Starting a Concessionaire (Karinderya)

A concessionaire is a person or firm who owns or manages the concession.  They are the people behind a canteen – company office canteen or school canteen, or a refreshment stand or a burger and hotdog kiosk at a recreational center like in a sports event, carnivals, state fairs, and live music event – indoor or outdoor.  This type of business can be lucrative but it can be quite profitable.  They primarily serve the needs of the people inside the premises, as the crowds of such events are typically hungry more than willing to buy food or snacks. This kind of business is much less expensive and has minimal risks with stable cash flow than any other businesses because it has relatively low start-up costs compared to other which need a bigger building or a lot of staff or equipment.

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The most common concessionaire business is the one inside the school or inside the building.  People who are preparing to venture into this business should consider the following:

  • Determine the nature of business – it can be sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation.
  • Determine the type of canteen you plan to set-up.
  • Estimate the capital requirements.
  • Study the terms and the requirements of the canteen concession carefully.  The lease price is the most important consideration.  The price of the meals must be affordable too.  Take into consideration the required operating hours as well.
  • Check the initial contract period.  One year is the usual contract period and renewable upon establishment of a record of accomplishment of above satisfactory.
  • Determine your target audience – would it be an office or school canteen? Or do you want to take it just outside?  What kind of food are you offering them?  For example, you cannot put up a high-end coffee and donut shop where students will not be able to afford it.  Determine the prices of products being sold; it should be affordable for the consumers.
  • Since people are expected to eat in a daily basis you need to prepare a mouth-watering, non-repeating 30-day menu with proper costing.  Make your menu always fresh and interesting.
  • Prepare you Legal Requirements:
  • Photocopies of Business Permit
  • Photocopies of Mayor’s Permit
  • DTI Registration
  • BIR Registration
  • Fire Safety Clearance/Certificate
  • Sanitation and Health Certification of the canteen
  • Sanitation and Health Certification of canteen staff, crew and handlers
  • Clearances:
  • Have a Point of Sale (POS) system for better internal and inventory control, tracking of promotions, employee performance monitoring, and accounting. POS is usually a computerized replacement for a cash register. It also has a drawer, and a receipt printer.
  • Do not serve leftover food to avoid the long-term damage it will cause your canteen’s reputation. People always find good quality food.
  • Plan and organize your personnel. Train your staff in excellent customer service – to smile a lot and to be constantly cheerful.  The way your people interact with customers is of big importance. Great “pakikisama” is what Filipinos are famous for, so your staff should be accommodating and kind in order to win the hearts of the consumers.
  • A food business needs very careful monitoring and supervision by the owner.  Good hygiene and sanitation/cleanliness play a significant role in this kind of business – be extra careful in handling the food.  Owners are expected to provide housekeeping services and need to segregate waste disposal.
  • Be aware of the current fads and trends and look for new products that are mostly seen on TV, specially to students and young workers who always finds the latest fads because if you won’t they will tag your store as “baduy” and “wala sa uso”.

In shorter terms, you need to prepare an amount that would be proportional to whatever you are planning to offer.  Most concessionaires have capitals from P100, 000 – P200, 000 and that estimation can earn somewhere around P6, 000 – P8, 000.

Having that profit can give you a Return of Investment (RoI) in less than a year.  You just need to consider your personnel, your food, innovation, and perseverance.  Are you a food lover?  Do you think you have what it takes for the people to love what you cook?  Open a concessionaire or most commonly referred to as karinderya to start earning by doing what you love all at the same time.


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