As part of Enterprising Donegal Business week 2015 I had the great fortune of presenting & hosting an evening of food business in Donegal at the Village Tavern in Mount Charles.
The title for the evening’s presentation was “Food For Thought” & the theme of the evening was an “Insight into the business opportunities in the food sector and the expectations required to demonstrate commitment to good food”
We decided upon having the event in an actual food business as we wanted to be at the heart of food; the dinning room in the Village Tavern was perfect for this. On a Tuesday evening in March it was great to see so many people turn out for the evening.
The key topics we spoke about – Getting it right first time & how important first impressions are for your customer – be it food service or food product! How do you measure this? Is it the meet & greet? Commitment to getting the small thing rights…. If you can deliver on a great bowl of soup, fresh tasting bread, finish with a great coffee & clean toilets. Very simple measurements. Not the most glamorous, for me this if the real bench mark of creating a first & lasting impression, Get the customer, keep the customer!
The business of food – no matter how sexy food is, if you’re not making money you are wasting your time. Know your food costs, set your margins, and work on a realistic gross profit. Be good to your suppliers, they need to make a buck to. Talk to your chefs. A chef’s knowledge can be the key to optimizing food costs. It’s important to make the finances work! Nose to tail cooking isn’t just about origins of food – in the hands of a skilled chef, its profit.
Trends, Gaps & Opportunities – being a foodie in Ireland is a trend that is on the up & is great customer base for food companies to focus on. It also represents a chance for start up food companies to get into business. So could Donegal make cured meats using our local Dexter’s or pork – we have a great local supply. More things can be done locally “may be a bit mad, but good to mad sometimes in food”. Coffee roasting, if some one can roast coffee in Scotland, why cant some one roast coffee in Donegal? Chefs table….opportunity to offer experience & make customers feel special while up selling too. Comfort food opportunity…..Grilled Cheese truck shops in London to do comfort with a New York twist.
Commitment to good food – is about food safety. Food safety is important. Protects your business, protects your customer!
Kevin Pykes from “Pykes & Pommes Street Food ” & Enda O Rourke From ” Village Tavern” gave us an insight into their food business & will feature in the next blog post on the second part of Food For Thought.
Down To Business With Bobby Kerr on Newstalk Radio
I was delighted to appear on Newstalk “Down to Business” presented by Bobby Kerr. The programme was broadcast from Donegal & Featured over a dozen local businesses. It was a very positive event & great national exposure for a county bursting with small & medium size companies.
Listen back below as I discuss with Bobby Kerr how I work with companies & my views on food, tourism & the bottom line.