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Business Plan


Curryosity

3rd South, Between Main and State

Downtown, Salt Lake City UT

(801)413-3983

Dustin.Romero@CurryositySLC.com

Kim.Pettit@CurryositySLC.com

www.curryositySLC.com


Executive Summary

Curryosity follows a national trend of mobil food that has been spreading in from the coasts over the past several years and into the interior. Mobile food businesses based off subscription services have shown huge promise for 2010. This plan will show that Curryosity is likely to develope a brand loyalty that will enable future growth. Below you will find a full description of the operation and manegement of the business.

Description and Vision 



Mission Statement


Curryosity will make a small contribution to the culture of Utah by serving our take on Indian Cuisine to the streets of Downtown, Salt Lake City. We sell local, and we buy local. Salt Lake City has a strong Vegan population, and so we’re proud to offer a part of our menu that provides nutrition and taste that matches their ideals.

Company Vision


We want to take on the overpopulation of chains restaurants in Salt Lake and the surrounding area! We may not be big, but we can offer something different, something made with passion, and that at least gives us one victory.

Business Goals and Objectives


  • Success will be measured by whether we...
    • Offer something new
    • Take on large chains
    • Stay ethical
    • Focus on high nutrition food that appeals to local citizens
    • Buy local
    • Enjoy Ourselves
    • Break even

Brief History of the Business


It all started when we (Kim and Dustin) were first dating, we went to an Indian restaurant. After one bite of a Pakistani dish known as Jelfrezi we decided that Indian food was an art that we wanted to master. When I was called from the National Guard to serve a one year tour in Iraq we decided to make the best of the situation by using my earnings to buy a food cart and have it custom built with a 55 cup commercial rice cooker and an authentic tandoor oven to serve Indian Curries.

We wanted to make something that people would like, but we also wanted to make something that we could feel right about doing. For us this meant that it would also have to be fun, and we have had fun developing this menu and putting our little food cart together. We have big plans for the future, we want to do something for the community. We want to contribute something to the culture of Utah, to the culture of Salt Lake City.

Key Company Principals


We make good food. Food that doesn't exploit other's labor for production, food that is nutritious and local.



Definition of the Market


Industry and Outlook


The Springwise.com list of top business ideas for 2010 lists “Small scale mobile food” the leading trend for 2010. Street vending has always been present in large East Coast cities like New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. Rapid growth has also been seen over the last few years in most West Coast cities. Denver has seen a significant increase in street vending as well. (See springwise.com for facts and credible evidence)


According to Deseret News, Salt Lake City over the past several years has seen a significant rise in mobile food carts. The rise has been almost exclusively taco carts, but a diverse population can be seen patronizing the carts, suggesting there may be room for a new variety of offerings.

Fact. There is also a hot dog cart in Downtown Salt Lake City that serves vegan hot dogs. He has many loyal customers that provide between 40 and 60 customers a day during the summer, with average sales of $5 per person. We know this because we asked him.


Target Market


There are two pirmary markets targeted. The first is business and corporate workers in the Downtown area during lunch. The second is the local vegan and vegetarian population. We also hope to attract construction workers at work on the City Creek project, and the younger sister missionaries as well as the older couple missionaries that work on Temple Square.
 
There are 25,000 people who live and/or work downtown between the ages of 24-30. According to our research one third of them eat out daily. When asked to a group of thirty people of that age group half responded that they would visit a food cart on a cold winter day if it wasn't snowing. That leaves a market potential of about 4,000 people. To break even we would need about 1/8 of these potential customers to visit us.
 
Facebook.com estimates that 1/3 of people who "like" a product will be regular customers (one visit a month for restaurants). We would need to accumulate 1,500 likes on facebook to break even based on "likes." Competitors have between 500-900 likes. This leaves a large margine for the likely hood of this being a solid source of customers. However many Facebook users are likely to be outside of the Downtown area demograph we are targeting, which could raise our bottom line.





Critical Market Needs


There is a need for more independent and unique food options in Salt Lake City to satisfy the pallets of the educated business men and women in Downtown. Because chains and franchises are able to offer a lower priced “food in a can” it is difficult for a Ma and Pa type establishment to flourish. A food cart can offer that highly individualized and independent experience that many people crave, without the overhead of a brick and mortar restaurant. A report in the local publication "City Weekly" estimates that independantly owned restaurants will rise in the next five years based off of local trends.

There is also a strong vegan population that prefers to shop local and small scale. There is a growing market for vegan and vegetarian food. These customers value authenticity and fairness. They prefer dealing actual people, not faceless bureaucracies. We have consulted with a leading chef in vegan food who reports that customers have risen in both his restaurants. We have also received several requests to include vegetarian food.



Client Profile


Our clients are educated, between the ages of 25-40, make between $40,000 and $100,000 and work and/or live Downtown. They are trend spotters and look for products and services that match their need for something that stands out as different. Our clients might be seen dining at Sage’s Cafe or shopping for vinyl albums at Slow Train Record’s. They are also business men and women who work in the corporate world. Data compiled by the Clide Foundation for research suggests that this is the demograph most likely to visit a food cart selling Indian food in Salt Lake City.



Market Share


There is a growing market for mobile and independent food in Salt Lake City. Food carts serving tacos can be found in most large strip malls. Downtown Salt Lake City has a growing population and the city is investing increasingly large sums of money into public transportation and driving more people into the Downtown area. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has recently invested $3.1 Billion into a mall and housing high rises and a satellite campus with student housing for Brigham Young University. These investments will bring more foot traffic to the Downtown area.




Description of Products and services

 

Below is a graphic that can only be seen on our website. To view exclusive content that is update AS THE CHANGES HAPPEN, allowing for usefull editing of this document to be done collaboratively between company owners, making it possible to actually USE this document for REAL purposes. Please see the website. www.curryosityslc.com


The two advantages that a food cart has over a brick and mortar restaurant are price and speed. We have designed our menu to emphasise this. A customer can get a high quality curry served with a potato curry, generous helping of rice, fresh, tandoor made naan and a coke for $6. Because the menu is limited to just a few choices of curries, and because curries are easily served, the customer can be through our line very quickly.


We are able to do this because we have low overhead. We are able to use high quality ingredients without a lot of the expenses for a staff, building and dining in experience. So we are able to offer a high quality menu, for a few dollars cheaper than our restaurant competition.


So although it’s true that many costumers will go elsewhere during colder months and when they want to sit down. But we feel that it is our product and personality that will bring people to our cart.
 
 
 
Location
 
 Below is a graphic that updates live from Google Maps, showing the location of our food cart as it changes. This is usefull, since the cart is mobil.
 

300 S Main St


 


Organization and Management


Organization and Permits



The co-owners of the business are Dustin J. Romero, Ph.D and Kimberly Pettit, MBA.


We are organized as a Limited Liability Corporation. The food cart, Curryosity, is actually under our parent company, Redbud Catering, L.L.C. We did this so that we can expand other brands in the future beneath one company.


We are required by the city to have a permit to operated in a specific location. We are also required to be inspected by the health department. We are required to have a food permit for everyone handling food on the cart, and at least one managerial food handlers permit.



Managers


Kim Pettit is strikingly beautiful. She has a good sense of style and an excellent eye for trends. She is a student of the classics and is an avid fan of Shakespeare. She currently works for a childrens museum designing exhibits. She has a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Utah and an A.A.S degree in Fashion Design.


Dustin Romero is currently serving a one year tour in Iraq. He is a Major in command of a team tasked with writing curriculum for training Iraqi human intelligence collectors. Dustin serves proudly as a member of the Utah National Guard. Dustin has an M.S. Degree in Sociology from Brigham Young University and is studying at America Military University for a B.B.A in Business. He has graduated with honors from the Defense Language Institute in Iraqi Arabic dialect. He has served a two year mission in Sacramento for the LDS church, worked as a clinical therapist and volunteers as a Family History consultant.


Both Dustin and Kim have worked together on a church committee providing food after church meetings each week. They also both have a passion for food and a love for life. They have studied Indian Cuisine as a chosen art for over a year.


Prep Schedule




Contingency Planning


A food cart is a highly mobile operation. It can be shut down and opened up almost immediately. It can also be moved from one location to another, often as quickly as you can hook it up to a vehicle and move it to another sidewalk. If the business needs changed than we have the option of storing the cart and inventory and re-opening at another time. Location can be changed at any time as well.


Risks


There are certainly risks that we face running a food cart. Among these are the cold winter in Salt Lake. This is probably our greatest concern. If anything is going to derail our business (at least during the winter months), it's most likely going to be the winter. Another big risk that we face is unfamiliarity. We are expressly taking on chain restaurants in a cultural environment that is quite friendly to those familiar models. We do have some worry of whether people will latch on to the idea of something innovative and new.

There is also a risk of theft or harassment. Like anything in this world that can be towed, our trailer is liable to theft. We estimate a theft would cost us the loss of about $8,000-$10,000 to replace our cart. Another risk is having competitors harass Kim.

Course Correction


Fortunately there are very few catastrophic problems that could destroy our business. We operate debt free and so an event would likely just mean a disrupt in cash flow.

In the event that cash flow is less than enough to meet our debts we have two courses that we will follow to correct the situation.

An evaluation will be done of the market to determine what our sales are and to see if another location may be able to provide us with more business. Marketing will also be looked at to determine if there is another approach we can take to encourage customers to come to our cart. We can also look for feedback from reviews and correct areas that our customers dislike. We can also look into hiring a chef consultant or someone that can help us refine our product.

The other option is to simply liquidate the business. We evaluate the worth of our cart at around $5,000, additional equipment and inventory is worth another $2,000. Our total investment has been around $10,000. This means that liquidation would but us out about $2,000 and a decent amount of time and effort.
 



Marketing and Sales Strategy


Marketing Strategy


Our customers desire variety and new, quality experiences. They are savvy to new trends and are highly connected to the Internet. Authenticity is looked for and lack of real passion will be noticed and shunned.


We aim to use online social networks as our primary means of marketing. We have a website, a Twitter feed and a Facebook page. We know that our customers are looking for authentic expression. To meet this demand we update our sites and feeds frequently with relevant and interesting content. We feel that as we build a brand worth looking at customers will come naturally to us, noting our passionate personalities and the effort we put into creating a quality product.

    1. Facebook
      1. Curryosity Facebook page updates daily announcing daily special, deals, location of cart and times of operation.
      2. Content is placed on Facebook page
        1. Content from cart.
          1. Acting like a blog updates about our experience making and running a cart are posted with photos to our Facebook page.
          2. Experiences Dustin has in Iraq running a business, gardening and finding ways to cook curries are posted to the Curryosity Facebook page’s wall.
      3. Curryosity lists similar business that Curryosity customers would likely be interested in.
    2. Twitter
      1. Curryosity Twitter feed updates daily announcing daily special, deals, location of cart and times of operation.
      2. Notification of content updates to website and Facebook are announced on Twitter.
      3. @Curryosity follows similar restaurants and products.
      4. @Curryosity promotes and retweets similar restaurants and products to both build good will and promote businesses that share our same values.
    3. Website
      1. Website lists the Curryosity menu, location and hours of operation
      2. Website has a box showing the Twitter feed.
      3. Website has a box showing people who have “liked” Curryosity.
    4. Yelp and other review sites.
      1. Yelp and other review sites are updated with picture, pricing and accommodations.
      2. Positive and negative feedback are monitored closely to respond to customers wishes.
      3. After changes to operation, attempts are made to contact negative reviewers, offering a free meal to try and re-review Curryosity.

Focus Group Market Research




Sales Strategy


Products and supplies are purchased from various sources from the Internet to local suppliers. Eventually the plan is to purchase as much of our supplies from the most local sources possible, including the local Farmers Market.


Pricing is based on a lower price that can be adjusted upwards as demand begins to over power our ability to output menu items. Food costs are roughly $0.50/per customer, packaging material is roughly $0.64/per customer. Pricing is set at $5 for a take out box with curry and $7 for a large take out box, plus $1 for drinks. The larger box is primarily to provide a higher perceived value for those who purchase that smaller box, that has enough food to satisfy most people.


Break even analysis suggests that in order to break even Curryosity must have approximately 530 sales, or roughly 25 customer per day. If we are open between 11am-1:30 PM this means we need to serve about 10 people an hour. This figure does not factor in purchases of extra naan. (all numbers are provided below in the "break even analysis" that updates automatically with current inforamtion)


We do not currently offer any discounted or promotional pricing. Our prices are already lower by several dollars than any comparable product of Indian food, although street food is typically low priced.



Financial Management

Below are a series of graphics that show the cash flow, break even analysis and a cost worksheet showing our costs per customer.

Cash Flow

Break Even Analysis


Cost Worksheet



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