Engaging conversations! Thank you all for taking so much time in sharing your view points. I can not express how much I value your thoughts.
I would have to say that while I enjoy money very much, I am not money driven. I have always had to struggle for every dime I make, and even now money does not come easy. I struggle and work hard every day in my restaurant, not because it pays me great money, or even good money, but because I get great satisfaction from hearing people tell me they love my food.
When I first got into kitchen rental, it was because I honestly just needed some money to help me pay the bills. Then my goal was to rent enough time out so I could produce my wholesale product cost free. But then one day I rented to a lady who drove over an hour every day to use my kitchen. She did this for 6 months and then decided she was doing so well that she felt confident opening up her own brick and mortar. I will never forget that feeling. She was so thankful to have been able to use my kitchen to test out her products. To hear that if it wasn't for me, she never would have taken that risk. From that day on, it wasn't about the money as much as it was about helping people enjoy the freedom of being their own boss.
If you do very quick numbers, 5 people per shift, 4 shifts, is only 20 people. At a monthly rate of $800 or even $1000 inclusive of storage space etc....those numbers aren't so bad for myself considering my rent is under $3000 per month. I would almost have the best of both worlds, earning a good income AND being in a position to afford others who share my passion for baking a suitable place to work which is fairly priced.
Although I should probably be more like other rental kitchens, I was never one to nickle and dime my clients. I do not charge extra for storage. I try to be as fair as possible. I feel I have had great success with my first kitchen, and I have a waiting list for my second kitchen. I do not charge the most in this city....which is pretty well off financially. I do not charge the least. I do try to be fair to each one of my businesses, while being fair to myself as well. (something I've had to learn to be better at) Could I have made more money? I'm pretty sure I could have. Would I have a higher turn over rate of clients coming in and out? I think so.
I know I am also merging both a kitchen rental program with a kitchen incubator program. I don't feel I should define or separate the two. I have and will continue to offer advice and advisory support to those who need it. I offer recipe development and nutritional label creation for them as well. I also plan to offer a few more services and perks to my clients involving trade shows, industry nights and a sales team. I am a creative thinker and feel there are always additional ways to make money while helping my businesses grow. While I was struggling with my start up, I was WISHING there were resources available to me but it just wasn't there.
I work with both our local Gov funded Food Business Incubator and Gov Funded Small Biz Development Centre. I know the Incubator here has not done well. It has become a money grab for suits who make big promises and then leave those start ups to fend for themselves. That is something that burns me up. They were charging fee's that were just not reasonable. A business might as well take the risk 100% and go get their own spot. It would nearly be the same costs for a fraction of the hours.
I do have clients who have no issues with $25 an hour. Heck....some restaurants are charging $35 or $40 an hour plus $500 a month just to be allowed to work from their kitchen. whoopidy doo. Some recent interviews I've done said that even the community centers here are charging $80 an hour! Who of us could or WOULD pay that?
Who has the right to even ask that much? It's greed. Simple as that.
Savory foodies can and do pay more then bakers. And I think they should. It's a completely different ballgame. The bottom line is bakers just can't pay that much and still make money on cakes. The wait times stall everything. Yes you can plan other things to do while waiting....but should you pay me $25 an hour while your sitting there decorating, which is the same rate the guy pays me if hes catering the wedding...and using every resource in the house?? Doesn't seem right or logical......from the production side of things.
From the landlord side of things...maybe I shouldn't care. Or maybe if more did care, there would be a lot less of us working from our homes illegally (at least here). Maybe I would be contributing to changing lives, even if in the smallest ways.