This week, we explore an investment idea that feeds heavily and directly from the agriculture value chain.
I’d like to define a health bar as a café outlet that serves healthy meals and drinks, whose ingredients are whole (cereals), organic farm fresh or dried and processed for storage. In a health bar you won’t find sodas, beers, whiskey or other such hard stuff. You won’t purchase cigarettes or tooth decay causing candy. At minimum, a health bar menu has 90% healthy foods and drinks while the other 10% is for easing patrons from unhealthy to healthy eating habits.
As one venturing into this field, find out what your target market needs are and seek to fulfill them without losing focus of the fact that your mission is to serve wholesome, healthy meals, snacks and drinks.
A big shout out to Daily Cake Kenya. These guys make some of the most scrumptious, healthy tea scones, home made bread, cupcakes and cakes (for all function)
Why would it make sense to invest in a health bar?
Most countries are experiencing an upsurge in lifestyle diseases among the middle and high-income citizenry. Cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, blood pressure etc. are lifestyle diseases which can be avoided, treated or managed through healthy living. However, healthy eating is just a portion of a healthy lifestyle. You can explore investment in a gym which would be a great complement to a health bar.
As we explore this entrepreneurial idea, it is worth considering its impact and expansion model as a franchise business. Research, build a business plan and get investing on it if you have a passion for great cooking and running a café.
What you might need
An ideal location: whose population is majorly middle / high income households
A target market: Have a demography of your market by age. Although the products you will be offering can be consumed by all age groups, you will soon realize that those responding best are more mature clientèle. In terms of gender, it is easier to penetrate the female folk while male folk require extra creativity and initiative to become loyal to your health bar.
Suppliers: You need to establish reliable suppliers/ supply points for your ingredients – fruits, cereals, milks, seeds, vegetables, eggs, confectionaries, packaging materials etc. A health bar requires a steady supply of these items to meet an all year-round demand by customers. You can’t offer caramel & honey glazed pancakes made of skimmed milk today and when the customer returns two days later you tell them you are out!
Facilities management: A health bar requires a lot of cleanliness/ hygiene because of handling fresh food. You will need to maintain the legal health authority standards of hygiene.
Your Menu: You need to cover all the main meals of the day and snacks. The menu should also show a very healthy variation of meals with creative names to suggest what they do to the body.
It will also be unique to have a chef’s daily special on each meal.
The chef’s special can be themed e.g. The theme for Friday can be something like “working up the weekend”. From the breakfast to the last meal of the day (drinks included), the chef’s special can suggest the suitable edibles and drinks.
So as not to appear bland, your menu will require a lot of work in presentation, serving and marketing/ promotion.
To keep patrons loyal, you may want to consider some extra activities e.g.
- Tipping customers with a sample recipe that they can make at home
- Have a lounge area where people can sit and chat or read books
- Consider having a healthy cooking class where you invite people to try out their skills with different recipes explaining the benefits of the ingredients and the end product
- Run monthly competitions for the best creation and the winning recipe is served as a house special
- Be active on social media platforms
For more insights on investing wisely we recommend the book “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” by Eric Ries