Tap to Read ➤

How to Start a Catering Business

Stephen Rampur
Here is a guidebook for catering start-up.
A catering business is suitable for a person who has a liking for cooking and planning. As a caterer; you would be responsible for planning and providing all kinds of foods, desserts, appetizers, drinks, etc., for occasions, parties, conferences, weddings, receptions, and gatherings.
In other words, you would be a contractor of all types of foods for the guests. Starting a catering business from home can also be a great option for people who don't have a big budget for hiring or purchasing a separate office, kitchen, and staff exclusively.

The Catering Business

Caterers are experts in determining which set of foods would be appropriate for an event or occasion. They are expected to deliver good-quality food for different events. For starting one, you should have a business plan in mind and to start your own business, you need to be a creative thinker and have good knowledge about types of foods and cuisines.
You can also make and include your own special dishes and recipes in events after discussing the same with customers. However, this can be done only after you've earned yourself a good reputation in the market. Hard work is also a significant factor in making the business productive.

Starting a Catering Business

The first thing you need to do is to make an elaborated plan, which will primarily include how will you finance your business. It will include planning and organizing the business by preparing a questionnaire and answering it appropriately.
It will also include determining how professional and reliable your services would be. Before commencing services, you will have to obtain several licenses and certifications from the state and health department.
Approach the local food and health department and get all the rules and regulations, permits, and insurance information needed. The department will need you to show them the area where you are going to carry out the business from.
You need to decide what all foods you are going to provide, and accordingly purchase the cooking and catering equipment. You also have to decide on the transport which would be used for delivering the food to the different venues.
If in case you don't have a background of cooking, you can enroll in some cooking courses at any college or a culinary college. Such courses will certainly help a lot in managing your business efficiently.
Once you have completed all legal formalities, decide on what foods and services you would be offering. You will also need to decide on the catering fees. Simply conduct a survey by visiting some local caterers, and studying how they provide services and what price range they have to offer.
You now need to market your business effectively in local newspapers and radio stations. At first, you can offer some free catering services for famous events, just to get yourself noticed.
You can also provide your food samples to a few wedding and event planners. If the event and wedding planners like your food and way of work, they may think about hiring you and giving you some contracts. Also make sure to notify all your friends and acquaintances about your venture.
When your business expands, you can even hire some professional cooks and chefs. Also, be in touch with the Internet and read some catering books and magazines to know the latest information and trends that are prevalent in the catering industry.
The income potential of a catering business is unlimited, but one should take in mind that a well-thought business plan and hard work is essentially needed for taking the business to new heights. Start small, be genuine, accumulate goodwill, and you will grow. Success will be yours eventually.