Potato chips

January 31, 2011
Potato chips (known as chips in American, Australian, Canadian, Singapore, South African, New Zealand and Indian English as well as most European languages; crisps in British and Irish English) are thin slices of potato that are deep fried. Potato chips are commonly served as an appetizer, side dish, or snack. The basic chips are cooked and salted; additional varieties are manufactured using various flavorings and ingredients including seasonings, herbs, spices, cheeses, and artificial additives. Crisps, however, refer to many different types of snack products in the UK and Ireland, some made from potato, but may also be made from corn, maize and tapioca. An example of these kinds of crisps is Monster Munch.
In the summer of 1853, Native American George Crum was employed as a chef at an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. One dinner guest found Crum's French fries too thick for his liking and rejected the order. Crum decided to rile the guest by producing fries too thin and crisp to skewer with a fork. The plan backfired. The guest was ecstatic over the browned, paper-thin potatoes, and other diners began requesting Crum's potato chips.
In 1969, General Mills and Proctor & Gamble introduced fabricated potato chips, Chipos and Pringles®, respectively. They were made from potatoes that had been cooked, mashed, dehydrated, reconstituted into dough, and cut into uniform pieces. They further differed from previous chips in that they were packaged into breakproof, oxygen-free canisters. The Potato Chip Institute (now the Snack Food Association) filed suit to prevent General Mills and Proctor & Gamble from calling their products chips. Although the suit was dismissed, the USDA did stipulate that the new variety must be labeled as "potato chips made from dried potatoes." Although still on the market, fabricated chips have never achieved the popularity of the original.

Today, potato chips are the most popular snack in the United States. According to the Snack Food Association, potato chips constitute 40% of snack food consumption, beating out pretzels and popcorn in spite of the fact that hardly anyone thinks potato chips are nutritious. Nonetheless, the major challenge faced by manufacturers in the 1990s was to develop a tasty low-fat potato chip.

Fish & Chips Business

January 06, 2011
While fish and chips remain a popular meal choice, competition can be just as stiff for business startups in this area of service; many restaurants offer these items on their menu along with other fare.

Review the competition in the area where you plan to open your fish and chips business. Are there other businesses selling fish and chips? If so, what will make yours stand out above the competition for consumers? If there are few, if any, competitors, you may need to determine whether the market wants to support a fish and chips business.
Write a business plan for the fish and chips business. This document should include a detailed description of the business, what it will sell and its purpose in the market; a description of the customer base you are seeking for support of the business; an explanation of financing details, whether through loans or savings; a detailed summary of the business operating plan for three years; financial growth projections for three to five years; an outline of operating procedures (such as hours and training of employees); and a description of any staffing needs for the fish and chips business.
Apply for financing to start the fish and chips business, including a line of credit for buying equipment and supplies for daily running of the restaurant. Look at various business lenders to compare loan terms and options, such as interest rates and length of repayment time. Complete a loan application, if required, and supply the lender with financial documentation that shows your debts, cash on hand (savings, checking, and liquid assets such as mutual funds), the past three years of tax returns, and proof of any income, such as W2s or pay stubs. A copy of the business plan will also be required by the lender to look at current needs as well as future financial projections for the fish and chips business.
Find a location for the business that is accessible to both foot and vehicle traffic. Compare various locations for available parking, leasing prices, the cost of utilities, zoning laws and how close other any other fish and chips businesses would be to yours.
Open banking accounts for the business. Request a federal tax identification number, which may be required by the bank for checking, money market or savings accounts used in the business. Order business checks and a debit card that can be used for purchases and paying bills through the banking accounts.
Lease the desired space for the business. Set up utility accounts--electric, gas, water and phone--and apply for any zoning permits that are required. Complete an application with the county health department for a food license, and apply for a vendor's license from the appropriate agency, allowing you to become a retailer.