Since a lot of people love to eat, many entrepreneurs view this is an opportunity for them start a business that can be quite profitable. However, setting up and opening a restaurant or food truck can be an expensive and time-consuming venture. If your heart is into succeeding in the food industry but don’t want to go through the hustle and bustle of opening a restaurant or food truck, starting a catering business may be your best option.
The good thing about opening a small catering business is that you can operate one right in the comfort of your home. This means you won’t have to spend more money on buying certain cooking or baking equipment and wares since you already have the basic items or even everything you may need for this venture.
To make sure that you are on the path to starting a small catering business the right way and to ensure its success, there are certain useful tips you can follow. These tips include the following:
Make sure you meet the local health and safety codes for home-based catering. Although you are not opening a restaurant, you still need to apply for and get a business permit or operating license. Learn about the process of getting one and the different health and safety codes that you will have to meet or pass as well.
Create a list of all the equipment and wares you need and make sure you have them. The equipment, wares, and supplies you will need for your kitchen will depend on your type of operation. If you plan on cooking your food at the venue’s kitchen for a particular event, you will only need the most basic commercial prep supplies in your home. The same principle will also work if you will be cooking from a mobile kitchen or creating a temporary kitchen at the event sites. In such instances, you will need mobile coolers or refrigeration units, basic kitchen supplies, steam table pans, kitchen work tables, disposable catering supplies and food carriers. You will have to invest in cooking equipment like a fryer, convection oven, and range (if you don’t have them yet) if you will not be using a temporary or mobile kitchen for the events you are catering. Since you are just starting, you can rent other items such as chafing dishes, catering display items, and table skirts. Once your business is going well, you can consider buying these items to save money in the long run by reducing your rental costs.
Invest in catering software. Using the right software for catering can help you a lot in keeping track of and managing your business. Catering software can help you quickly and effectively calculate your costs. It will help you become more organized with all the tasks and information that you need to manage since this will provide you a platform where you can document contacts, data, budgets, team schedules, activities, etc. Finally, with this software, you can come up with and present your clients with professional and impressive proposals.
Finally, work on getting clients for your catering business. Using catering software can already help you out in getting clients. Aside from this, come up with a solid marketing strategy, capitalize on your low profile (ie. sell your business as providing “the best homemade comfort food”) and offer tastings so that you can win some clients.
Learn more about optimizing the right catering software and other useful tips to have a successful catering business here.