Homemade craft noodle production for food businesses: benefits, challenges, methods
One of the best ways for a food business with noodles on the menu to stand out among its competitors is to offer high quality value-added product by serving noodles that are as fresh as possible, and are made from the best ingredients. This sort of noodles is no longer merely a generic noodle ‘produce’, but belongs to a different category – of “craft food”, which not only enjoys more popularity among customers for its better taste and texture, but has a higher psychological appeal in terms of perceived product-value.
With intense competition among food businesses, serving “craft noodles” is no longer a prerogative of only high-end fine-dining shops, but is something actively considered and implemented by casual-dining and food-delivery businesses as well.
So, in a sense, offering “craft noodles” has become a default option. The only question is where should a business source them from.
But before we start addressing the question of “How to start offering your own craft noodles in 3 steps” we need to answer a question that on a fundamental level precedes it: “Is making your own noodles good for your business in the 1st place?”
We know it is always tempting and at the same time rather scary to start something new. If as a business you have been buying noodles from third-party suppliers, you relied on them to provide you with a quality product to serve your customers. On the other hand, you might have an idea of starting to make your own noodles. However, like any other strategic business decision switching to making noodles in-house may have serious caveats very much worth taking into consideration before embarking on the project. So, let us look at the typical pros and cons of both options.
Pros and cons of buying noodles from suppliers
1. does not require any initial investment
2. does not entail any production-related expenses (labor, organizational resources to run the production operation etc.)
3. no necessity to understand and be capable of noodle making processes, methods, etc.
1. possibly high cost per portion
2. the product may contain preservatives for longer shelf live (which may be perceived negatively by customers)
3. no direct control over the product quality – supplier-sourced noodles may not be consistent in quality, etc.
Pros and cons of making your own noodles
1. relatively low product cost per portion
2. high and consistent product quality – as a producer you are in charge of noodle quality similarly to other products which are made directly at your business
3. high potential for and flexibility in product development / adjustment – you are free to create and offer your own craft noodles and other dough-based products
1. initial investment + running costs (labor, ingredients costs, space)
2. noodle making requires a certain level of expertise – if you have never made any noodles before, it will take you some time and effort to learn and start making like a professional
3. demand volume is too low to justify the initial investment and running costs
4. risk of production interruption due to equipment malfunction and other issues related to production process / organization
Thus, each option has its strong and weak sides, and their relative worth will depend on your particular business conditions and plans.
Answering the following three questions may give you a clearer perspective on which strategy will work best for you:
1. are your customers (and you) satisfied with the current quality of your noodles? (Or, is there a room to stand out from your competitors by offering unique products in your market?)
2. is there enough sales volume to justify the initial investment and running costs? (Or, is there a potential for growth in your market?)
3. aside from cost-saving from making your own noodles, do you see any other benefits that going homemade can bring about?
Depending on the answers, in-house noodle production may be an option worth exploring.
If self-producing noodles makes more business sense, the following practical aspects should in turn be considered:
1. finding ingredients of satisfactory quality and at affordable cost
2. product development (creating new recipes, or re-creating those for the products your business is currently buying from suppliers but would want to keep on the menu once the transition to in-house production has been completed)
These aspects should be addressed in a comprehensive manner as each one may influence the rest (e.g. the product you may want to make can only be produced from a certain variety of flour and only on a specific type / model of equipment).
On August 5, 2021, join Yamato for a free online noodle class to learn about craft noodles in general, relative advantages of each procurement option (buying noodles from third-party suppliers or making them yourself) as well specific issues of in-house noodle production: ingredients, recipes, equipment.
The class is Free, and its live broadcast is accessible by the link that will be sent to your email address after you sign up.
a link to the Class’s livestream will be sent to your email address 30 minutes before the start of the class
(NOTE: we are looking forward for, and would definitely welcome your watching the live broadcast, but should that be difficult, you would still be able to watch a recording of the class using the same link)
|Time (Japanese time)||Contents|
|4:05 ~ 4:35||A lecture on business opportunities with craft noodles, sourcing options, and particular issues related to noodle production|
|4:35 ~ 5:00||Practical demo session: making fresh craft noodles using “Richmen Gold” – an all-in-one commercial noodle maker for limited-scale production of craft noodles|
|5:00 ~ 5:10||Q&A|
*August 5, 4:00 P.M. Japanese time will be:
August 5, 00:00 A.M. in Los Angeles;
August 5, 2:00 A.M. in Dallas;
August 5, 3:00 A.M. in New York;
August 5, 10:00 A.M. in Helsinki;
9:00 A.M. in Berlin;
8:00 A.M. in Lisbon
*Schedule and timetable may be subject to change
*The class will be conducted in English
How to register for the class
You will receive an email with instructions for how to log in to the Class livestream.
Please feel free to tell us about what kind of noodles you would want to see featured or any particular topic covered during the Class.