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While some of the more famous success stories started there, the progression of the startup has reached well beyond the tech realm and into a variety of industries – including foodservice.
There’s a lot to be learned from those scrappy self-starters, including how to make the most of a lean budget. While your business may be well established, by integrating a few simple lessons from successful startups, you can realize extra savings that have a significant impact on your bottom line.
WATCH EMERGING TRENDS
You’ll notice that startups are always on the cusp of new trends and industry shakeups. That’s because they keep themselves in the know, with their finger on the pulse of their industry, by design.
You, too, can keep up to date on trade journals and consumer magazines to see what folks are talking about. Engage in valuable conversations with your customers on a regular basis for insightful feedback. Also keep an eye on competitors and leading brands both in and outside of your industry, for how they’re adapting to changing consumer preferences and evolving social behaviors.
Much like your startup inspiration, don’t be afraid to trailblaze a new idea that fits your business model and audience. Start small, and measure results. If it works – ramp up! If it doesn’t – be smart and agile enough to figure out why, and respond accordingly.
BE ECO-FRIENDLY ON THE CHEAP
For all the fun, energy and enthusiasm that can come with launching a new business venture, the downside can be a smaller budget. That’s why startups are great at making the most out of their money.
Almost every industry is looking toward more eco-friendly practices and products, because consumers not only want it – they expect it.
If you’re inclined, use products that are all natural, non-GMO or certified organic. Many customers are willing to pay for the higher perceived quality and give you credit for engaging in good practices.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to engage in eco-friendly behaviors without breaking the bank.
Even something as simple as your to-go containers can say a lot about you. Send the right message with products like Vio® from WinCup – the first and only biodegradable* foam cup and food container on the market, with coordinating lids and straw that also biodegrade*. When it comes to green products, Vio is the lowest cost disposable cup around. This allows you to show your commitment to better processes, while keeping your balance sheet in check.
REDUCE FOOD WASTE
Startups can’t afford to be wasteful and honestly, neither can you. Even when your staff has grown and business is booming, employing a food reduction strategy can be a matter of both financial and social responsibility.
Remember that tracking food waste is the first step to fixing it. That includes keeping an eye on how many plates are returning to the kitchen either fully or partially loaded.
At the back of the house, place all prep waste in one bin with a clear trash liner. That makes it easy to measure the amount and then use the data to set goals during employee waste reduction training. Your supplier is a great asset when it comes to figuring how to order just enough.
For unavoidable surplus, employ some creativity: the gem of any startup. Think of how to transform extra proteins, produce and more into daily specials, complimentary staff meals or well-appreciated donations.
In the end, thinking like a startup simply means working smarter and being more agile,so you can make decisions that get you the most out of your dollars and give customers something to rave about at the same time.
*Cups biodegrade 92% over 4 years, lids biodegrade 66.2% over 6.6 years, straws biodegrade 78.9% over 5.8 years. Tested under conditions that simulate both wetter and biologically active landfills using the ASTM D5511 test. Wetter or biologically active landfills may not exist in your area. The stated rate and extent of degradation do not mean that the product will continue to decompose.