By Daniel Coats, Mihaylo College of Business and Economics
With one of the most diverse populations in the world and an internationally acclaimed foodie scene, Southern California is a prime location for culinary entrepreneurship. From brick-and-mortar establishments to food trucks and farmer’s market sales, restaurant professional and SBDC Consultant Greg Bell examines how to get started in this field.
In his first year as a consultant at Orange County Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, Greg Bell has reviewed numerous business plans for restaurants, catering, food trucks, commercial kitchens, farmer’s market stands and other food-based concepts. His advice: The sector can be a rewarding entrepreneurial path, but feasibility and a strong business model is essential.
“A business plan needs to be a short, concise description of you and the business you want to start,” said Bell at a recent SBDC workshop at the Cal State Fullerton Irvine Center. “It has numbers and facts that present your business as a success. I like to think about feasibility as literally ‘can I do this?’”
Bell, the former executive chef at The Fish Tale in Long Beach, previously worked for six years in the Irish pub concept Bennigan’s, opened 24 locations with Koo Koo Roo’s Restaurants and was the first operating franchisee of Blaze Pizza. With more than 23 years of experience in catering, Bell recognizes the many niches of the food-based business sector, which encompass a wide range of financial commitments.
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