10 Steps on How to Start a Catering Business
Planning to start a catering business on your own? But still stuck in planning things?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there at least once. All you have to decide is to start small or big.
If you want to cater for 20-50 people in picnics, bachelorette parties, then your menu selection needs to be concise and the delivery system very efficient. If you plan on catering for 100-200 people in corporate events, anniversaries, then you need a firm grip on the distribution channels.
Here are a few points we’ve jotted down for you to clear your doubts:-
Step-by-Step guide on How to Start A Catering Business in 2020
Decide on a Catering Niche
There’s a simple way to decide on your catering niche – following your passion. If you like making picnic snacks like sandwiches, salads then brunch options will suit you the best. If you specialize in appetizers and finger food, then go for cocktail parties, marriage functions. And if you love baking, then what better than catering birthday parties!
To get all the steps right, you have to come up with an awesome menu. To get things underway, try listing down dishes you’re most comfortable making. With all the exclusive non-veg items, you must try to accommodate 1-2 vegetarian, vegan dishes.
A Catering Business Plan
So now, the last step of the planning stage. To turn this into a profitable business, you need to put together a sustainable plan. Write down an estimate of the inventory costs, operational expenses, miscellaneous expenses for the next 100-120 working days. This way you’ll get a clear picture of how much upfront investment is required.
Renting Kitchen Space
The best option is to opt for a commercial kitchen as local laws prohibit from operating from a home kitchen. If you’re starting small, then you won’t need an extra storage facility and make sure the ventilation system is intact.
Equipment Needed for Catering Business
No matter what your budget is, you have to spend a bit on aesthetics. Most catering businesses now provide silverware, glassware, or disposable plates and utensils. Also to keep the food hot or cold, you have to rent/buy portable mini refrigerators or liquid fuel burners. The more you decorate your services with linens, napkins, centerpieces, the more bookings you’ll receive!
Arranging for Food Supplies
To ensure a constant supply of produce for catering during peak seasons, you must contract with a local wholesale club or a supply company. You can also buy produce directly from local farmers to cut down costs.
Getting Permits and Licenses
Applying for a catering license and permit depends on your area of operations. Also, it’s advisable to get some legal guidance before you get your paperwork done.
The best way to address transportation issues for your catering business is to buy/rent an RV or a big van. Make sure you have enough space inside the van to accommodate your food, linen, tableware, and other equipment. If you feel like expanding your business, then you may need to buy/rent more.
If you’re starting small, then hiring a few people would do the trick for you as managing them would be easier. You can also hire chefs and staff from consultancy agencies.
Marketing the Business
Now it’s time for you to let people know about your catering business. Put out fliers, distribute menu cards, post on Facebook, Instagram. Build a potential customer following. Also, contact wedding sites and banquet halls to refer clients to you.