How to Start and Operate Canteen Concessions


If you are looking for a business that has minimal risks and steady cash flow, a canteen concession is one of the best choices. A canteen concession is a restaurant that is set up inside a building or compound primarily to serve the needs of the people inside the premises.
Those who are planning to venture into this business should consider the following:
1. Study the terms of the canteen concession. Study the requirements carefully. While the lease price is the most important consideration, often, the prices of meals are limited to be affordable to the potential customers. This may make the canteen unprofitable. Another common problem is the required operating hours. You may be required to operate even during hours where there are few customers.
2. Prepare a delicious, non-repeating 30-day menu. Unlike ordinary restaurants, people are expected to eat in your place on a daily basis. Because of this, you need to have a wider variety of food items so that people will not get tired of your offerings. Make sure that the quality of the menu is a great value for the price.
3. Set up an accounting and internal control system from the start. This system should have two primary objectives. The first would be to deter internal theft and the second is to monitor performance in several aspects, like the profitability of the company and cost control. It is easier to do this at the beginning so that there would be less resistance.
4. Have a Point of Sale (POS) system. With POS systems now very cheap, it is advisable that you acquire this equipment. This will be a tremendous aid to your control system. Among the benefits of a POS are better internal and inventory control, tracking of promotions, employee performance monitoring, accounting, and many others.
5. Do not serve leftover food. This may be profitable in the short term, but it is impossible to avoid the long term damage it will cause your canteen’s reputation. People now have higher standards, and if the food is of poor quality, they will just buy somewhere else or demand that your concession not be renewed.
6. Train your staff in excellent customer service. Begin by hiring good natured personnel and then training them on proper customer service. Even if your main product is food, there is no doubt that how your people interact with customers is of crucial importance.
7. Take advantage of catering opportunities. Once you have established a reputation for good food and service, there are occasions where you can serve as caterer. Be prepared to do so since it can add a substantial bonus to your canteen income.
A canteen concession is one of the most stable businesses. As long as you continue to satisfy your customers and the management of the premises, your only concern is to operate at a profit. Although you will be getting qualified staff, it is important that you know how to best run a canteen.
BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts seminars on How to Start and Operate a Canteen Concession. Contact (02) 727-5628, (02) 727-8860, (0915) 205-0133 or visit for details.

Click here to view details of the seminar: How to Be a Canteen Concessionaire »

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.