Although the idea is traditionally American, the rise in popularity of dessert parlours has quickly grasped high streets across the UK. From parlours focusing on speed and efficiency – offering customers a fast-food like service, to those focusing on a more luxury, sit down service, there is a wide breadth of sweet-tooth approaches to a dessert parlour.
Starting your own therefore, can be a difficult challenge; ensuring that you are different enough to stand out from the competition, but still relevant enough to have appeal. In this blog, we will explore the most important considerations when preparing a business plan for your dessert parlour.
Considering the cost of dessert parlour equipment
No matter what type of business you are starting from scratch, each industry will have unique overhead costs. Opening a dessert parlour is no different. One of the most expensive elements of starting this type of business is purchasing the equipment needed to prepare your desserts. Before you set out a concrete list of what your business will need, you should lay out what you plan to offer on your menu. This will tie in with how you want to brand your dessert parlour. Some questions you should try to answer could include whether you will offer seasonal menus? Will you specialise in baked desserts, or frozen desserts? Will you offer more exotic desserts, or more common options? Will you offer a sit in service? Will you deliver?
Establishing the approach to your parlour will help you no end in estimating your initial costs. Having a specialty is particularly important, as it will aid in focusing your brand. There could be a wide variety of equipment you need to secure, including: ovens, refrigerators, sinks, work tables and storage to name a few. There are also more traditional business overheads which you should take into account, including: a physical location, the cost of employees, various types of business insurance and the cost of your marketing campaigns.
Registering your business parlour with the local authority
As your dessert parlour is a business which sells food, there are certain requirements you must meet to ensure you are following the law. Any new food business must register with their local authority, which should be done at least 28 days before its official opening. Once your business has registered, it will receive an inspection from the local authority to ensure the premises meet health standards, and will be awarded a Food Hygiene Rating out of five. As part of being registered with your local authority, you must ensure they have up-to-date information about your premises and should be informed upon any significant changes to your business. You may for example need planning permission if you want to make any physical changes to your dessert parlour premises.
How to market your dessert parlour
Having considered your initial overheads and registering with your local authority, your business plan should then consider how you will market your dessert parlour. There are a variety of choices you could make in terms of your approach and these should relate to how you intend to sell your desserts. If, for example, you will offer an online delivery service, marketing online will be an important aspect of your campaign. This could include reaching out to potential customers on social media, all the way through to paid online advertising.
If you are offering a more local, sit in service, then handing out flyers and setting up physical advertisements could be another approach. A good way to increase brand awareness is handing out free samples of your desserts, so customers know what to expect when they enter your parlour. Your business plan should lay out your marketing approach including how much it will cost, to the outcomes you want.
If you would like help with putting together your business plan, get in touch today! Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.