I WAS out this weekend to get a haircut and shop for ingredients for this week’s bookings. Is it just me or have you also noticed several giant food businesses closing down after so many years of existence? They have been around for more than half my age! This pandemic clutches everyone’s throats. We, too, gave up our canteen after almost 20 years in operations. I’m sure we business owners share the same stories.
Shangri-La had to close down by mid-2020. Photo courtesy Shangri-La
Some lost their fire, some started their spark
During this time one can’t just sit and wait it out until the scourge is over. This shows how creative, innovative, resilient, and inspired people can get despite the challenges thrown at them. You learn of stories of people from different walks of life who lost their jobs, their means of livelihood, and are making ends meet if not thriving.
A food business seems to be the easiest to do. Attending to basic considerations has some challenges, do’s, and don’ts. The right food handling is key to a successful food business; it is not just the price, taste, and quality as handling makes all the three.
Spinning off from a fad
My fellow chef and friend Jem Goco of Louise in the Kitchen also started her online food order business a few months after the lockdown. There was this sushi bakes fad on Instagram, and if you’re a fan, you would have tried some. Chef Jem came up with her spin on that idea, of a deconstructed classic when she released her Nacho Dips and Chips. The nacho dips have three flavors, and for the price, they are worth it! She even delivers for free within certain areas in the Metro. Today, Louise in the Kitchen has a wide array of dish offerings to start the new year.
I messaged to congratulate her, “Wow Cheffy! Pang-resto na ang menu, huh!” [wow, Cheffy! Your menu is for a resto business already, huh!] She replied, “Thanks Cheffy! Menu muna t’saka na ang resto hahaha.” [… menu first before the resto hahaha].
Nothing is easy in the beginning
One time we got to sit, we did catch up at our dear friend Abbie’s place. We compared notes about the challenges, disadvantages, and advantages of setting up a home-based food business. We made a list of what we could work on.
These were hers:
- I’m not paying rent for my workspace.
- I can do anything or marinade stuff even in the wee hours of the morning.
- I don’t need to travel so I have fewer gasoline expenses.
- I have more room for marking up or lowering down my actual cost.
- Higher utility bills than usual is a disadvantage.
- I need electricity and water to run my business.
- Sometimes I also get a bit lazy doing kitchen work because my bed is close by.
A little pat, a gentle push, and doing business
“Louise in the kitchen is just an Instagram account where I dump my photos,” Chef Jem said. A good push from her parents set her off to sail the trade winds. A bit hesitant at first, as she was not used to being the boss. She was better off having people tell her what they need, utilize their resources, and be left to do her stuff. It was a huge leap she had to take. Plus the pandemic happened, resources were dwindling, and something had to be done.
The advantage of not paying rent and utility expenses, because you live in your parents’ house, will also depend on what home-business you choose. The difficult part is the atmosphere. It might just be me but the fact that you’re home, you know. You’re home! You often feel lazy or there are chores to finish aside from the line up of orders you have for the day. It’s more of a mental thing, I guess.
Nacho Chips and Dips. This is a bestseller that lived to tell its tale!
In general, I believe, that having a home-based food business or any business for that matter is good for obvious reasons. One thing you must keep in mind is it should and must be your passion. A business you can do with your eyes closed, even in your sleep.
Before 2020 ended I said that FoodCreationsbyCCL will be editing its existing menu especially the pricing. Do you know how much pork, chicken, and especially veggies are now? Ay Caramba! Well, I haven’t made adjustments to the prices yet so take full advantage while it still is.
The January orders got me busy and preoccupied. A good start for the new year!
See you all on Saturday for another issue and a recipe to try!
Chef Chris Lachenal strives to elevate Filipino cuisine and revive dishes that are slowly losing popularity. A former chef instructor, he emphasized the importance of understanding the process of things in order to grasp refinement in food. As a chef-for-hire he satisfies his clients, always. He is the creative and passionate soul behind FoodCreations by CCL.