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How To Start Your Own Takeaway Business In The UK


Takeaway food businesses have seen pronounced popularity all across the UK. As consumers make lifestyle changes, these places offer the convenience factor that many are looking for in often very busy day to day routines. Opening your own takeaway can be challenging, but it is not too different from starting any new business. Through hard work and dedication, many have succeeded in the food industry. You can too!

Fast forward to modern times, and takeaways are now able to reach more customers than ever through delivery services provided by Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats. In this guide we will be going through how to start your own takeaway business. If you wish to go one step further and offer home delivery, you’ll need the appropriate food delivery insurance policy.

You can compare cover from up to 17 specialist providers with Utility Saving Expert, their in-depth guide and FAQs section will ensure you get the right policy for your business needs.

Create a takeaway business plan.

Any new business will require a well thought out business plan. This will help you outline how you’re going to achieve your goal, what steps you’ll need to take to get from start to completion, and can even help you sell the business idea to attract investors and lenders. Most business plans will include a SWOT analysis, this covers strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Some of the questions you’ll need to address in the takeaway business plan include the following:

What type of takeaway are you opening?

What concept will you use when you start. Fast food is the obvious option, but it’s worth considering vegan food as there is an increasing demand for this. You may also wish to consider dishes from a specific country e.g. China or Sri Lanka, this can help you differentiate your offering from your competitors. Some takeaways even include sustainable initiatives such as going plastic free and reducing waste. These are just some example considerations that you may wish to make.

What will your menu look like?

Market research will help you greatly in this regard. You don’t want to enter a saturated market, what can you offer that others aren’t currently offering. A sample menu can be included within the business plan. Menus are one of the most important aspects of any takeaway. List what items you wish to offer along with a guide price. This can help inform your branding.

Should you franchise your new takeaway?

Franchising offers numerous benefits such as brand recognition, stock management and access to an existing corporate structure. Some of the most established options include McDonalds and Subway. This may be worth considering; however, you also need to be aware of the disadvantages such as paying a large sum to retain the rights to use the brand name. This can be prohibitively expensive for most new business owners as it requires a significant upfront investment and will be a barrier to entry. It’s worth comparing rates for smaller franchises as this could be far more affordable for your business.

Location is everything.

Customers are chasing convenience. If you’re in a prime location, such as being near the city centre, this extra footfall will help increase orders. Think about what other takeaways and restaurants are located nearby, along with why any previous places may have closed down.

Financing the takeaway business.

Any new business will require an upfront cash investment. You may choose to use money from your savings or get a loan from a bank. Your business plan must include financial information such as how much it’s going to cost you and what level of income you can expect as time passes. This will help you better understand your cash flow.

Legal requirements.

Make sure you’re up to date with health and safety regulations, food hygiene and how to register your food business with the local authority before trading. Legally, you will require a Food Hygiene Certificate. Ensure that you and your employees are maintaining high standards as an Environmental Health Officer can visit you without any previous notice. Other areas to think about include food preparation, allergen information, labelling and storage.

Business insurance for your takeaway.

If you have employees, you will need a business insurance policy. Here are some of the key policies for you to explore:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Employers’ liability insurance
  • Product liability insurance
  • Business equipment insurance

Purchasing stock.

When you first start; food stock, machinery, equipment and takeaway furnishings will make up a large proportion of your initial expenditure. This is why it’s worth comparing different wholesale suppliers to negotiate fair prices.

You will also need to have a stock management system in place to help you calculate how much stock you need to order each week/month.

Market the business.

Once you’re ready, you’ll want to use a number of different marketing strategies to reach customers. Some of the most popular options include making use of social media, having a company website and even posting leaflets through letterboxes before launch. If you’re offering food delivery, it may be worth registering your takeaway with services such as Just Eats, Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

To conclude, opening a new takeaway business will be challenging and there are lots of considerations you need to make such as your offering and how to maintain excellent customer service. If done correctly, your business could potentially achieve significant growth which may even enable you to open at multiple locations, leading to larger profits.