In 2018, a food business owner has more options than ever for production space.
One option that is rising in popularity is the shared commercial kitchen space (also sometimes called an incubator or commissary). A shared space, much like a coworking facility, allows you to pay hourly (or through a membership fee) to create your product without investing in costly startup resources like a lease and equipment. Additionally, they often feature a network of other makers or help with business services such as legal advice.
However, if you've never worked in a shared kitchen before, the learning curve can be steep. Adjusting to sharing equipment, tools, square footage and personal space with strangers (and potentially competitors) proves difficult for some business owners.
Take careful consideration to understand whether this model will work for your business (and your personality) before signing on.
Signs A Shared Kitchen Might Work For You
- Your product isn't too sensitive.
- In a shared kitchen, anyone can end up working in close proximity. If you make allergen-free baking products and don't want to rub elbows with a dog food company, or a nut butter producer, a shared kitchen isn't for you.
- Your equipment needs are flexible.
- Normally use a steam kettle, but willing to switch to a tilt skillet? A shared commercial kitchen has a set bank of equipment, so if you're willing to accommodate your process based on what's available, you'll have more success.
- You don't mind shared spaces.
- This may seem obvious, but working in a shared space is completely unlike managing your own kitchen. If you don't like to share your smallwares, store your product next to others', or listen to someone else's loud music, this model may not be for you. But if you're friendly and flexible, it just might work!
Click below for more information about how exactly the shared kitchen model works.
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