Items filtered by date: February 2015 - Book to Cook - Book to Cook Tue, 28 Sep 2021 04:27:36 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb The top 5 Benefits of Hiring a commercial kitchen for your food business The top 5 Benefits of Hiring a commercial kitchen for your food business
I was talking to Lani from Yelp Brisbane the other day when she came out to visit our space. Our conversation drifted towards the benefits of hiring a commercial kitchen space as opposed to cooking from home and I realised there were many benefits that are usually overlooked. Our conversation inspired me to write post about it so I decided to compile a list of the top 5 reasons to hire a commercial kitchen for your food business.

1. You are more productive
Lani and I were discussing this after she used our office spaces for hire the other day. When you take the time to get out of your home, change your environment and hire a space to use, your productivity increases dramatically. Not only does the physical change of environment stimulate your mind, but your mindset will change with the introduction of a definitive start and end time. Many articles I have read over the years have all recognised a similar concept of key triggers. Over time, just by walking through the door to the kitchen and unpacking your ingredients, this will trigger your subconscious to go “ok, now it’s time to work”. At home, there are distractions such as pets, kids, tv and chores that disrupt our routine and play havoc with our focus.

2. Professional Equipment means Professional Product
Just as good quality ingredients mean a great quality product, professional equipment will ensure your product is as good as it can be. There are areas in your business where you can cut cost to save money, but when it comes down to the product you are selling, you only get one chance with a customer. Get it right and not only will they keep coming back, they will spread the word and help build grow your business.

3. Protect your carefully built brand image
You have and will spend many hours building a loyal customer base and strong brand image that your customers will come to love and trust. They trust that you are producing a high quality product that is produced in a high quality environment. If there was an incident to occur in relation to a businesses food product such as food poisoning, and their customers found out that their processes did not meet regulations, it would be much harder to rebuild trust and loyalty with the brand than if they followed council regulations and could claim they were doing the right thing.

4. Your insurance will actually mean something
Public liability insurance is something we unavoidably need to have when owning a food business. It protects us in the rare incident of food poisoning or a similar case, however failing to follow regulations would mean that money would be wasted. Insurance will be helpful unless you are unable to prove that you have been following the correct procedures.

5. Scale with ease
Studies have found that one of the biggest fears of small business owners is that they will not be able to handle rapid growth if it were to occur. Let me assure you, like Guy Kawasaki said in his awesome talk “The top 10 mistakes of an entrepreneurs”, this is the best problem you can have. With a commercial kitchen, this will make the process much smoother. Increase your hours of hiring and double your staff if necessary to meet demand, other than this, you can fine tune your process methods to ensure they are as smooth as possible. No need to look for a venue, then have to wait while your food license is approved before moving premises and having to adjust to new equipment and all the hassle that comes with moving.
]]> (Super User) Blog Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000
4 Habits Of Persistence Every Entrepreneur Should Have 4 Habits Of Persistence Every Entrepreneur Should Have

Startup companies can seem fun. Working for yourself, in your own time, getting paid what you make, doing what you love - but it’s not always as it seems. Don’t get me wrong, working in my own startup has been great, and if you have your own passion you wish to follow or are following, I encourage you whole heartedly and say go for it - but with anything good, there often challenges that we will face. It is how we deal with these that will ultimately determine our success. Based on what I have read and learned, I have constructed a list of 4 habits I believe are essential for an entrepreneur to have during the start up process.

Stay true to your dream, don’t dilute it.
A chef I used to work with told me this during a busy service whilst telling her my plans for the future. She told me how people will say “You need to do this”, “You need to do that”, and if you listen to them you will dilute your true goal and dream of heading where you want to go. Only you fully understand your vision because it’s in your head. It’s like someone trying to drive your car from the passengers seat while you are in the drivers seat. Only you have full vision and control of what is really going on, anything they might do or suggest may lead to disaster.

This ties in with staying true to your dream. Once you have written your business plan, be consistent. If your initial customer base isn’t as big as you first hoped or response to your product is not to the extent of what you imagined, that is OK! Humans take time to try and adjust to new things. It might take a while to catch on, perhaps longer than you had hoped, but be consistent. Stick to your guns and keep doing what you believe in, by changing how you do things every few weeks, you will confuse your customer and not convey a message of strength through your brand.

Try, try, try again.
As with consistency, you must continue to persist with what it is you are doing. Persistence is the key to success. If it was fast and easy, everyone would be doing it and making it. As William Edward Hickson so brilliantly stated, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. Don’t give up, often the toughest times come just before a major breakthrough. It is that persistence and thirst for your goals that will ultimately bring you success.

Fail wisely - learn from your mistakes
Failure can be one of the most valuable learning experiences in business, if you use it correctly. Of course no one sets out to fail, but it has been proven over and over again that failing is the best way for humans to learn something the right way. Naturally we have a fear of failing, and fear is one of the biggest motivators. If you are running to come first in a 100m sprint, or running from a savage dog snapping at your heels, I can guarantee which one will have you running faster and harder. This is why failure can be helpful, it drives us to be better, more than the motivation of reaching for our goals. So by failing once, we can assess how and where we went wrong, and out of fear, we make sure we don’t do it again.

As I mentioned before, I encourage you whole heartedly to start something, take on that idea you have been toying with. Just make sure you equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to set yourself up for success.
]]> (Super User) Blog Thu, 19 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000
Free coffee from community cafe Free coffee from community cafe

The Idea
So if you have been following our social media at all, you will know that tomorrow we will be launching what we have affectionately been calling our “Book to Cook Coffee Drop”. The idea started from a narrow space between the end of our walk-in freezer and roller door. When building our kitchens, council restrictions prevented us from building too close to the roller door. We always wanted to turn this space into something but it always seemed too small. One day we had an epiphany and decided we could put in a coffee machine and food produced by our customers in our own kitchen.

Free Coffee
What better way to run a coffee shop than to have ALL of the food prepared just behind in our kitchens by local Brisbane food start ups. This means we can support our customers by stocking their product as well as giving the community a chance to come down and support local startup Brisbane businesses. Tomorrow on our launch day we want to celebrate with our customers and cooks by offering a free small coffee (or hot beverage) to everyone that comes down between 6am and 12pm. Our coffee has been carefully selected and is locally roasted in Brisbane. Our cabinet has a few items with more to be added over the coming weeks as our Book to Cook customers begin to fill the shelves with their delightful creations.

How it Works
As the name suggests, it is a Coffee Drop, there is minimal seating at this stage, but the idea is to drop in and pick up a coffee and your lunch or treat for the day to take with you. While you are here you are welcome to check out our facilities particularly our office spaces for hire or our creative space upstairs where you can host meetings, workshops or training events.

We have been working hard to get the coffee drop up and running and now it is here. Starting tomorrow we hope to see all of your wonderful faces turning up for your free coffee and supporting local food businesses.
]]> (Super User) Blog Mon, 16 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000
3 Essentials to kick start your business on social media 3 Essentials to kick start your business on social media
Word of mouth is still believed to be the strongest form of advertising you can do. A recommendation coming from someone who has no affiliation with your business is the best kind. They are recommending your services to a friend, so firstly they are a trusted source and secondly they gain nothing from it - so it is a genuine reference.

Whilst, “word of mouth” style advertising is often the strongest, it used to be something we were unable to control; these days however, social media changes all of that.
I like to think of it as todays word of mouth, but on steroids. If someone shares a post on Facebook, that is their recommendation to read, view or visit the post that they have shared about. It is because of this that it is important to harness the power of social media to get the ball of online chatter about your business rolling.

We have put together three simple yet critical steps to kick start your business on social media and make sure you get it right.

1. Post quality content
This is important for a few reasons. Readers do not want to waste their time reading about something or following someone they don’t care about. They want to get something out of it. Secondly, it says something about your brand, if you are posting low quality photos with low lighting or short statuses that seem to be irrelevant to what your company is trying to do, then it can damage your brand (depending on what you are going for).

Make sure your content is relevant to your followers and give them something they can use. Whether that is new information about a cafe that just opened up that they should try, something that is happening in your business like a product launch (be careful not to SELL over social media) or simply a link to a blog post that will help them with something relevant to your product/services.

To recap - there are two types of quality content.
1. Rich and thoughtful content that is of a high quality both in information and visual aesthetic.
2. Relevant content to your readers that they will gain something from.

2. Post often
There is nothing worse than a social media page that looks like a ghost town. You want to make your business look alive and active. Social media is really a behind the scenes look at a business and a way for customers to follow what that business is up to. By keeping your customers informed in what you are up to and delivering relevant, quality content to them, you will stay forefront in their minds and they will be more likely to spread the word about you. Alternatively, if you haven’t posted something for 4 months, I can guarantee you will have fallen deep into the pit of forgotten memories.

If it helps, write up a schedule for each social media platform that you are on and when you will aim to post. This is not necessary but can help to make sure you stay on top of your social media. Timing can also be critical when posting on social media to maximise the reach of your post. I read a great article the other day on Buffer Social titled A scientific guide to posting tweets, facebook posts, emails, and blog posts at the best time. Give it a read and experiment with what time and type of posts work best for you.

3. Become part of the community
As important as posting content is, this is not the end of it, merely the beginning. It is called a social network of people for a reason: because you network, with people. Engage your audience and community, if someone comments - respond. Even if the comment is negative, attempt to repair the relationship with the customer and perhaps ask them to contact you privately in order to resolve the issue. Just move the conversation off social media as soon as possible. Aside from this, seek our other businesses relevant to you and like/follow their pages. Comment on and share their awesome posts, they may return the favour (giving you reach to their customers as well). By doing this you will start to develop relationships and become part of a community. Businesses will refer you to their customers and you will do the same. You will support them and they will support you. By staying stagnate and not engaging with your audience and other businesses, it may seem as if you are on social media to promote yourself, and that is not word of mouth at all.
]]> (Super User) Blog Thu, 05 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000