February 9, 2010
Affordable and delicious food is a market untapped on college campuses especially during the times when many eateries on campus are closed at night. Ramen Man was created in December 2010 by Lawrence Jung to satisfy this market. Ramen Man’s mission is to deliver delicious reasonable priced food. This company’s launch was successful and continues to be successful. This achievement is due to the unparalleled convenience that the company brings to this unsatisfied market.
Rather having the customer to leave their work to go eat or to call in to have food delivered and wait a while, the students can contact Ramen Man for their delicious meal. The founder and executive of Ramen Man is a ramen enthusiast and understand how to make ramen a delicious and nutritious meal for his customers. He also understands the importance of service and is able to swiftly to deliver ramen to his customers in a timely fashion. A main difference that sets Ramen Man apart from the completion is the product, Ramen. All eateries on campus do not provide this product and ignores a market where some students enjoy this meal.
Even though the completion offers a variety of food choices, the price of them is expensive relative to the income of a typical college student. Not only are their product is expensive but the on-campus food establishment also close at a time when some students are working late through the night due to projects. Ramen Man satisfies both these needs and the business is able to resonate with the students. Most of the ramen sold are to the Game Design Students and students working on projects past 12 o’clock in the morning.
Ramen Man will continue to focus on providing affordable meals and continue to surprise customers with new and interesting ramen combinations. We want the customers to be fed no matter what time of day and be able to customize their ramen in any for they like. Funding is initiated by the founder then the profit earned through each business transaction is reinvested back into the company. This will allow Ramen Man to expand its product offerings and ramen blend. Our goal is to offer a delicious and nutritious meal and a price catered to the college student.
Ramen Man was created out of the research into the target market needs. The company’s target market is catering towards college students who enjoy ramen and who needs a delicious meal late in the night. It is more focus towards students who are part of the lower income bracket but can expand to a higher bracket where some customers are looking for more exotic options.
Due to the limited size of the company, Ramen Man has mainly been catering towards Game Design and Development students. Once there is sufficient profit and all the logistics has been improved for delivery, the business will expand to other students from other majors.
The target market, college students, is very technologically savvy and is constantly connected to the internet. Social Media is the way to spread the word about Ramen Man through Facebook and Twitter. In order to get students to be aware of this site, friends and word of mouth will be the initial marketing. Once the potential customer has liked the page, they will begin to updates about Ramen Man. They will be able to find contact information and a list of products that Ramen Man provides.
Another marketing strategy that is implemented is just the simple act of a sale. Students in the vicinity of the customer can witness my service and smell the delicious ramen that will make them curious of about the business. Word of mouth is a powerful especially when the customer enjoys the product and wants to share it with their friends.
Ramen Man ramen bowls are priced to be in the range that is affordable for all college students. Since ramen bowls themselves are not too expensive to purchase by themselves the profit margin will be made from service. At around .97 cents per bowl purchase I can charge $1.03 more for the service. This includes the delivery service, chopsticks, napkins and condiments like sesame oil and chili oil. This price is well below my competitors where some charge a basic chocolate chip cookie for $2.00.
Cash will be the main form of financial transaction as the business does not own a machine that can take debit or credit cards. At the time of the transaction I calculate the total cost of the product and present them the price. The customer then pays the Ramen Man employee. If the dollar amount is above the price the correct difference will by returned to the customer. The customer is allow to tip the Ramen Man if he and she feels like the service has been of great value to them
My competition is the customers themselves as many of them know how to create this sort of cuisine in their own home. Another form of competition is the perception of the service. Many students will know how to make this but their perception will prevent them from having someone else deliver and serve the ramen bowl to them.
To counter act this perception word of mouth and providing a product that taste and smells delicious. Once customer sees the value in this service, their perception will dissipate and will allow them to convince others that Ramen Man is a great value.
Lawrence Jung – Owner and Operator
Lawrence Jung is third year student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Lawrence is currently majoring in game design and development with a minor in Entrepreneurship and a concentration in Japanese Language. With a current GPA of 3.93, Lawrence make sure to work to his full potential and tries to take any opportunity to enrich his learning environment.
Lawrence enjoys eating ramen and wants to be able to have as many people to experience this delicacy. By combining his love of ramen and need of students to eat late at night Ramen Man came to fruition. Many students on the RIT campus enjoy eating ramen but not only that, but ramen is affordable to almost anyone. Lawrence embodies Ramen Man as he is Ramen Man himself. He markets the business, delivers the ramen, serves the ramen and decides on which product will be good to add in order to expand the business. With all these responsibilities and will power, Lawrence has been able to make Ramen Man a successful business.
He currently uses his trusty Trader Joe’s Bag to store the ramen, mushrooms, seaweed, eggs (hard boil and raw), soy sauce, chili oil and sesame oil in order for him to be able to bring the goods to his customers around campus. The inventory is purchased through a local Asian market store. All the ideas on how to expand the product line is through inquire his customers on what they would like to see next and what Lawrence thinks been a neat addition.
Lawrence currently has many connections within the Game Design and Development major and with people from clubs that he attends. The network is large enough for him to incorporate word of mouth approach and Facebook page. He is also very determine to make sure the service that Ramen Man provide is top notch. This is a crutial part as service plays a huge role in whether or not the customer decides to come back to Ramen Man for their food needs.
4. Strategic Assessment
One of the major strength this company has is price. The price of the product and service presents great value to the customer. There is no travel fee or chopstick fee; it is all included in the price of the ramen. Another strength is the face of Ramen Man. The customers and non-customers enjoy interacting with Ramen Man and feels like they have a personal connection to him. Giving a personality to the company helps the customer to continue to support and advertise for the company.
A weakness is the variety of food that the Ramen Man provides. The company currently only serves ramen and that may turn away potential customer if they wanted something else besides ramen. To help mitigate this weakness Ramen Man has been adding “additions” to the menu where customers can purchase these to add to their ramen bowl. This can be mushrooms, onions, seaweed and other vegetables to make the ramen more nutritious but also more delicious. Another weakness is the ability for Ramen Man to serve more than 2 people at the same time as his thermos of hot water will run out. To alleviate this problem he has be carrying a portable hot water machine to be able to fulfill more that 2 orders at the same time.
There are many opportunities for ramen man to expand. Currently Ramen Man is only targeting game design students however the business can target other colleges in RIT that have a similar make up of students who are up late working on projects. This expansion will allow the business to continue to grow.
A threat that may arise is that RIT food service may provide or create a shop that specifically serves ramen. This will take a huge part of the target market that uses RIT debit to pay for their food. There could be competition with other people who may be interested in opening and running their own Ramen Man business.
a. Start-up Cost
The start-up cost for Ramen Man was $10. The cost included seven ramen bowls, twenty pairs of chopsticks and an old thermos that the Ramen Man himself purchased from his parents. The first round of sales brought in $15.00 which allowed Ramen Man to begin expanding his condiments section and to including egg on the menu. From then on, additional cash flow continued to come in.
Price per ramen bowl: $2.00
Price for basic extra: .25
Price for Typical Combos: $1.00
The forecasted revenue increases at each interval. Revenue is greatly affected on the mood of the target market whether is they want ramen or not. It is also affected based whether or not if school is in session as the target market will be greatly reduced around the summer time.
Cost per ramen bowl: .97
Cost for basic extra: .14
Cost for Typical Combos: .80
The cost is maintained throughout however in the future the cost slowly rises through the expansion of the product line like condiments or “additions”. Every month the base cost is basically the same. This includes purchasing napkins, chopsticks and refreshing the line of condiments.
The cost drops to zero around the summer months because business will not be operating during the summer months. So no cost will be incurred however profits will not increase. Business will resume after summer and when RIT resumes the normal school year. Ramen Man will break even in one month. Business tapers off a little bit in December due to the school is only in session during the first 3 weeks of school then winter break happens.