Launching a new business requires careful planning. This includes creating a financial model that highlights expected revenues and costs. Small business loans are often the most common funding source for new businesses.
Identify your target customers. These may include office workers looking for a quick lunch break, local residents with a passion for fine food and tourists and day trippers.
1. Add a Bakery
Delis are a popular type of local business where customers can grab a quick bite to eat. They often sell high-quality meat products and sandwich breads, as well as a variety of other foods. Delis also provide customers with catering options for lunches, meetings and parties. While catering orders can be a challenge for delis to fulfill, there are some ways that businesses can improve their catering operations.
First, deli owners should consider the demographics of their location and identify potential customers. This can help them decide what kind of food to serve and how much space they need. It’s also important to understand the competition in the area. This can help owners determine the best way to differentiate their deli from others in the area.
Finally, delis should make sure to comply with all regulations. This includes registering their business and ensuring that they have the necessary paperwork. Additionally, they should consider hiring a restaurant tax professional to help them understand how to file taxes for their business. This can ensure that they are getting the correct amount of money from their sales.
2. Add a Catering Menu
Infusing your catering menu with special details or unique menu items alongside standard offerings can help your deli stand out from the competition. For example, if you have the capability to offer grab-and-go options or pre-made charcuterie boards that customers can take home to serve to guests, this will set you apart from competitors.
The menu you offer will influence your patrons’ choices and their feelings about your restaurant, so you must carefully devise it. Ensure that it is clearly written and attractively presented — on both in-house menus and disposable take-away menu brochures. Also consider the decorations you use and the overall ambiance of your establishment to convey a particular theme or feeling to diners.
Adding a catering option to your business isn’t just a great way to increase sales, but it can also be an excellent way to reach out to new customers and build your reputation. Elizabeth Choto of Grazedat Catering found that posting appealing pictures of her dishes on social media, coupled with an automated ordering system, saved her 80% of the time she previously spent processing orders.
3. Add a Bar
Despite the food trends that come and go, delis remain popular with customers who prefer quick meals. These restaurants offer a wide range of options from salads to sandwiches and are often found in business districts, mall food courts and residential areas.
You can attract a loyal following for your deli catering business by offering unique recipes that are known to your patrons. Whether it is your homemade pesto, hummus, strawberry pie or award-winning pastrami, this will help to set you apart from the competition and establish a reputation for quality.
Once you have established your menu, find a space that best suits the type of deli you wish to open. Full-service delis require restaurant-sized spaces that have kitchen facilities, while smaller sandwich delis can function from retail or food truck locations. Consider the demographics of the area; you want your location to appeal to a business lunch crowd as well as to local residents for dinner or breakfast. Also, make sure that the location complies with health codes and inspection requirements for your city or county.
4. Add a Dessert Bar
Hitting the deli for lunch is a daily ritual for many people, and there are plenty of opportunities to make your business grow. Here are some of our favorite ideas to help you get started:
Create a unique deli brand that sets you apart from your competition. One way to do this is by creating a theme for your menu, like this deli in Costa Mesa that names each sandwich after a musician or song.
Another way to set yourself apart is by using technology to streamline the ordering process. Some delis use handhelds or QR code ordering to make the experience more convenient for customers. This can also improve productivity by reducing the number of people needed to prepare food.
Lastly, use your business plan to help you determine the type of deli you want to open and what types of food you will sell. Make sure to include startup costs and your marketing strategy, as well as managerial responsibilities. And don’t forget to apply for an EIN (employer identification number) and take care of any restaurant tax requirements in your area.
5. Add a Coffee Bar
Adding a coffee bar to your deli catering business can help your business grow. This is because coffee is a popular beverage, and people will be more likely to visit your deli if they can get a quick cup of coffee before work.
Start with a business plan: Having a strong plan can help you identify your objectives, services, and operations. It can also serve as a guide when planning for growth and managing your finances.
Research your location and community: Find out where your ideal customers spend their time. For example, you can find out where they buy their lunch, their favorite grocery stores and malls, and other places they frequent. Having this information will help you locate your restaurant in an area with high foot traffic and potential customer numbers.
Obtain all required permits and licenses: You will need to apply for food permits, health and fire safety certificates and more. It is best to do this early on to avoid delays. Develop a logo: A professional and memorable logo will improve brand recognition and help your patrons recall your establishment.
6. Add a Beer Bar
Whether you are opening your first deli or looking to expand your business, you’ll need the right tools and equipment to get started. Besides a cash register, you’ll need to buy food storage containers, a ticket system, and other restaurant essentials like paper towels. You also need to design your menu and come up with a theme. This will help you attract customers and build loyalty.
Identifying your clientele will also help you determine what kind of deli to open. Do you want to focus on grab-and-go options for people in a hurry? Are you interested in catering to office workers and other organizations? Or do you want to offer seating and more formal dining?
Conducting market research is a vital part of starting any business. This includes researching your competitors to examine their products and prices, as well as customer reviews and ratings. You should also decide on a legal form and secure funding for your deli. This may include personal savings, loans from family and friends, or crowdfunding.
7. Add a Wine Bar
Adding a wine bar to your Deli Catering business is a great way to increase your revenue. It’s also a great way to promote your business and attract new customers. In addition, a wine bar will help you stand out from the competition and attract customers who are looking for something more unique.
Research the market and industry to identify any challenges or opportunities. Look at competitors in your area, including the products they offer, price points, and customer reviews. You may even find that the local market is missing a specific type of deli, such as one that offers homemade rye bread or hot food options like potato pancakes and grilled cheese.
Develop your branding and marketing strategy. Consider the name of your restaurant, ensuring that it’s available (you can check this against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered businesses). You’ll need to register the business, obtain an employee identification number, and familiarize yourself with restaurant tax requirements.
It’s also important to get a bank account and credit card for your restaurant. This will help you separate personal from business expenses and keep track of all your restaurant finances.
8. Add a Dessert Bar
Hitting a deli for lunch is a daily ritual for many office workers, and the global market for deli sandwiches and other foods is worth more than $300 billion. With a little creativity and business sense, you can start your own deli catering business and make a decent living.
Before you open your doors, research the competition by examining their products, price points, and customer reviews. Identify what they do well and where they are falling short, then fill those gaps to gain an edge over your competition.
You may also need to obtain a food service license and get insurance before you can begin operating. In addition, the start-up costs for a deli can be substantial and include rent, food preparation equipment, labor, inventory, advertising, and more. If you’re on a tight budget, consider leasing food prep and merchandising equipment rather than purchasing it outright. Depending on your location, you may also need to get food-safety certifications from your local government.