Regarded as an institution in the community, local butcher shops expertise when it comes to fine cuts of meat. Hundreds of years ago, every small town had a designated butcher shop. Nowadays, that has changed. While the deli counters at supermarkets have saturated the trade in recent years, local meat markets are still thriving, especially among loyal patrons who value the classic experience.
Knowledge and passion are vital to be successful as a butcher – along with a stable business mind and a commitment to fostering a brand based on core principles of the trade.
What are the traits of a good butcher?
The most successful local butcher shops are run by people who are passionate about providing a personable and expert service when it comes to high-quality meat. They also have a high interest in the farm-to-table journey of an animal and food supply issues. You can rely on a butcher’s expertise on the different cuts of meat and carcass processing.
Working with meat can get messy; thus, an enthusiasm for butchery is a must if you want to start your own butcher shop.
What do you sell at a butcher shop?
While having a good stock of every meat product may seem like the right idea, it can spread you thinly rather quickly. In many cases, concentrating on a few high-quality core meat products will be the best approach. These core meat products should include different cuts of the most popular meats such as beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. You can also stock some of the critical processed meat products such as sausages.
By focusing on only stocking and selling the core meats products, you can develop your brand and profitability. Also, you can always branch out and expand in the future. However, if your shop is located in an accessible and high-traffic area, stocking and selling prepared meat items such as meat pies and sausage rolls may be a good business idea.
Where will you source the meat?
One of the key reasons why customers prefer butchers over supermarkets is regard on where the meat they buy come from. It’s a known fact that big supermarket chains are not that transparent when it comes to their supply policies. Local butcher shops, on the other hand, are known for their excellent relationships with local animal farms. Also, butchers can provide their customers with all the information they need about the animal’s journey from farm to the shop as well as any ethical-related concerns.
If you want to become a butcher, a commitment to animal welfare is one of the most influential decisions you have to make. Nowadays, people recognize the ethical matters regarding food sourcing. People are more inclined to give their business to suppliers who have strong ethical foundations. Having an honest supply policy and only working with animal farms that have high animal welfare standards will help your reputation as a butcher, gain customer trust, and establish brand loyalty.
Stocking Your Shop
Another important consideration is how you will control and manage your stock levels. Keeping your products fresh while meeting the demands of your customers is essential. Overstocking may lead to perishable products getting ruined. Under-stocking, on the other hand, can make it extremely challenging to satisfy demands.
A popular stock control method is regularly conducting stock reviews. By doing so, you can determine whether you need to place a new stock order. Reviewing stocks takes into account the fixed figures that help business owners decide whether to order a new stock or hold it off. Many local butcher shops operate on a minimum stock level; the bottom point stock should go before a new batch is ordered.
How can you become competitive in the market?
To be a successful meat shop, you need to maintain a competitive edge among your local competition. With the massive buying power of big chain supermarkets and the increase of their deli counters, it may become a challenge to be competitive.
However, customers who buy at local butcher shops are more interested in the quality of the product than the price. Your primary competition will be other butcher shops in the area along with farmer’s markets. Cost may be a factor, but food sourcing, the types of meats that are offered, and the ambiance of the shop and the personality of the butcher are all taken into consideration by customers.