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Old 04.11.2015, 05:35
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Retail food business in Switzerland

My wife is Swiss and I used to live over in SH, however the sun and then lifestyle of back home in Australia has dragged us back (god I love it here). Regardless, my wife is determined to return back to Switzerland for a few years so my sons can learn about their Swiss heritage and get some European culture and language into their system, which is fair enough.

I don't mind going back I love it over in CH however I don't particularly want to return as an employee which in my profession as an Audiologist, would mean I would have to learn a more fluent German than I will ever hope to achieve. Besides my impression of Switzerland is that it's better to be on the employer side of the employer/employee relationship therefore I'm considering a start-up. (That way I can also always have management/family operate the business when I need to return to Australia)

Subsequently I'm at the early stages of planning a start-up business and I would love to have some advice on sites and offices that can assist.

The two primary topics of interest is a real estate, so I can get a handle of retail places to rent. I'll be looking for small 30-40m2 retail place near a Train Station. The second topic of interest will be financing, I might go for a microloan.

Of course there are plenty of other factors to take into account other than Rent and Finance but that's a start, I don't intend on jumping into this until I have a waterproof plan first (and when my kids are old enough to go to school)

Regards

Chris
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Old 04.11.2015, 08:30
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Re: Retail food business in Switzerland

I think you're jumping the gun a bit here Chris. You, as a non-EU national, just can't start a business here. There are certain condiitons you'd have to meet.

http://www.kmu.admin.ch/kmu-gruenden...x.html?lang=en

Another thing, even as the spouse of a Swiss citizen it's difficult to get permission to be self employed. So I think you need to contact the cantonal migration office where you plan to live and talk to them about your plans. They'll be able to advise you if it would even be possible.

And in the meantime do keep working on your German. You're not going to find contracts, etc, in English here and you need to know what you're going to be signing up to in terms of leases, etc.
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Old 04.11.2015, 08:47
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Re: Retail food business in Switzerland

I think you're jumping the gun a bit here, medea ...... Swiss wife with possible facilitated naturalisation?

Last edited by TiMow; 04.11.2015 at 08:57.
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Old 04.11.2015, 09:04
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Re: Retail food business in Switzerland

That's possible TiMow, but not the impression I get from his post. If he does go that route it'll certainly make things easier for him.
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Old 04.11.2015, 09:38
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Re: Retail food business in Switzerland

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That's possible TiMow, but not the impression I get from his post. If he does go that route it'll certainly make things easier for him.
In reality that's the guaranteed option he has and from what he says, it's his wife (Swiss) who really wants to come here rather than him ! Even still as Medea says, it will not be easy and you'll need a business plan/finance to start the process of a work permit. I think as the spouce of a Swiss national though, you will be able to get a work permit easily.

Retail food is topugh competition, train station rentals are not easy to get, and they are expensive, but very profitable. You wiuld need to convince rail staff your plan is good and that there is a need for another food outlet. The rail company will take rent + a % of turn over.

Microloans won't take you far here, you'll need a solid business plan to present with finance in place, plus guarantees for rent etc, think around min Chf 80-100k, which will last about 6 months so you'll need a good revenue stream after this.

One thing i haven't seen in station much of is a real organic/bio food outlet place, maybe think vending machines.

Last thing, without a good knowledge of the local language it will be tough in your chosen field as there is admin you need to handle, plus suppliers/rent agreements/leases/Insurance.....the list is long......
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Old 04.11.2015, 09:58
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Re: Retail food business in Switzerland

The OP has lived here before and been a member for 5 years, so he may already have a Swiss passport and speak decent German. I can't see getting a work permit will be difficult, or permission to start a business either, he could easily start a GmbH with his wife as a director if there are hurdles.

To look for premises search on Homegate, plenty of shops available there but beware, not all commercial premises allow Gastro activity and those that do have much higher rents. You'll almost certainly also have to pay "key money" to buy out the existing lease and these can cost anything from 50,000 to up to 7 figures for a big place in a sought after location. Look for new build complexes, you just need to persuade the developer/landlord that you have a great concept and you can move in with no key money, just 6 months rent and 6 months deposit (as I did last year). But there will be big competition from well established companies with good contacts.

Good luck!
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Old 04.11.2015, 14:02
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Re: Retail food business in Switzerland

Thanks for your input, well spotted Tim & grapefruit. We have been discussing getting me a Swiss passport and I have a French passport giving me the B permit I needed to work there before.

I'm well aware of the Swiss red tape& expenses "the Swiss way" as my recent visit from the in laws reminded me) so without a good plan there you'll lose time and money and I'm in no rush, I'll plan and save for a decent start. I agree 50-80000CHF is a minimum for a start up & food competition is fierce so, I what I have in mind would have to be almost a carbon copy of what is hugely successful here but unavailable there.

Propert research is my starting point Is homegate.ch the go to place for commercial space?
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Old 04.11.2015, 15:37
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Re: Retail food business in Switzerland

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Thanks for your input, well spotted Tim & grapefruit. We have been discussing getting me a Swiss passport and I have a French passport giving me the B permit I needed to work there before.

I'm well aware of the Swiss red tape& expenses "the Swiss way" as my recent visit from the in laws reminded me) so without a good plan there you'll lose time and money and I'm in no rush, I'll plan and save for a decent start. I agree 50-80000CHF is a minimum for a start up & food competition is fierce so, I what I have in mind would have to be almost a carbon copy of what is hugely successful here but unavailable there.

Propert research is my starting point Is homegate.ch the go to place for commercial space?
Trying to sell Australian products to a European market may be difficult.....
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Old 04.11.2015, 15:53
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Re: Retail food business in Switzerland

It will probably help if it looks superficially healthy and has a medium-to-low calorie count.

Given the amount of people who have a RedBull and a cigarette for breakfast, the amount of absolutely bland "food" Coop+Migros sell at their takeaway counters, I'm not sure just how much willing to experiment in the culinary sense people really are.
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Old 04.11.2015, 18:30
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Re: Retail food business in Switzerland

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Thanks for your input, well spotted Tim & grapefruit. We have been discussing getting me a Swiss passport and I have a French passport giving me the B permit I needed to work there before.

I'm well aware of the Swiss red tape& expenses "the Swiss way" as my recent visit from the in laws reminded me) so without a good plan there you'll lose time and money and I'm in no rush, I'll plan and save for a decent start. I agree 50-80000CHF is a minimum for a start up & food competition is fierce so, I what I have in mind would have to be almost a carbon copy of what is hugely successful here but unavailable there.

Propert research is my starting point Is homegate.ch the go to place for commercial space?
It's the main one and even new commercial premises are advertised there. But Gastro Kaufen has some, mainly restaurants and Gastro Express looks like they do, but it's an awful site.

Unfortunately a lot of places are never advertised but only get whispered about through the trade and local mafia.
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Old 05.11.2015, 00:44
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Re: Retail food business in Switzerland

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It will probably help if it looks superficially healthy and has a medium-to-low calorie count.

Given the amount of people who have a RedBull and a cigarette for breakfast, the amount of absolutely bland "food" Coop+Migros sell at their takeaway counters, I'm not sure just how much willing to experiment in the culinary sense people really are.
Yes those Migros & Coop restaurants are sure are not for the gourmet minded. Last time I ordered calamari at Herblingermarkt I ended up with oil soaked batter and felt ill for the rest of the day (what was I thinking? swiss dont do fish n chips!). But what I have in mind certainly isnt as wild as Sushi or even.... Yum Cha .

Nah I'd just focus on clean healthy and good for weight loss, then look at what the European & Swiss tourists, and of course the locals, line up for when they come holiday at Byron and the Gold Coast.

Then copy that business model for European markets.

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It's the main one and even new commercial premises are advertised there. But Gastro Kaufen has some, mainly restaurants and Gastro Express looks like they do, but it's an awful site.

Unfortunately a lot of places are never advertised but only get whispered about through the trade and local mafia.
Thanks for your direction, at first I was thinking, yep Zurich HBF is the place to be, but then upon reflection it would need huge start up capital for start-up risk.. no no no.. To mitigate risk IMO a better location to would be the smaller commuter hubs, Arau, Winterthur, Wohlen, Schaffhausen, Baden even Bremgarten. Then if a successful brand can be established, muscle into Zurich, Luczern, Lausanne or Genf (planpalais would be a great spot) and then into the mountain vilages.

Yes that will be my plan
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