Farm to Plate Business Analysis (Marketing, HR, Supply Chain, etc)
Farm to Plate is an eatery that concentrates on offering unique and healthy food habits among consumers. Therefore, the main idea of the business is to set up a direct supplier link; which is with the farmers to deliver organic materials to be directly offered to the consumers. Farm to Plate focuses on the aspect of healthy food consumption that can ensure that consumers can avoid harm or negative effects from consuming daily fast food or adulterated food items currently offered in the food industry. Frame to Plate avoids any sort of chemical preservation techniques of food or storing the same as it believes in serving only fresh items that help it gain a unique status in the current foodservice sector.
Since the concept of Farm to Plate or some refer to it as Farm to table recognises it as a healthier substitute for packaged food or processed, thus, the firm is optimistic to perform positively in the market and accordingly cater to the health needs of the population it aims to serve.
Fresh farm food being offered highlights the ethical responsibility of the firm to offer a healthy diet to the consumer (Coplen, 2018). This can also act as a positive value proposition for the service being provided. Also, the objective of the business is to promote healthy eating habits and develop a sustainable business model by integrating farmers as the direct suppliers.
The business focuses on offering locally grown materials to the restaurants and eateries, which empowers local growers as well as promotes organic food consumption. Therefore, in this regard, Shin et al. (2017) has highlighted that using the concept the farmers and the restaurant owners can be economically empowered. This signifies that restaurant owners can support local farmers and in return, the restaurant owners can cut various costs, which would have been higher if materials are imported from non-local producers or using third party suppliers.
Since consumers are highly aware and the recent era of the internet has led to an increase in demand for the best quality products and services (Bacig and Young, 2019). Thus, organic or locally grown food has an increased demand, which allows business like Farm to Plate to grow and establish. Therefore, considering the demand, the organisation offers locally sourced food that is healthy and free from chemical or other non-natural production or preservation techniques.
Increasing demands for healthy food and lifestyle is the value addition of the service being offered (Coplen, 2018). In addition to this, fresh flavours from locally produced products; which is not frozen and at the same time natural ingredients are added to the value proposition of the services of the firm Farm to Plate. Thus, added nutrition and economic benefits are some of the crucial aspects that sum the value to the target consumers.
There are existing restaurants that claim to offer fresh food using organic produce, thus some of the major competitors for the current business are:
The wild rabbit: The restaurant provides organic produce,however; the menu is limited to a certain cuisine
Rogan and Co: The restaurant uses organic produce; however, the items are mainly targeted at high-end consumers.
Based on the service offering of the three competitors above, it can be said that Farm to Plate stands out in terms of a variety of organic items to offer. Moreover, the firm also stands out in the aspect of providing tailored service as per individual consumer needs. Most significantly, the consumers or the target audience of the firm is not only the high-end consumers but also the average section of the society allowing Farm to Plate to be pocket friendly.
The market analysis is based on the current consumer residing in the area of operation of the business along with the demographic and behavioural aspects of the country in which the business operates.
The need and demand of consumers concerning any product and service can be diverse, thus, Demetry, (2019) has highlighted that in the case of food consumption needs of consumers have always been fragmented. The reason for the same is that the consumers require different food products based on the cultural and social background they belong to. Therefore, to determine the target audience for the given business a theoretical approach can be taken using tools of marketing analysis such as PEST.
Since the business is based in the United Kingdom the PEST analysis will be based on the consumers of the said nation.
The political stability of the country is highly intact; however, it faced certain political reforms in recent years that have an impact on the business both domestically and across borders.
The economic condition of the country is also stable as the section of the consumers is most likely to spend on quality products. Moreover, the average wage of the nation is also higher in comparison to various developed countries, which helps to determine the positive spending capability of the population.
The society in the current era is a multicultural society; which has resulted in the establishment of various institutes that cater for the needs and wants of individuals belonging to different social groups.
The United Kingdom is a developed country with a high level of advancement in the technological field. The use of the internet is high along with technological contribution to the country’s economy helps in assuming the positive aspect of technology within the country.
Marketing for the business will be based on both offline and online sources and tools. Online sources are most cost-effective and will help in reaching out to a large number of target audiences. However, offline modes will be newspaper or collaborative marketing with other institutions allowing the business to aggressively market its services and offerings.
Thus, in the case of online promotion the distribution channel can be social media platforms and dedicated sites that deal with food promotions and delivery. The offline distribution channel for the business is mainly direct sales.
Using porter’s five forces the business can identify the role of the competition and also determine any opportunities and threats that might impact the business.
Porter’s five forces for competitive analysis
Competition in the industry: The number of competitors is determined and is further analysed if the amount of competitors is enough for the new entrant to compete sustainably. In the case of the given business of farm to plate, it has been observed that there is huge competition and the business needs to compete hard to maintain its sustainability.
Potential of new entry: The potential of new entry is determined to access the ways new entrants can harm the current business. Certain unique attributes tend to separate the consumer base an existing firm has created. Thus, in the case of Farm to Plate entry of new players is high.
Power of supplier: The dependence of the firm on the supplier determines the supplier’s power. As stated by de Freitas and Stedefeldt, ( 2020) a low number of suppliers will increase the dependency of the firms on the supplier. Thus, in the case of the given business idea, it can be said that the number of suppliers is low as locally produced farmers are more inclined to supply products for bulk import across borders for a hefty amount.
Power of customer: The power of customers is high in this regard as the amount of competition is high, which can result in negotiating the prices estimated for different services and offers provided by the firm.
The threat of substitute: Similar products with equivalent features can decrease the value for the current service or product offered by the firm. However, substitute for organic products is comparatively low, which enables the organisation to maintain its USP while providing its services to the consumers.
Based on the above identification of potential competitors, internal analysis of the company can help in overcoming the challenges that might arise from the potential competitors. Internal analysis can be conducted by using SWOT analysis of the firm.
The major strength of Farm to Plate is its service delivery process, which ensures seasonal inclusion of organic items to add to the menu that can help in providing a range of products to the consumers. As per Freitas and Stedefeldt, ( 2020) a diverse range of products can help in meeting the needs and demands of the diverse population of the region the business operates in.
Catering to a diverse set of an audience can be taken as an opportunity as it can help in determining the consumer’s needs and interest, which can help in further creating items as per consumers diverse taste.
In case of weakness, it can be said that the challenges that may arise from funding limitation may impact the regular operation of the organisation.
Threats in regards to the firm are mainly the existing competitors, the reason for the same is due the current service delivery process of the competitors are efficient and at the same time, the competitors are already with a set consumer base.
Product sourcing refers to the material to obtain for selling the final product. In the case of the restaurant Farm to Plate, it is the organic and healthy dishes it aims to serve the consumers in the United Kingdom. Therefore, procurement in an effective manner in the current era of technology Yun et al. (2020) has suggested that start-ups can use e-procurement as an efficient way to cut costs and avoid waste. The process helps parties such as the buyers and sellers or manufacturers based on the most relevant needs of each party respectively.
The product distribution of the firm will mainly depend on walkins; however, a significant feature that can help in boosting the service delivery is making a strong online presence to further maximise the consumer base.
As stated in the para above, an online presence can help the consumers to locate the firm and considering the CSR responsibility such as being paperless, that is using online payment methods will be highly encouraged. Moreover, encouraging and promoting zero waste can help in further achieving supply chain sustainability. Moreover, for supply chain sustainability Farm to Plate has considered undertaking the cold chain process.
Figure 1: Cold Chain process
(Source: Ndraha et al. 2018)
Business owners of the given firm are the team which includes me, the team consists of 6 individuals assigned with different roles based on their expertise as well as share percentage. However, I am responsible for carrying out the operating activities of the business.
Similarly, another member is the CFO of the organisation that has expertise in the field of financial management.
Two of our members are assigned with the operations of the IT department for management of the online business process.
And, two of our members, which includes me, handles the daily operation of Farm to Plate.
Apart from the entrepreneurial team, the major human resource needs are the operating team; which is the restaurant staff. Thus, the main focus will be on recruiting relevant staff from hospitality backgrounds as well as individuals from accounting backgrounds for the management of daily cash. Thus, the recruitment of the staff will be direct recruitment through advertisement in online job portals or presenting classified in the newspapers and other journals.
There are certain regulatory requirements for operating the business that includes an application for food registration and business licence (Riggio et al. 2019). In addition to this, there are basic standards that the firm needs to fulfil under the regulatory requirement, which is basic hygiene protocol as well as the directed guidelines to be followed under the Covid-19 pandemic.
The major risk identified in the case of the business of Farm to Plate is the outbreak of Covid, which will affect the regular sales of the organisation (Rizou et al. 2020). Accordingly, suppliers’ providing the materials may also get affected, which can lead to disruption in the daily operations of the business.
Similar companies have failed due to the virus outbreak, the major reason being the lack of an effective contingency plan in the event of unforeseen change. Thus, from such events, it can be stated that change is inevitable and individuals should be highly adaptable to uncertain changes. However, for the identified issues it can be stated that making online business and abiding by the protocol to avoid Covid and operate the business can help in sustaining the same in such a situation.
The financial needs are mainly operating cash that helps the organisation to sustain in the long run, which is possible through regular direct sales.
|Opening expected expense||Amount|
|Total expected expenses||42000|
Table 1: Expense budget
|Cash flow projection estimated|
|Total Cash inflows||1400||1800||2000|
|Payment to supplier||100||100||100|
|Opening cash balance||0||-300||100|
|Closing cash balance||-300||100||300|
Table 2: Estimated cash flow of the business
Break-even refers to the number of unit sales required to equal the amount of capital invested while opening the business.
|Fixed cost / (Sales per unit – Variable price per unit)|
|Sales price per unit||12|
|Variable per unit||0.3|
|Units to sell per month||128.2051282|
Table 3: Break-even analysis
The initial investment of the business is 42000 euros, which is collected through the founding members; however, the business aims to reach out to p[otential shareholders for its funding along with the focus on its direct sales.
|First 3 months||Planning process|
|4th month||Allocating resources|
|6th and 7th month||Accessing the place|
|8th month||Developing the marketing strategy|
|Last 3 months||Staffing and executing the idea|
The discussions reveal the various stages involved in the execution of the given business idea. Thus, the idea seems to be saleable as the above discussion highlights the need for healthy food habits among the population. However, the major area of concern that needs further discussion is the process to be followed to operate the business in the event of the various risk that has been identified.