How To Start A Food Business – The Practical Stuff

Welcome to the first ever virgin food fest guys thanks thanks for being here cramming into the doodle bar this morning my name is Ben and I’m going to be looking after you guys this morning and through the three panel sessions today with a brilliant set of people who are going to come and share all their tips and tricks.

Food startups I work with virgin startup as a business adviser and we run workshops every week and I’ve seen a couple of you before and every workshop we do have about 20 people coming in looking for loans and we run through the business planning and the finances and out of those 20 almost every week.

Four or five a food startups so it’s a big trend that we’re seeing a virgin startup.

My history with food startups has been the main experience I had was living on a island in Fiji for five years and out there we lived off coconuts and we had Spears and we had a blackberry phone and we ran a an eco-tourism and restaurant business for.

I learned my trade and the reason virgin startup has got going is because they really wanted to build a set of opportunities not just funding but mentoring as well and business advice for startups all around the country but.

There’s a big scene going on in London which you’re all part of the big figures which are.

Which all is interesting the IgD UK food industry set.

Be worth two hundred and six billion in 2018 so it’s a big jump since in the last years going up by 20 percent but at the grassroots where we’re all working which is much more relevant virgin startup has given out over 200 loans to date since it starts at the end of last year average loan is 7,000 pounds but they go up to 25,000 pounds but the average loan going.

Out 7,000 says one a half million pounds that’s gone out as loans already the really interesting part of virgin startup I think is what happens after people get the loans so there’s this brilliant match making dating algorithm which matches those that get the loans with mentors who you get 15.

Hours time with over 12 months they’ve already delivered over 3000 hours.

Of mentoring time to startups that’s really exciting plus all the PR blogging marketing opportunities that’s spinning off and there’s loads of loads of stuff happening now you guys are all involved or about start a.

Food business so there’s lots of time in between these sessions to connect with each other but the first panel this morning we’ve got three guys here who’ve got which I think probably reflect the three.

Most important pillars of food civilization we’ve got finance legal and burritos.

So we’ve got Clovis is going to tell you about the money why how to.

Do it and then we’ve got Nick who’s from.

Pancho eight number eight which is the burrito business which some of you may have tried and we’ve got John from nabarro which is a legal tips and tricks and I let these guys share their.

Stories with you for a few minutes each and then you can all file loaded questions in their direction so Nick.

One of guys can you hear me okay so Mike working yeah so my name is Nick bucket I run.

A business called Pancho ate with my best mate Frank we have a chain of burrito shops across London and we think we do the best burritos in London.

We’ve got six shops and we’re opening two more very soon one in Selfridges on Oxford Street and one in Canary Wharf we started in 2009 Frank started the business.

He went across America saw these amazing burrito bars and thought there was a gap in the market in London so he left his job at Goldman Sachs started the first one and then I joined them a few months later so we’ve been working together for about five years now we’ve now got a multi-million pound business we’ve got a team of about 80 people and the thriving brand and we love it so I was asked today to.

Talk about he gets from taking it from idea through to inception but rather than just talking.

About a story I’ve had to think about the advice that I’d like to have been given when I was at idea stage.

And then break the audience down into the full types of people I think here and give specific advice as to what I will do next if I was in your position so I’ll just scoot through the general advice first so if you are idea stage now we have a lot of people who come and see us and I just got an idea that’s all I’ve.

Got and I what I’d say to that is every business has started as an idea so don’t think that you’re different.

From anyone else so whether it’s has to bloom and tile or gives you skin or whoever it is they all started at your stage I know what it takes to get it to the.

Next level is to have confidence in yourself and to share your idea with as many people as possible I’m a big advocate of sharing things rather than keeping it to yourself the second thing I’d say is to just do something all too often you see guys who sit on an idea and maybe tell like their best mate but nobody else.

If you’ve got an idea for a fantastic briefs a brand then make some burritos take them out sell them give them to your friends get feedback the more feedback you get the more legs your idea has and the more will become a.

Reality the next thing I think I’d say an almost most important thing is that the.

Idea is quite important but the execution is essential and that comes back to sharing it with people and it comes back to getting feedback and doing something executions also based on incredible detail so the level of knowledge and detail that frankly I have over our business.

You know from the thickness of steel in the kitchen through to the car machine processing time through to the type of plastic you have to use on the different labels in the store was something really really built up and the more you know about the intricate detail of your business the better your execution will be and therefore.

The better you’ll be relative to your competitors so I’d really focus on on execution be aware that you’re going to make loads and loads of mistakes there’s something that comes up in every one of these talks you ever go to and it sounds a bit right but relating it to something that Richard Branson says which he often.

Talks about it’s to protect your downside so at your stage now I’d really.

Really recommend getting someone with experience behind you be it as an investor be.