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Phases

TouchPoint Resource Pool is carefully arranged to provide support to your food business from two different perspectives.  We see the food world in Phases and in Functions. Our TouchPoint partners are uniquely qualified and highly respected in their respective niches. They are all prepared not only to help you with their own specialty, they are anxious to facilitate your contact with the next person you need to meet. We are all constantly learning how to work more closely together on projects that support our individual clients.

Unlike other groups of businesses, our primary mission is to be a help to each other’s clients. We routinely ask each other “can you help me take care of my client/customer by…?” Whenever we encounter a customer need that we can’t meet within the TouchPoint Resource Pool we diligently scour our lists of trusted business connections to find what we need to further complement the group.

There are 5 Phases in the life of a food business.  This is a linear view to the business. There are unique pieces, yet not completely separate, vital to getting your business going and to keep it operating smoothly. What Phase are you in currently? Are you looking ahead to the next phase of growth or are you locked in on daily operations?

We all Touch Food…

Phase 1 “I’d like to open a restaurant”

This phase is all about getting the idea out of your head and onto paper. You have many things to think through as you prepare. Most folks can make it through parts of this step on their own- eventually. By engaging various TouchPoint partners who have been through these steps many times and in many jurisdictions you will save countless hours of frustration and corrections. We will help you prepare your package so it is ready to go to the health department, the bank, the franchisor, investors, etc.

What pieces are Phase 1? 

  •  Legal organization of your business
  •  Food-specific business plan
  •  Loan applications
  •  Company organization
  •  HACCP plan for food processing
  •  Floor plan
  •  Site selection
  •  Lease negotiations
  •  License applications
  •  Existing site evaluation for building code compliance and ventilation

Phase 2   Ducks in a row

This Phase is where the action begins. You now have the outline and basic direction for your business. You must begin making decisions about vendors and facilities and colors and styles and relationships. You find out in this Phase what you know and what you think you know about the project. Our partners have many years of experience pulling projects together, helping clients think through options, explaining long and short term costs, know the excellent vendors and can help avoid costly delays in the process. Phase 2 includes making vendor choices for:

  •  Depository banking
  •  Insurance policies
  •  Bookkeeping and CPA relationships
  •  Building contractor
  •  Menu design and planning
  •  Food and supply vendors
  •  POS and computer needs
  •  Electronic commerce decisions
  •  Food safety training relationships
  •  Alcohol handler liability training relationships
  •  Employee policy foundations
  •  Equipment choices
  •  Shelf life and allergen testing
  •  Product labeling

Phase 3  Getting the doors open

This is the frantic phase. The duration is generally a few weeks prior to opening for business and up to one accounting period afterward. Very few people who are opening a food business enjoy this phase. It is filled with chaos and frustration. It is very challenging to schedule the vendors and contractors to finish their work in the right order without gaps in time. Inspectors (building, fire, health) really do try to get the business approved but have their own time constraints and many other places to visit. Avoid aggravating them by working with a team that communicates directly and clearly with inspectors to save you time and money.

Aside from the facility logistics management and staff must be hired and trained. Equipment must be installed and deemed operational; furnishings and finishing must be seen to; POS installed and programmed; proper labeling for food processing; and if you don’t have an accounting and cost of sales plan in place on day one you are scrambling to get caught up as soon as money starts moving. TouchPoint partners handle these Phase 3 challenges:

  •  Energy efficient power management and emergency back up planning
  •  Project management
  •  Installation and testing of equipment
  •  Pre-inspection walk throughs
  •  Menu design and planning
  •  Beverage list selection
  •  Staff training (food safety, alcohol handling, server etiquette, bar tender, Barista, offer-serve (school nutrition), kitchen basics, OSHA)
  •  Security and loss prevention tools
  •  Food and liquor cost calculators
  •  Opening promotions (social media, website, video)

Phase 4  Workaday World

This is what you signed up for! Once you get the initial kinks worked out you settle into routines and are experiencing the ups and downs of your business life. TouchPoint partners are very operations oriented. We have no desire to waste your money or get in your way. Our goal is to provide the support to free you up to do what you signed up to do- have fun taking care of your friends and neighbors, who are now your guests and customers.

Every day is a new adventure and you are engaged in managing your business. You want to do as much of it as you can yourself, but you have to ask if you are using your precious time wisely. Why did you start this business? Is it because you love to cook and tinker with recipes? Is it because you enjoy the thrill of directing traffic in a busy kitchen or dining room? Is it because you like crunching the numbers and poring over your P&L? You make money by doing what you love and do best. TouchPoint Resource  Pool partners love and do best the things that you can’t do, hate doing, or don’t have the time to do. Phase 4 includes:

  •  Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly bookwork, P&L preparation and taxes
  •  Annual insurance review and updates
  •  Lease review and negotiations
  •  Routine product testing and shelf life analysis
  •  Management training, development and appraisals
  •   Food cost analysis
  •   Menu review and update
  •   Beverage menu
  •   Food manager recertification and ongoing training of new managers
  •   Staff development
  •   Promotions and specials
  •   Drawing business in with social media and web presence
  •   Building sales with in-house promotional ideas
  •   Cleaning schedules and non-toxic cleaning solutions
  •   Cash control and loss prevention
  •   Safety programs in place

Phase 5  Shut this baby down

This phase is about exit or succession strategies. At some point your business will need a new leader. Are you selling? Shuttering? Reorganizing? Closed due to disaster?Passing to the next generation? Whatever the circumstances, there are very important legal and tax implications to think through. TouchPoint partners are well versed in all of these matters and routinely save clients a great deal of stress and money working through these transitions.

  •  Checklist for termination of services
  •  Legal papers for transition
  •  Wrap up of accounting processes
  •  Valuation of business
  •  Insurance for vacant property
  •  Selling the property and business
  •  Selling and disposing of equipment
  •  Employee and staff separation
  •  Managing retirement plan transitions
  •  Disposing of food and supplies
  •  Demolition and rebuilding of site
  •  Closing of accounts and notifying of vendors

 

TouchPoint partners are ready to help in what can be either a very stressful or emotionally charged time. Take advantage of the many years of experience and expertise our Resource Pool has to offer. Whatever your situation, make us your first call. We are your TouchPoint for all things food.