Part 2- Hispanic Businesses and the Food Industry- There are increasing opportunities for Hispanic entrepreneurs to live the American dream in the food industry
Thanks to shifting U.S. demographics that are skewing Hispanic, there are now more opportunities for Hispanic entrepreneurs and business owners to succeed in the food industry. Potential opportunities include restaurants (fast food and full service), small mom-and-pop bodegas, franchises, and food processing, transportation and distribution. In order to be truly successful, however, Hispanic entrepreneurs should look into further education, taking advantage of capital funding and investigating government-sponsored programs.
In part one of this two-part series, we looked at the numbers related to the growth of the Hispanic food industry as well as Hispanic employment statistics in the food industry. Based on that information, its clear that Hispanics are becoming increasingly important to that business sector. In part two, well dive into where entrepreneurial opportunities are and suggest some ways to become successful in the food industry.
Hispanics already know their food is wonderfully tasty, and increasingly, non-Hispanics are also recognizing that. This makes it the perfect time for Hispanic entrepreneurs to get into the food industry, whether as the owner of a full-service or fast-food restaurant, neighborhood bodegas or mercados, or a food-transportation and -distribution business. Even opening a tortilla-manufacturing business could result in huge profits, as the love of Hispanic foodswhich is unlikely to abateonly continues to increase.
Hispanic Businesses and the Food IndustryGrowth Opportunities
One of the most interesting aspects of the Food Industry is its variety. There are plenty of paths to move forward both from an employment and entrepreneurial point of view.
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According to a special report from IBISWorld detailing the best industries for starting entrepreneurs, four of 11 prominent industries relate to food: street-food vendors or food trucks, ethnic supermarkets, relaxing drinks and wine sales.
Other reports arent that flattering. While 9.7% of all U.S.-born and immigrants own a business, only 6.5% of all Mexicans do. These businesses also do less well than for other comparable minorities (e.g., Koreans, Indians). The average sales for a Mexican-owned business is $257,000, significantly lower than the $465,000 annual sales averaged by businesses owned by people of Asian descent. These sales are only a half of Korean-owned businesses and a third that of Indian-owned businesses.
Nevertheless, this is changingand fast.
Here, for example, are the top Hispanic-owned food-related companies in the U.S. among the total 500:
- 5 – Quirch foods Co., Miami, Frozen food distribution
- 8 – Ruiz foods Inc, Dinuba, CA, Frozen hand-held food (El Monterey and Tornados)
- 17 – Lopez foods Inc., Oklahoma City, OK, Ground beef and pork products-hamburgers, sausage
- 33 – Ole Mexican foods Inc., Norcross, GA, Tortilla manufacturing
- 44 – Bartlett Dairy Inc., Jamaica, NY, Dairy, pastry, cans, bottles
- 58 – Norsan Group, Duluth, GA, Restaurants & food distributor
- 108 – La Tortilla Factory Inc., Santa Rosa, CA, Tortilla & wraps mfg.
- 116 – Cuellar LLC, Passaic,NJ, Retail Supermarket
- 138 – Field Fresh foods Inc., Los Angeles,CA, Produce processing
- 140 – Puente Enterprises Inc., DFW Airport,TX, winery & food & beverage
- 150 – Fru-Veg Marketing Inc., Miami,FL, Importers & distributors of fresh Produce
- 154 – Carniceria 3 Hermanos Inc., Norcross, GA, Grocery stores & meat processing plant
- 156 – Santana Sales & Marketing Group Inc. Marietta,GA, Manufacturer representative, food broker
- 174 – R.W. Garcia Co. Inc., San Jose,CA, Tortilla chips
- 190 – La Bodega Ltd., Chicago,IL, Grocery and canned products distributor
- 192 – La Hacienda Brands Inc., Chicago, IL, Fruits and vegetables wholesale
- 256 – Taylor Ultimate Services Co., Weston,FL, Sales & svcs. Restaurant equipment
- 264 – Viña & Son food Distributor, Miami,FL , food distributor
- 266 – Nital Trading Co. Inc., Miami,FL, Distributor and exporter of meat products
- 270 – Garcia foods Inc., San Antonio,TX, Manufacturer chorizo, tamales, barbacoa
- 281 – El Charro Cafe, Tucson,AZ, Restaurant & food manufacturing
Hispanic Businesses and the Restaurant IndustryGrowth Opportunities
The National Restaurant Association research points out that restaurants created 13 million jobs last year and added more than $1.7 trillion to the economy.
The research also shows that almost half of all Americans have worked in the restaurant industry and more than one in four adults say their first job was in a restaurant. Eighty percent of restaurant managers began their careers as front-line employees.
Restaurants are primarily small businesses (93% have fewer than 50 employees). This is a great opportunity for Hispanic-owned businesses, especially those dedicated to fast-food or casual dining.
As a matter of fact, between 1997 and 2007, the number of Hispanic-owned restaurants increased by 80%. Hispanic restaurant ownership increased 42% from 2006 to 2011, the research shows. Furthermore, restaurants employ more minority managers than any other industry, though only 15% of all front-line managers are Hispanic vs. 18% African American and 59% female.
Today, there are almost 25,000 Mexican restaurants alone, and Hispanic flavors are becoming more popular in American culture, creating trends like fries with jalapeño flavor, gourmet tacos and ceviche.
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