Before you start drafting your business plans and buying equipment, it is important to know makes a catering business unique. On the other hand, operating your own catering business requires less financial risk than operating a restaurant many caterers can rent a small place and reduce waste of food by cooking for an already known headcount.
Catering an event often puts you and your food in a less controlled environment. With catering jobs, you are either cooking food in a rented kitchen during events or you and your food are at the mercy of venue space, their pleasantries, the weather and you may not have to work with your staff always.
Know the type of catering business you’re interested in.
It is of great importance to know what type of catering business you’re passionate about and what makes it good. You may like to consider things like:
- Social gathering: weddings, birthday celebrations or charity events
- Personal use: cooking a meal at home, small family gathering or date night meals
- Corporate events: staff or conference meeting.
Once you have determined the type of catering business right for you, you can use the following steps below to get your business to a successful level.
- Choose a concept
- Experience and Exposure
- Create your menu
- Test your menu
- Get a suitable working place
- Plan for potential problems
- Choosing your staff
- Advertising your business
Choose a Concept:
Creating a good theme can enhance the marketability of your business. Try to focus on what you are passionate about. Your concepts could be something like comfort food, brunch food, casual sandwiches or even breakfast theme concept. Just an idea that can give your business a good direction.
When you’re choosing your theme, it is important to plan how you’ll be serving and pricing your service and if you can be able to access the equipment needed for your theme.
Experience and Exposure:
The catering business is like any other business venture, it takes a level of experience to be successful and execute a startup. When researching what you will need and how to operate is always helpful. It won’t compare to the hands-on experience and guidance through a working professional.
If you realize working for a company is not doable, plan a small -scale events for people you know. Host a holiday party for family and friends. Opening on a small scale first, allows you to fix and find potential problems and gain honest feedback.
Create your menu:
Before you start looking for your workplace and equipment. Knowing what type of food you will be preparing will help you decide what equipment and appliance you will be using for a successful business. It is important to stay connected to your theme and concept.
You need to give a menu with a variety that will accompany a high range of taste. Create a selection of menus with low carbohydrate or vegetable. If your menu items are spicy, make sure you offer a non-spicy or less spicy meals also. Once you have finally established your menu, you need to determine how you will be pricing your events or items. It is important to have a sample of your menu and pricing figure out before you meet with your potential client first.
Test your menu:
Try testing your menus in a small gathering like fundraising or you gather friends and family and offer to cook some out of your menus and be sure you ask for their honest feedback. It is also important to keep trying your recipes over and over while focusing on the taste and effect until you become perfect.
Get a suitable working place:
Most companies involved in food preparation, will need to obtain a license for their business from the right governing authorities, plus your kitchen at home won’t serve the purpose of what you are doing, so you’ll need to consider looking for a commercial kitchen that has been approved already.
No matter what type of food you are making, every catering kitchen must be equipped with cold and hot holding areas. Since you are preparing food ahead of an event, it is Important that you cool hot food to keep them at a safe temperature.
Plan for potential problems:
Think about common problems or obstacles you may encounter with your business. A little planning can go a long way when it comes to unexpected emergency with food service. Work with your staff to come up with ways to solve such problems when the need arises.
Choosing your staff:
When it comes to choosing your staff that will be helping you to cook and serve when you are hosting an event, it could be a bit challenging. So you will have to consider some things:
- Getting credible and trustworthy staff members
- Think if your business is large enough for you to hire more staff
- Get dress code so that your staff dress in uniform and look smart
Note: It is important to train your staff for proper food save keeping and serving conduct.
Advertising your business: Now that you have finally set a ground for your catering business, it is time to start marketing your business, but that can only be determined based on the type of catering business you decide to operate.
Maybe you have an interest in social gathering or weddings, you can attend a bridal shower and present your menus. It’s important to create a social media account or website for your business to attract customers naturally online or you relate with events coordinators and venue holders or you print handbills and fillers.
Whatever type of catering business you decide to go for, do all there is to do, give in your best to make your first event a success so as to get more clients.