MARKETING FOOD ONLINE



Food Business Start up Advice: Subscriber Questions from our YOUTUBE channel

Posted by Damian Roberti on

We are YouTube, premier food entrepreneur channel talking about everything you need to know to get a food product into market, or start your own food business online, or get a food truck up and running and everything in between. So I'm going to hop into a handful. I've got my laptop open as always. I'm going to jump into some subscriber questions. And as always, before I do that, if you need consulting or if you need help, we have a ton of consulting programs available on marketing food, online.com to throw out a really, really quick, super quick pitch for Mark and you put online.com. Take a look at our website. We also have a podcast. We have some closed closed groups on Facebook as well. So do definitely stop by. We have a ton of different resources other than the 600 videos.

 

 

We already have uploaded here on YouTube. So I am a little bit on the tired side. I might look like I just got here. I got in late last night for the holidays. I was traveling. I was in Miami for a, a little over a week. So I just got back in last night, extremely late. And here in the, now it's a lot slower, but here in the shipping department and getting ready to get into the new year. So I want to hop into, I did accumulate a ton of questions. Now. I'm not going to answer all of them right now on this video. Cause I'd like to keep it short and sweet and just pick a few of them out and then help you guys out. And then I'll do another subscriber Q and a video very, very shortly. So as always, if you've got, excuse me, if you've got some questions that you need answered please do let me know down below.

And I do my best to get to them. Our fourth quarter, which was our wrapping up our holidays. We were extremely busy, so I didn't, I didn't post a lot of video content. I do all the video content myself and work here, of course, running our business and our several stores online. So I'm super swamped. So let me get right down to it. The first question is from food revolution three 60. Okay. So this is a great question. It actually is something that I have answered similar questions about before. And it's really in regards to a product I'm just going to kind of recap what she has, but she has a product. She has it in several variations, but she's looking into getting a co-packer to work with her, to develop it and then produce it which is a great idea.

Read Greg Roche's answer to Is it worth starting a food truck? on Quora

I recommend you take a look at some of our other videos on what co-packers are and what they can do for you, but definitely keep in mind. Her question was about the co-packer taking credit for her recipe or marketing as their own. Okay. Number one, you can sign a lot of co-packers and private label companies. They also, they work differently. They have different types of contracts, but you can definitely ask for a NDA non-disclosure agreement, which is actually legally binding them to not produce or take the idea and produce it. But the unfortunate thing is that you really have no legal recourse for recipes. You don't necessarily have the ability to either patent them or copyright them recipes or something that you can't do only because recipes can be taken. I can make it an add very little variation to it.

16 Food Business Ideas:

And that actually changes the recipe completely. Therefore then becomes mine. So, but not to scare you away, co-packers are traditionally not in the business of stealing recipes. You just need to let them know how to produce your product, let them make it for you. Now it's not really necessarily a co-packer taking credit for a product. They are going to be putting your name on it and they're producing it for you. So your packaging, your label, your logo, your trademark, all of that is on your product. They don't necessarily do that. I personally have never heard of that in the industry myself. I'm not saying that that's never not happened, but normally you can get yourself covered, but sometime have a contractual agreement. And traditionally you'll have something like a non, a nondisclosure agreement set up. But again, they're in the business really to their reputation is really on the line.

When it comes to producing products for you, because before you actually go into an agreement with a co-packer or a private label company I highly recommend you definitely get some references. You get some companies that they've worked with and called them up and see how they've worked above all above all in regards to signing the contract references are really important. And I would highly recommend you do that. And it's nothing for them to say, Hey, yeah. If your name is Sarah, you know, Hey Sarah, yeah, we can give you about five or six different companies. You can contact them. If you have a co-packer and they don't want to give you some type of reference, you may just need to find another co-packer. So I would not worry about it too much. Again, they're not in the business of stealing ideas.

 Form an LLC for your Food Business.

Their reputation is really built upon the fact that they're going to produce a product professionally and to your criteria. And that is really that's how their, their whole businesses on the line because of that. So normally they're not in the business of steal from somebody. So, so my next question is from David and David was actually asking in regards to social media and he's having a little bit of a challenge trying to figure out how to utilize social media for his food cart. He does not have a food truck, but he does have a food card. So here's some tips and pointers on how social media could benefit you. So now, if you are utilizing a cart, which is kind of familiar as similar to a truck, only in the sense that it's mobile and you can take it to different places, you're not stationary, kind of like a restaurant or anything of that sort.

Now, what I would recommend you do is if you've got a food cart and you don't have any social media followings yet, or if you have any, no engagement, go ahead and create an account on all the social media platforms, everywhere from Twitter to Instagram, Facebook, and everybody in between. Now, when you go to a certain market, or if you set your cart up, you can definitely ask those people who come to you to either take a picture with your product, give a recommendation tell them that they've got a discount. If you see them again, or if you're going to be back in the same spot, a discount for them to go to social media, follow you and post a comment about the product, give a review. And then that way they can redeem a certain code when they come back. Or if you have a cart that's frequency in a certain spot, similar to a food truck where you're going to be repeating a certain place over and over and over, give them an incentive to come back.

Plus you're giving them an incentive to interact and engage with your social media. Now, this is the same type of concept you can do it with the food truck is if you frequent again, frequent certain places within a city, or maybe your County or wherever it may be that you're at, you will definitely begin to get locals and followers. So you need to give them some reason to go to your social media page and whether it's on Instagram, maybe they need to like and comment. And then you gotta, you have some type of a discount code or coupon they can bring back when they see you again. So any type of incentive where you can exchange a benefit for the consumer to be back into interact and engage with your social media, that's always going to be a win-win. Now this doesn't necessarily take over take a long time to do, if you are already in certain areas that certain places with your food truck or a food cart, you can begin to implement this literally instantly.

Need to incprorate ? or get legal advice for your food business?

Okay. So what I would recommend you do is to create some type of an incentive, sit down and give them a reason to do it, and then encourage that when they interact with your food cart or a food truck, you definitely want them to know about it because they're not just going to know off the top of your head. You give them some type of leaflet, a flyer, even a business card with a special code, but it has to be, it has to be redeemed or has to be got from your page, your social media page. And that way it'll give them a reason to go there. Okay. So try that out, but you got to give it a little bit, be patient with the process and give it a little bit of time so they can begin to come back and then engage and spend more money, obviously with your food cart.

Try to make it if you can. I'm not sure where you're actually out of, but try to make it where you are going to be at a certain period of so certain places in time, on a regular basis. That way you can build up a clientele, local clientele and followers and loyal customers who will be back for more over and over and over. So give that a shot, but definitely create a page on Facebook. That's not related to your personal account, but as a dedicated to your food cart, go to Instagram again, dedicated to your food cart and so on and so on as you get the picture, but make sure that you have to give them a reason and let them know where you are. Okay. Now, the other great thing to let you know, David, here's one other great tip. If you have a product that you're making, if you've got the ability to sell it through a website, you can also tell your customers.

And again, if this goes for food, truck operators or even food cart operators, if you've got a product, let's say it happens to be a sauce or some type of hot sauce, or maybe barbecue sauce, and you've selling that online. Or if you have that idea and you haven't produced to get, think about making a product that will encourage them to go to your website, that'll encourage them to go to your social media. And then that way they can purchase that product. And you can get another stream of revenue. Other than your food cart, you may have the ability to create a website where you can begin to sell products that people are loving from your food cart. Okay. Always try to think outside the box and maximize the amount of places you can be online because when you're physically at a location and you have a food truck you're operating or a food cart, and you are literally at that one single location in you are there, you're running the show and you're making, you're going to make only so much money at that one location.

If you've got something that you can keep active 24 seven all over the internet, if it's on Amazon, on eBay, on Etsy, on your own website selling on Facebook, wherever it may be, try to put that product in as many possible places as possible, because that's going to generate a lot of other streams of revenue while your at one particular spot selling your product. Okay. That's why we have over six. We have seven where we have it. We're going to, at the end of the end of 2020, we'll have 10 stores online. We've got three more that we're working on right now. And they're going to be selling different products that we actually produce and make. And the addition to that we'll have other YouTube channels that we're actually working on now as well. We're putting together a channel. That's very similar to a lot of these channels, where they are producing a food product, and it's a sped up time-lapse process similar to tasty and acute, a few other ones just to throw some names out there.

But yeah, we have a couple of websites that we'll have wrapped up as well as some additional YouTube channels as well. So we're always trying to figure out other ways to create revenue online. And so my third question from a, my subscriber is a great one and it's, it's actually something that's similar to what I get a lot of questions about, about how bringing a business from home. So the question here was, if I produce a food product from home, can I sell it to restaurants or local retailers? Well, yes and no. And I know I answered a lot of my questions that way, but let me explain why there's a lot of different cottage food laws that are in place for every state. Some States will allow you to do that only if you have certain licenses issued by the state and it's approved by the County and the city that you're actually in, but most of the cottage food laws throughout the U S don't allow you to produce any food product that goes to a restaurant, and then it's considered a third party.

And then from there, the restaurant would turn around and sell it to a customer. Many of those food products actually have to be sold by you, the producer, and there are certain guidelines of what you can and cannot make. So the idea of going directly into a restaurant or a retail store from home for the most part is probably not like a allowed to, to happen only because of those laws that prohibit that in between that third party standing between you and the final consumer or customer. Now, with that being said, there are some States that do allow certain of ingredients that can be used and sold to restaurants that they then produce a dinner or a plate. And then that's sold to a customer that is allowed. You'd have to double check with your state. Now, if you want to go on our channel, I've got probably about 15 or 16 States.

So far, we have videos lined up that are going to have the rest of the cottage food States and explain to you what you can and can't use at each state. But for the most part, when you're, when you're producing a food product from home, a third party is definitely something that is not allowed. So I'm going to check out one more question and then I will wrap this video up and keep it short and sweet. Okay. Here's a great one. So if I have a food truck, can I produce what I need my ingredients to create the food truck food products? Can I produce that in my food truck or do I have to use a commissary or commercial kitchen? Okay. So this is a great question. What I personally would recommend you do is utilize a commissary, which is basically similar to a commercial kitchen or actually use or rented commercial kitchen to produce your ingredients.

Then you would load your truck up, take your truck to the destination where you're going. And then from there you would piece together as your orders come in, you would bring together those ingredients for your final dish. Or if they're baked goods, you'd be baking them or whatever it may be that you're producing in your food truck. Keep in mind though, I'm looking down at the question to make sure I got it. So keep in mind though, the amount of money you spend to rent a commercial kitchen needs to be factored in as a cost when it comes to pricing out your food truck plates or your dishes or whatever the food is that you're producing. And you want to figure out how many of those plates per night or per event, or how much you want to make per day in order for you to be profitable, you've got to consider all potential costs.

So everything from the renting of a commercial kitchen to the payroll that you've got and about a hundred other expenses, you want to keep that in mind. And as you go to certain events, you want to figure out how many actual customers you need to sell to, and how much does those each of those customers need to purchase from you. So creating the cost of the price for your product, for your customer customer on your food truck, in order for you to do that profitably, you need to make sure you kind of project and figure out how much you need to sell and factor in every single aspect of that final dish and what it took to produce it in order for you to be profitable. So would that be inset? I'll wrap that up. If you guys have any questions, do let me know down below as always, if you've got a question about your food product or creating a food business and we will get to it as soon as possible. So I will see you guys on the next video and if you're not subscribed, definitely hit the subscriber button. We'll see you on the next video.

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