Staff sorting seafood into plastic containers

Tips for Scaling A Food Business You Might Be Missing

With the global food industry projected to reach $4.2 trillion by 2026, it’s no secret that everyone from restaurateurs to subscription-based food services are trying to scale their companies. But as many of these budding businesses quickly find out, running a food company comes with many unforeseen challenges.

In fact, about 60% of food businesses fail in their first year of operation, and 80% fail within five years. If you’re anything like us here at Intelligent Foods, your passion for culinary arts is enough to keep you from getting discouraged by these types of statistics.

With countless years of collective experience helping food businesses grow nationwide, we’ve seen all too often where many of them miss the mark. In this blog, we’ll offer some key strategies and insider operational tips you’re likely overlooking that will help your food business sprout to new heights.


What Does “Scaling Up” Mean to You?

We’re sure you know that “scaling up” in the food business doesn’t require using any actual scales. Still, in this industry, the term can mean different things to different businesses. Are you looking to increase your menu offerings to reach a wider range of consumers? Or perhaps to scale your operations by expanding to different cities and states? What about breaking into a new geographic location of potential customers? Or seeing your products on more grocery store shelves across the country?

Before you begin strategizing your growth plans, it’s important to get a clear idea of what scaling means to you and your business. This way, you can create actionable and realistic plans that are more likely to help you succeed.


Marketing Your Food Business

You saw this coming! No matter how delicious your menu is, marketing is and continues to be the cornerstone of any successful business. After all, the alternative is your business getting lost in a sea of competitors, each one struggling to stand out.

When it comes to marketing, what most businesses get wrong is that they neglect the consumer during this process. Customers are the source of all sales; without them, scaling up would be impossible.

So whether you’re implementing marketing strategies such as food photography, email marketing, branding, or working with micro-influencers on social media, it’s important to take a customer-focused approach.

A customer-focused marketing strategy centers on the needs and wants of your target market, taking into account their buying habits, pain points, and needs. This will allow you to create marketing content that is more likely to resonate with them. One of our favorite rules to keep in mind is:

You don’t need to capture the whole pie to be successful; you just need to serve a single slice really well.

Identify that single slice (your customer focus) and hone in on it.


Operations: The Meat & Potatoes of Food Business Growth

Once you’ve mastered your marketing, it’s time to start looking inward. How you conduct your business operations will mean the difference between falling into that 80% versus 20% category we mentioned earlier. Here are some vital operational best practices to help you scale your food business.


When dealing with a delicate product such as food, your warehousing practices are a significant pathway to growth. This refers to not only where and how you store your food, but also the supply chain associated with making and packaging it.

One of the biggest challenges here is time management. Food items such as dairy and frozen products can spoil quickly if not stored properly. Product relocation requires careful planning. And following health and safety guidelines? You’ll need to stay on top of that.

Streamlining food warehousing and overcoming time constraints involves:

  • Planning with the end result in mind
  • Identifying inefficiencies
  • Enhancing productivity and time tracking
  • A robust inventory management
  • Optimizing employee training

To further help streamline and speed up your warehouse and distribution operations, Intelligent Foods utilizes pick2light technology to ensure the lowest error rates in the industry for our partners.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

ERP software integrates various business processes and functions into a single unified platform. While it may sound complicated, it’s a vital system designed to make your life much easier.

ERP empowers food companies to optimize operations, boost efficiency, and elevate decision-making by providing real-time visibility and control over their resources, such as finances, inventory, manufacturing, sales, and human resources.

In the food industry, ERP systems provide comprehensive solutions that address the unique challenges food companies face, from recipe and formulation management to quality control and compliance.

A Solid Team

In any business, your success will only be as good as the team you share it with. Food production requires a multitude of moving parts, so clearly establishing the roles of everyone involved is essential to scale your food business.

For starters, your team should be made up of individuals who can:

  • Produce your food up to standards in a food-safe environment.
  • Pack your food according to safety standards and time constraints.
  • Negotiate rates with logistics providers, transport companies, and other overhead costs.
  • Procure your food and supplies such as boxes, packaging, ice, and more. 


Take Your Food Business to New Heights with Intelligent Foods

Scaling your food business requires careful planning and execution.  At Intelligent Foods, our food business solutions handle everything from operational management to third-party logistics to your menu development, leaving you with the time needed to focus on marketing and other areas of your business growth.

There’s no “I” in “food!” The best way to grow is to count on the help of your partners. When you partner with us here at Intelligent Foods, we bring the tools and expertise you need, and together, we can help scale your business to new heights.

To learn more about how Intelligent Foods and our award-winning culinary team can support your goals, contact us today.


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