"In this book we will communicate just how competitive and serious the business of specialty food retailing is today. We will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the industry, the market today, tools to [enable you] to make a commitment to go ahead, a thorough outline for your business plan, checklists for the most important planning stages, anecdotes and recommendations from the top players in the industry, and tips and insights into the intangibles of what makes good businesses good. You will have a better chance of success by being well armed and taking all the right precautions through careful preopening research and development. And you will see that, for success, it is not just information and organization but ample funding that will give your new business a fighting chance to ripen, develop, and succeed. Guided by this text and the accumulated wisdom of sage retailers who've paved the way, and fueled by your own enterprising spirit and imagination, dream big, plan carefully, and proceed with confidence to success."
-- From the Preface of Gourmet to Go It begins with a dream, a longing for the independence, self-reliance, and creative freedom of running your own specialty take-out food store. But if you want that dream to become a reality, you can't rely solely on your expertise as a chef, manager, or owner of a previous business -- you'll need to develop all of those skills and more. You need a comprehensive, reliable information source that shows you what to expect and prepares you to deal with the unexpected. You need to learn from the successes and failures of others how to envision, plan, finance, establish, and run a successful gourmet retail operation. You need Gourmet to Go. This full-spectrum guide offers solid direction on every aspect of the retail specialty food industry. Making liberal use of case studies, Robert Wemischner and Karen Karp lead you step by step through each phase of the development and operation of a take-out gourmet store. They help you find the concept that's right for you, write a business plan, and secure the financing you'll need.
Next, you'll discover what to look for in choosing your location; how to communicate with designers, builders, and contractors; and the ins and outs of legal structure and complying with government regulations. You'll learn how to select graphic designs, purchase and price merchandise, hire and train employees, set store policies, and manage your cash. Each of these issues is presented in a clear, forthright style that enables you to understand your options and make informed choices. You'll also learn how to: Market and promote your store and build a steady clientele Exceed your customers' expectations for quality and service Use in-store signage and irresistible merchandise displays to increase sales Expand or convert an existing business Fine-tune your business to promote growth Whether you're a foodservice professional yearning for independence or a retailer looking to expand or transform your current business; whether you're a caterer wanting to offer your creations to a broader public or a successful manager in search of a great business opportunity, Gourmet to Go helps you start strong and guides you every step of the way, until your dream comes true.