Mobile Catering And Co-Branding – A Business Perspective


Many human beings inside the frozen dessert industry – in particular, the independent operators – struggle with now not just a seasonal cycle, but coping with the inherent growth capability of their cutting-edge operation and shape of that boom. For instance, ought to a thriving retail commercial enterprise live in a vertical market and try wholesaling, or might franchising be a higher opportunity? Should you diversify throughout marketplace segments, possibly increasing the product line to any other food organization, which includes hotdogs, sandwiches or grilled ingredients? Should you co-brand? Would growing the cell catering a part of the business make more experience?

If you answered “sure” to any of those questions, then the following query ought to be “what commercial enterprise structure ought to I evolve into to effect this form of increase?” By enterprise structure I do not suggest whether or not or no longer you must be an LLC or a “C” Corporation – I’m assuming all that is in a location already – but more whether or no longer you have to have separate Strategic Business Units (SBUs). An SBU may be a separate legal entity (Corporation or LLC) or an entirely-owned subsidiary of your current entity.

Having separate SBU’s for exclusive components of your business allows you to track earnings and lost a whole lot easier, and allocate budget/budgets plenty extra efficiently. Additionally, you can attempt exceptional advertising or income techniques in a single SBU without affecting the alternative too seriously – especially if your branding is specific.

Create a cellular catering SBU.

Assume you are “ABC Ice Cream Store” this is running a fixed-base retail commercial enterprise. If you create an SBU it really is “ABC Ice Cream Catering” you can track the P&L of the catering arm of your commercial enterprise to decide the first-class advertising techniques etc. Without affecting the sales of the shop – until you mainly plan to and need to. While everyone’s in commercial enterprise to make money, you can choose to make your mobile catering operation a fee middle, in preference to a profit center with the aid of allowing it to work on a wreck-even basis or maybe at a loss as part of a strategic marketing plan. The returns might be pushed again to every other commercial enterprise unit – and this could be very rewarding. For instance, suppose you had a possibility to place an ice cream cart at a State Fair. Generally, there’s a rate to participate, and matched with employee fees to run the cart this will be considerable. To benefit visibility and site visitors, suppose you sold your product at cost, and at the same time gave every client a “$1 off” coupon off their subsequent purchase at your retail store. That manner usual, you’ve lost money at this event. However, from an advertising/conversion perspective, you will be able to tell immediately through the numbers of redeemed coupons how effective the occasion changed into for you, and at the equal time, you will see a well-sized boom in site visitors at your keep – for a loss-chief for your cellular cart. Converting a one-time customer at an outdoor event into a repeat purchaser at your store can be worth making the cellular catering SBU a value-center as opposed to seeking to attract repeat business solely on product best and goodwill.
Alternatively, if you make your cellular ice cream cart an income middle, you need to be able to see a better margin on sales by means of the distinctive feature of the fact that there’s lower overhead – no hire for a storefront etc. You must, however, create a fee-lower back for commissary offerings from your shop for your cell catering commercial enterprise to even the playing area.

Create a co-branded SBU

This provides an possibility to either do some thing completely one of a kind, or something similar. For instance, “ABC Ice Cream Store” may additionally want to offer hamburgers or sandwiches. Or, you can open a coffee shop promoting pies and desserts (and of the path, ABC Ice Cream!). Co-branding is not new; in the early ninety’s, Miami Subs Grill began selling Baskin Robbin’s ice cream of their sub shops – some say the first co-branders in food carrier. Now, Miami Subs Grill is owned by Nathan’s (warm puppies) and co-brands with Kenny Rogers Roasters (chook) and Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips (they not sell Baskin Robbins). Co-branding (or surely stepping into a lateral market) offers you the possibility to clean-out the seasonality of the ice cream commercial enterprise in case you need to. You ought to provide complementary products – or certainly products that work properly collectively, even though seasonal. You may not suppose that barbecue and ice cream cross together – but I’ve been requested numerous instances to provide simply that answer in a cellular catering surroundings. Having a couple of product traces in a cell environment also broadens the opportunities for revenue growth – being capable of cater two traces at one occasion (i.E. A State Fair) or multiple occasions with exclusive products simultaneously.

Going vertical

Selling to nearby lodges, eating places and many others. At a wholesale stage will advantage a new sales circulate, and once more, putting in place an SBU for “ABC Ice Cream Wholesalers” will can help you without delay display your P&L. From a cell catering and advertising angle, going wholesale offers new possibilities. For example, having an ice cream cart with your branding/emblem on it however being used by the restaurant or motel at an event is a extraordinary validator of your product first-class. You additionally have the opportunity to rent your cart on your wholesale clients or even work a number of their events for them for a further sales move. On the flip facet of the advertising coin, you could then say “We offer ice cream to the Posh Hotel on Main Street” to your marketing literature.


Creating a franchise nearly simply means growing a separate Business Unit. From this, you could plainly see the P&L and display the activities of your franchisees. From a cell catering angle, you could favor to provide your franchisees with a cart, or set tips for them to buy their very own. Since franchise branding is all about a uniform “look-and-sense” it’s on your pastimes to work at once with a cart business enterprise for consistency. The drawback of franchising from a cellular catering perspective is that you have no control over how your franchise presents your emblem to the public.