UBE: The ingredients to get started

Claire Hannapel

Claire Hannapel

A lot of my friends tell me offhand that they could see me owning my own restaurant. I shake it off and pose reasons why it’s an unrealistic proposition. I love cooking, trying out new recipes, blending spices and experimenting with fresh ingredients, but realistically what would owning a restaurant even look like?

Well, thanks to the UNC Business Essentials online business certification that I enrolled in this summer, I am a couple steps closer to figuring that out.

First, it would start with a target market. I’d have to figure out what my future customers needed. Is it hearty soups to get their families through the winter? Simple lunch and dinner bowls for students on the go? Or wild combinations of sweet and savory pies? The list could go on and on. But I would start there, finding a niche to fill as a customer-focused business.

Second, I would have to figure out how to make a profit. Obviously I would sell my product, but UBE taught me that there would be more to it than that. I would need some initial capital (hello, supportive friends) and begin investing in some fixed assets (i.e. new equipment like a 6-burner gas stove).

I would have to develop a business strategy, ensuring that the business’ return to its owner(s) was good relative to the risk. I would investigate what my liabilities would be – not just with food safety and restaurant regulations, but also with wages and payments to suppliers. I would have to consider my operating expenses, revenue and, most importantly, do some research about the industry I was about to set foot in.

While UBE didn’t make starting a business look easy, it certainly gave me the ingredients to getting started. Besides, I never really follow recipes anyway.

To learn more about UNC Business Essentials, click here.

By Claire Hannapel