Industry  Challenges

 

We are moving into exciting times for all types of food lovers in the Culinary Industry. Did you know that in the year 2018 there are almost 2000 commercial kitchens across the USA? This means that the need for the “Right” Kitchen based Technology is now a must-have requirement for any kitchen business!

As this relatively new industry grows, kitchen owners are finding that there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all the business needs without the right technology. An Organized schedule is key to operating more efficiently. This is where Virtual Food Hub’s technology comes into play.

VFH technology plays a crucial role in how culinary business owners are moving forward and shaping the industry making their daily operations more efficient for tomorrow. As your kitchen gains more members managing their day to day activities becomes a breeze leaving you as the business owner the flexibility to focus on what’s more important to you. 

VFH saw a need to find a way to eliminate these core challenges by creating a custom technology that enables more streamlined operations for all Shared/Commissary Kitchen and Incubator owners alike.

 

#1 Scheduling

Scheduling a Shared Kitchen, Commissary Kitchen or even a Private Kitchen is a significant challenge especially to optimize Kitchen use as your business grows. See some of the key areas below:

In addition to answering all those phone calls, texts, and emails to manage and meet clients expectations owners of Kitchens become overwhelmed with daily operations. Attempting to maintain the weekly / daily calendars to keep clients happy and run an efficient Kitchen tends to become a big problem as the kitchen grows and more clients use the Kitchen at the same time. The goal is for your members to be able to schedule anything regardless if its a parking space, multi-purpose room, office space, kitchen space, specific amenities or equipment and having the scheduler manage all this for you.

Kitchens need to optimize usage of kitchen time amongst the Chef’s at the kitchen during any given hour.  This translates into ensuring equipment is available when needed and can be scheduled to ensure who has first rights to use the amenities.  This also cuts down on compliance and reduces arguments amongst clients. Two – Tier scheduling is a big challenge for Kitchens to maximize efficiency and time as more and more clients join the kitchen.

As the owner, you need complete visibility of all the multiple schedules, multiple kitchens and other areas of the business that require access to a calendar.Owners are always on the move and need to be able to leverage various devices, i.e., phone, tablets, desktops, etc. to access these calendars. Being able to manage multiple memberships, compliance and initiate refunds along with billing for additional hours becomes a problem when the time is limited.

Are your clients complaining about time overlaps and others being in the Kitchen at the same time? Is equipment not cleaned properly? Are you faced with billing complaints? Are you thinking about purchasing more equipment but not sure if it’s worth the investment? These are common issues Kitchens face. Having the ability to audit this valuable information on demand would solve these challenges and create a better environment for your member’s overall kitchen experience.

#2 Billing

Many Kitchens are challenged by invoicing and waiting to collect from clients.   As an owner, it’s frustrating dealing with excuses and charging different rates per client.  Outsourcing finances to Accountants to manage the businesses invoicing and collections can become expensive.  Below are a few top areas Billing impacts Kitchens!

Kitchen owners are no different than any other business owner and expect to get paid.  However, we found that many owners make deals with their members and listen to excuses which lead to in some cases late payments and unfair business practices.  In the end, it does not help build successful growth for the business.

Most Kitchens are looking at their competitors when it comes to pricing their kitchen rates. This is not necessarily a good thing especially when an industry is still figuring out how to build to meet best practices. Figuring out the best approach to impact profitability of time efficiency needs to be addressed to stay in business and focus on long term growth.

Business owners take more risk waiting for checks to cash (offline) vs. having the credit card billed on the 1st of the month as an example.  Charging Additional Fee’s to your members can be perceived as negative rather than finding new ways to obtain more revenues and making the kitchen meet compliance.

Finding avenues to collect on the 1st of the month has been a challenge for many Kitchens especially those that invoice manually. Allowing members to schedule and bill them for time used has created conflicting discussions for many Kitchen owners. How a Kitchen automates their monthly billing to be able to schedule autopay should be the focus to make it easier for the member to do business with the Kitchen.

Charging for extra time used, cleaning fees and other compliance related items is a constant challenge and money is left owed.  But more importantly, efficiency is lost.  Seeking an easy way to bill on demand without having to chase clients for money is the goal.

#3 Contact Management

Managing past clients, current clients and prospects in various sources, i.e. notebooks can become a challenge to manage and scale the business. Common areas of concern have occurred throughout Shared Kitchens below.

Finding ways to getting more organized in managing customers by having the ability to quickly look up their information instead of storing them on sticky notes or file folders is the key.

Every business needs to manage new incoming business prospects and leads. Designing an approach to qualify prospects and maintain them until they become a client is crucial to time management.

Do you give a tour to just anyone who requests one? Monitoring these tour requests is a time-consuming process and typically leads to a conversation that could have been better qualified.  As a kitchen owner, you will need to be able to Build custom online qualification Forms, Create tour memberships, track notes and reminders all within one central management system.

Taking paper documents and migrating them into an online solution is easy. What is needed is an approach to managing documents for your business and the right technologies to support you.

Keeping a record of conversations, setting reminders and tracking all of this can be challenging. Tracking correspondence notes and reminders per member is crucial and can be done merely with the right technology.

How can a Kitchen see in one single view a timeline and journey of the individual contact?  This is impossible today without the right technology 

Recipe for Disaster

This Case study gives a perspective from a General Manager of a 50,000 sqft. Shared Kitchen Facility and in hindsight discusses the challenges faced with day to day operations and learn why they could not grow the business.

learn how customer and lead management works at its best!

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