Starting a Delicatessen

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: February 2017
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Delicatessens supply a selection of speciality and premium produce such as craft-baked bread, handmade confectionery, biscuits, chutney and jams, imported and locally sourced charcuterie, cheeses, olives, cooking sauces and olive oils, and artisan coffee, tea and 'vintage' soft drinks. Some delicatessens also sell alcoholic drinks such as wine, craft ales and sloe gin. Many delicatessens only stock organic or Fairtrade produce.

Independent delicatessens face competition from other local speciality food retailers, as well as national supermarkets with deli counters, particularly 'premium' brands such as Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. They are also affected by decreasing footfall on the high street in general.

Delicatessens are increasingly diversifying their business, for example by supplying bespoke and ready-made gift hampers, and providing catering services such as buffets for business and private events.

Food business establishments such as delicatessens are subject to significant amounts of legislation relating to registration of premises, food safety and hygiene, presentation and traceability, weights and measures, waste disposal, and health and safety in the workplace.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a delicatessen. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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