New F&B guidebook launched for aspiring entrepreneurs

SINGAPORE - A new guidebook which offers aspiring entrepreneurs tips and guidelines on how to set up and sustain their food and beverages businesses was launched on Tuesday (June 14).

The book - Turning Passion into Profits - provides entrepreneurs with statistics and business formats that can help them kick-start their F&B businesses.

Published by the Restaurant Association of Singapore with support from Spring Singapore, the book also includes guidelines on preparatory work before setting up a business such as conducting market studies to assess demand and degree of competition, identifying consumer segments and profiles, and working out financial projections to determine the capital required, projected profit margins and break even points.

"We recognise the need for the presence of more tools on top of workshops and a vibrant online community... (This book will) serve as a handy reference that offers new players in the industry alternative solutions and methods to making inroads into our market," said honorary secretary of the Restaurant Association of Singapore, Mr Andrew Khoo.

According to a study conducted by Spring Singapore, only 60 per cent of Food Services establishments survive their first five years in operation. Approximately three in 10 such businesses close down each year from 2010 to 2014.

"Despite the challenging financials, the sector still sees a large number of new entrants annually... This can be attributed to the relatively low barriers to entry and the emergence of more entrepreneurs," said Minister of State for the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry for Trade and Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon, who attended the book launch at Timbre+, a gastro park run by Timbre Group.

At the launch, managing director of Timbre Group, Mr Edward Chia, and the head of Asia consumer insights centre of McKinsey & company, Mr Ali Potia, also shared with the F&B entrepreneurs present the challenges of starting an F&B business and how newcomers can increase the sustainability of their businesses, along with how a business format that reduces manpower can value-add to a company.