We recently looked at what food IP is and what food IP can do for your business. Now that you have identified your food IP, you will need to interrogate whether your carefully crafted recipes and presentation ideas are secured for exclusive use within your business.
Who has access to your recipes? Could they be walking out the door on a daily basis? Have you ever considered that your recipes are your assets?
Your food IP is not only your bread and butter but also the icing on your cake, which is why it is essential to protect it. Evaluate who has access to your IP and whether you need to consider other methods to keep your recipes and ideas protected.
Protect your assets
Collaboration in the kitchen often leads to surprisingly stirring successes. It is, however, important to assess and plan for the security of new and innovative food designs. Your recipes contribute to your establishments’ reputation and it’s important to have an acute awareness of your intellectual property when collaborating and experimenting so that you are protected from any future disputes.
Choose partners with integrity
Choosing partners with integrity is imperative. Investigate their standing by doing some research and asking the right questions. All partners that might have access to your food IP should have an impeccable track record and understand the sensitivities around intellectual property.
At Lardiere Fine Foods, we appreciate that your recipes are your assets, which is why we sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with all our clients. When you partner with Lardiere Fine Foods, you can rest assured that your trade secrets are safe with us. Have you considered the necessity for NDAs with any of your other suppliers?
Mask your recipes in production
Another way to protect your Food IP is to mask your recipes or to give limited access so that some of the essential ingredients are hidden. Create some pre-prepared components by mixing some parts of the recipe. This method will allow you to leave instructions such as ‘Mix part A with part B’, in that way protecting your recipes.
Think of brands like KFC which has their success attributed to their secret recipe, which, to this day remains under lock and key. Whether your recipes live in a vault or not, being aware of protecting one of your greatest assets will not only give you peace of mind but will also ensure that your unique sensory experience remains characteristic of your establishment, and your establishment alone.
Food IP, like design IP, remains a hot topic with blurred lines that often make it difficult to patent or protect. Make sure that you do what you can to tackle this issue head-on. The easiest way to achieve this? Surround yourself and your kitchen with trustworthy and ethical partners.