives, multi-level marketing, Internet & infomercial/direct from television); food, drug, mass-market stores, health and natural food stores, healthcare professionals and practitioners, others.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

As mentioned previously, competition takes two forms, farms similar in size and production capacity to Botanical Bounty and megafarms. The similarly sized farms range in size from 5-30 acres. The number of different herbs grown varies from a handful to upwards of 50. The choice of plants grown is based on owner preference as well as location and the ability of the local growing conditions to support the different plants.

On the other end of spectrum is the megafarm. These farms have a similar range of species cultivated, however they differ greatly in production capacity. These farms are huge, typically not less than 100 acres, peaking at 300 acres. These growers however are few number.

The buying patterns of the different customers are typically based on these variables:

  • Price
  • Availability
  • Ability to deliver consistently on long-term contracts
  • Significant % of active ingredients
  • Consistency

Related: Agricultural Ideas of the Future

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Food Preparation Sample Business Plan

This sample business plan will provide you with exact guidelines for starting up a business that offers food preparation services.

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Food Preparation Business Plan

Executive Summary

What’s For Dinner? is an exciting, new business with a unique approach to helping people enjoy home cooked meals with their families. Customers will come to our Plano, TX location and prepare 12 meals that they pre-select from a menu in a party atmosphere. In two hours, they will have a month’s worth of meals to put in their freezer.

By focusing on our competitive edge (no direct competitors in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area), our customers, and their needs, What’s For Dinner? will increase sales to a point that exceeds $1.3M in three years.

What’s For Dinner? is owned jointly by Alan and Kim Kirby as an S Corporation. Alan and Kim have 15 years of experience in the food service and entertainment industries, as a party planner and personal chef, respectively. They know the kinds of food preparation available in the Collin County area. With two teenaged children, have experienced the frustration of trying to feed a whole family healthy food both cheaply and quickly. Alan’s existing contacts with local social and community groups, and Kim’s ongoing relationships with food distributors, specialty grocers, and high-end clients will all help to generate high sales from early in the first year.

What’s For Dinner offers several advantages to its target market:

  • Relatively inexpensive meal preparation: ~$15 for a four-person meal.
  • Fun, social, party atmosphere.
  • Convenient: eat your prepared meals in your home, when you want.
  • Saves time: no shopping, no prep, no clean up.
  • For seniors, special menus and transportation assistance make meals easy.
  • And, best of all, not having to decide “What’s For Dinner?”

The purpose of this plan is two-fold. The first is to acquire funding of $259,708. The second is to lay the foundations of the company’s vision, philosophy, and strategy, to ensure that we know where we are going and how to get there.

1.1 Mission

What’s For Dinner? is a specialized business that provides a variety of people with the opportunity to prepare health conscious, yet savory meals that can be frozen to take home and eat at a later time.  The purpose of this process is to both optimize the time investment needed to prepare the quality of meals that What’s For Dinner? will become known for, within the clients’ current schedules, and also for them to practice the proper health conscious behavior that has become the target lifestyle of a health deficient society.

What’s For Dinner? will provide a unique and distinctive service that will unite a party-like atmosphere with professional food preparation that will attract a growing repeat customer base.  What’s For Dinner? will allow families and busy professionals the ability to prepare a variety of meals quickly in a fun atmosphere, away from home, thus giving people more of what they are looking for – time.

Our goal is to be a self-sustaining corporate enterprise within 3 years from the company’s inception to begin expanding our menu offerings within 3 months and its location offerings within 4 years.  What’s For Dinner? will employ 4 individuals full time within 3 years, and will hit net profit goals of $100,000 by the end of its second year of existence.

In short, we will be in the business of helping our customers to relieve their daily stresses of what to fix their families for dinner by providing them with a great menu choice of meals that they will prepare.

1.2 Keys to Success

The keys to success in this business are:

  • Creating a high level of customer satisfaction in our service and products, which will lead to customer retention each month.
  • Marketing: getting our name out to the public, primarily through an intensive marketing campaign driven by our customers (word of mouth) with a supplemental vehicle of standardized and conventional marketing tactics.
  • Great product quality and variety that will be used to aid in customer retention and growth.
  • Finances: as our customer base increases we will be better able to lower our supply costs by buying more in bulk through food service distributors.
  • Variety of menus offered based on seasons, trends and customer preferences.
  • Exceeding our customers’ expectations by offering them a higher quality of food for a competitive price.
  • What’s For Dinner’s website will be an efficient and convenient place for customers to register and pay for parties.

1.3 Objectives

The objectives for What’s For Dinner? in the first three years of operation include:

  • To exceed customers’ expectations for food service and food service products.
  • To increase the number of clients served by 25% per year through superior service.
  • To develop a sustainable start-up business that is profitable.
  • To achieve an after tax net profit of $134K by year three.
  • To achieve a net income of more than 10% of sales by the third year.

Company Summary

What’s For Dinner? is a unique business where customers come to our Plano, TX location and prepare twelve pre-chosen meals that will be taken home and frozen until they are ready to cook and serve. All of the planning, shopping, food preparation and containers are provided with no worries to the customer. The meals will be prepared in a party like atmosphere where customers will have separate workstations to prepare their meals and have a good time with friends, both new and old.

Our goal is to provide our customers with home cooked meals that their families will enjoy, while saving them time and effort and relieve stress from that age-old question of What’s For Dinner?

The scheduling aspect of our company will be combination of a standard walk-up scheduling procedure, a phone messaging service and an intensive highly-interactive e-commerce website that will allow the customer to not only schedule parties but also to pay online, using standard secure technology.

2.1 Start-up Summary

The start-up expenses include:

  • Rent expenses include a deposit and rent for one month at $28.75 per square foot for 1,854 square feet, in the total amount of $5,182.
  • Utilities expenses for one month.
  • Insurance deposit and first month.
  • Sales & Marketing expenses including stationery, brochures, outdoor signage.
  • Website development.
  • Office, kitchen and janitorial supply expenses.
  • Leasehold improvements, including contractors fees and permits.

The required start-up assets of $50,000 include:

  • Kitchen Equipment (long-term assets)
  • Prep Tables (long-term assets)
  • Cooking utensils
  • Various Kitchen Utensils
  • Computer and small business software

Please note that the long-term assets above will be depreciated using G.A.A.P. approved straight-line depreciation method.

2.2 Company Ownership

What’s For Dinner? is a privately held Sub Chapter S-corporation. This allows for the protection allowed by the corporate legal structure combined with the “fall through” Generally Accepted Accounting Principals that will make personal financial sense to the corporations principle owners.  The principle owners of What’s For Dinner? are Alan and Kim Kirby; each owns a 50% stake in the company. This company operates under the jurisdiction of the State of Texas and the United States of America.

Services

What’s For Dinner? will provide its customers with twelve home cooked meals that they will freeze until customers are ready to serve them. These meals will be chosen from a set menu designed weekly by us and the meals will be prepared in our location. All of the planning, shopping, food preparation, recipe directions and containers will be provided to help make it as easy as possible for our customers to enjoy their time at our establishment.

Our customers will prepare their meals in a fun, party-like atmosphere where they can relax, meet new friends or spend time with old friends while preparing dinners for their families for the next month.

The Key benefits our customers will receive from using What’s For Dinner? are:

  • Spend less time in the kitchen
  • Less money on groceries & eating out – it keeps you from being tempted to eat out
  • Home style meals & better eating
  • Able to sit down at the table together as a family – including conversation and socialization
  • Clean up is easy, because prep is done outside the home, and all meals come in disposable containers
  • Less time spent on grocery shopping
  • In 2 hours you will have 12 dinners for you and your family
  • We create the menus – order the ingredients – slice, dice, chop and prepare
  • Social hour preparing dinners

Our menus and portion sizes are tailored for the group and individual customers. Seniors get added benefits, with diabetic, low-cholesterol, and low-sodium choices. Families can increase portion sizes for a small fee to accommodate more children or guests.

Market Analysis Summary

The Dallas area’s meal preparation market is untapped. As a matter of fact, there is no other business of this kind in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  Though there are no exact replicas of our company there are some types of companies that we would have to consider to be indirect competitors.  These include such companies and service professionals as caterers and those that will come to your home and prepare meals for you to freeze.  What’s For Dinner?, at this time, has few direct competitors, with exception to area restaurants and your basic home cooking. At the inception of What’s For Dinner?, there will be no type of company like ours in the area, thus giving us the overwhelming competitive advantage of first entry.

The What’s For Dinner? market is primarily in the Collin County area: Plano, Frisco, Allen and McKinney. We will be focusing on households in these areas that have more than one person. Primarily, those households whose income is over $50,000, with someone under the age of 18 living there.  As a secondary target market, we will market to the elderly population in the aforementioned areas. Initially, the greater portion of our customers will be busy, working class people and the growing group of single-parent families, but it will be of great benefit now and in the future to market our services to the highest growing population demographic – senior citizens.

The following statistics were taken from Table DP-1 Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 for Collin County.

4.1 Market Segmentation

What’s For Dinner? has three distinct target populations:

Family households with children under 18 years old. This group of people is generally busier than other families with their time split between work, home and their children’s activities. This group may be single parent households, which only adds to the stress resulting from lack of time, coupled with the need for proper meals for their children.  This provides them with a desire to provide their families with good meals and free time to enjoy being together.

Family households with no children living at their home. This group has a need for our services, as hectic schedules, professional careers, and daily demands on time come up against the need for tasty, healthy meals.  Depending on their work and home situations this demographic could use our service to enhance their selection of meals all the while minimizing their time in the kitchen. This group does recognize the benefits of our service and want to enjoy making meals for themselves and socializing through our business.

Senior and Elderly Citizens. This group (65 and older) is the fastest growing portion of the population, and needs our services for several reasons:

A good portion of this group is simply unable to cook nutritious meals and does not have the knowledge or skills to continue to effectively maneuver themselves in the kitchen.
Many seniors do not have the time, energy, or means to make it to the grocery store.

We will market several menus designed for the diet needs of the senior populace (diabetic, low cholesterol, low sodium), with pick-up and drop-off coordinated with a local senior-transportation center. All prep and measuring will be done beforehand, so they will need only to stir and combine ingredients. In addition to meeting their practical needs, we will create the social experience that this group consistently hunts for, and help them to enhance their lifestyle through a higher quality of health.

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

These target market segments were chosen based on their greater need for our services. Families with children are very busy, and they can end up spending a great deal on fast food and junk food because they don’t have time to cook healthy meals at home. Busy working couples and individuals without children are also busy, and may not have the skills or desire to plan and cook entire meals at home just for themselves; they can spend a lot on going out to eat. Seniors have special challenges in obtaining and preparing quality ingredients to feed themselves, including the loneliness of cooking for oneself. Options like “Meals on Wheels” are generally last-resorts, and many would prefer alternate food preparation arrangements, if any were available at a reasonable price – fixed incomes can be hard on the palate.

Our marketing strategies for all groups will emphasize our relatively inexpensive, fun, and easy approach to preparing healthy meals. We will vary our serving sizes, menu options, and level of preparation for each group; the family-size entree just right for a family of four makes no sense for a single individual. Different sized families have different needs, and it will be our goal to look to accommodate most family sizes through our variations in serving size.

The main objection most potential customers will raise is cost – $144 seems like a lot of money, up front, for a new, untested service. This is why we are starting our marketing and sales campaigns with established groups (church groups, cooking clubs, local senior center restaurant clubs), at a price reduction. These consumers already have experience socializing with each other, and our service will be an exciting change of pace in their calendars. We anticipate that these initial positive experiences will generate significant word of mouth and produce referrals so we can say to potential customers, “don’t just take our word for it – go ask people who’ve tried us!”

4.3 Service Business Analysis

Our service is unique among Dallas meal preparation options. There are no direct competitors for What’s For Dinner? The closest competitors are personal chefs, who will come to your home and prepare your chosen meals for you and freeze them, at a very high price. Our target market segments cannot afford personal chefs.

Our indirect competitors are area restaurants. These include family-oriented, inexpensive diners and casual restaurants, as well as fast food and takeout. We will generally not be competing with upscale, adult-oriented restaurants, since those are “special occasion” locations, and do not fulfill local residents’ daily meal needs.

Our competitor restaurants compete on price, perceived convenience, and atmosphere. They succeed when they convince customers that going out to eat is an affordable “treat” that is easier and more pleasant than preparing meals at home. In truth, the restaurants with the lowest prices also offer poor quality food and atmosphere, and the struggle to get children ready, out the door, and have them behave in a restaurant setting can make these choices less appealing in families’ realities than in their imagination. For all customers, the time it takes to get ready, travel to a restaurant, order dinner, eat, pay, and get home make going out to a eat a full-evening’s commitment – hardly the convenience it claims.

With the introduction of What’s For Dinner? to the Dallas market, we will revolutionize the way that the community looks at cooking convenience. Our prices really are much lower than restaurant meals, with much higher quality meals. In addition, our “convenience” comes in two ways – preparing meals at a set time, outside the daily routine, so they are ready in advance, and eating and minimal clean-up right in the customer’s own home, which saves time and energy at the end of a long day.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

Even though What’s For Dinner? has no direct competitors, we will set up our business as if we are entering an already aggressive and hostile market.  This is aimed at helping us to become successful through a constant drive for increased service model efficiencies and marketing effectiveness. We will strive to excel in customer service excellence, continuing our menu varieties and achieving the highest standards for our food products. As owners, we feel that word of mouth and customer retention are significant factors in our success. Our convenient locations, sanitary facilities, competitive pricing structure and honorable reputation will all play a part in satisfying our customers and increasing our clientele at an accelerating rate. What’s For Dinner? will focus on these factors and always strive to improve our business model and service offerings.  We will strive to be the very best in our industry and will not rest until we not only have the largest market share in our industry, but also have the most satisfied customers.

The buying patterns of our customer base will be affected by our initial meal prep party prices.  We have concluded through our exhaustive focus market groups that we could set our prices high, since there is no direct competitor, but we feel that to attract and retain customers and be able to steadily grow our customer base, so we should price ourselves at a lower level first. By setting ourselves at the lower end of our pricing range, we will not only gain the attention of the vast majority of our target markets, but we will also be able to start our revenue streams off with an upward growth pattern. The price that we will choose will be reasonable for our customers and be adequate for the business to maintain a gross margin around 25%.

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