If you are hooked into cooking and customer service, starting a caterer are often simple idea to make comparatively.
The work can be sporadic and there will be a lot of competition, but with hard work and good marketing, you can quickly build a reputation and a strong customer base.
From choosing a field to writing a business plan, obtaining a food license and catering insurance, we would like you to require starting out a mobile or home-based catering business. Catering business insurance is one of the fundamental processes to protect your business. Get to know more about catering business insurance here:
WHO IS CATERING SUITABLE FOR?
Producing tasty and healthy meals quickly for groups of 200 people is not a walk in the park. Even if your business is large enough for a head chef to handle food preparation, having your own catering knowledge will be crucial.
If you don’t have the necessary experience, consider taking some courses. If you don’t have the time or money to earn a degree, there are a range of Catering Hospitality NVQs / SVQs available. At the very least, you need to get some managerial experience in a catering company to get a feel for how it all works.
1. CHOOSE YOUR CATERING NICHE
In such a crowded market, it’s vital to carve out. Whether it’s a kitchen you have an interest in or a gap in the market you’ve identified, differentiating yourself from the competition with a unique and compelling proposition is the key to success.
The type of food you decide to make can dictate the type of event you decide to work on, which in turn will inform your brand and marketing.
Generally the catering is private or corporate:
Private – birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, funerals
Corporate: catering for business events including office parties, award ceremonies and other evening events, networking events and large gatherings
Of course, you are not just offering food. You are offering a full service; An event, an occasion, an experience. You must give people a reason to choose your business over another supplier.
Take the time to diligently research your local market. What is already being offered? What could you do better than others?
THE CORPORATE CATERING MARKET
Serving the business sector will primarily include lunches for business meetings and training courses (cold sandwiches and other pre-cooked snacks), but may be extended to business breakfasts and evening receptions, which could include provision of drinks and servers.
The main advantage with corporate clients is the opportunity to repeat business. Businesses like to have a regular supplier, so if you provide good service at a good price and are reliable; it will be of great value to them. They will remember you and call you when they need a catering service.
Focusing on the corporate market can be one of the fastest ways to grow your catering business until you have established yourself as the supplier of choice to a large customer base. However, the competition is fierce in this area, and you will have to work very hard to make an impact.
THE PRIVATE CATERING MARKET
Alternatively, you could target your catering service to the private sector. Services for large family occasions such as weddings, funerals and birthday parties predominate. Running this type of business will require good culinary skills, as the quality and range of your menu will be a major selling point, and you will need to be flexible enough to accommodate any special customer requests for your big day.
Consider offering additional services to stand out in the highly competitive private market. If you can save your customers time, effort and money by providing tableware and cutlery, servers, decorations, and tent rentals, you will attract business much more quickly.
If you don’t want to focus on weddings, you can find a niche through specializing in a certain type of cuisine, offering themed events like Mexican nights or pork roasts, or gourmet cooking for dinners.
DECIDE THE WAY TO START YOUR CATERING BUSINESS IDEA
Once you know what type of cooking and catering serving you are going to do, you can decide whether to run it from home, as a mobile catering business, or from a fixed site.
Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages and it is up to you to decide which one best suit your ambitions.
HOME CATERING COMPANY
As long as you have the necessary space and facilities, your home can double as the foundation for your catering operation. This will save the costs associated with renting premises and purchasing equipment.
That said, making large amounts of food for a lot of people may require more than just a home oven and family fridge / freezer, so you may have to invest in larger capacity equipment.
The explosion in street food businesses within the UK has led to the growing popularity of getting a mobile food van at events.
A mobile catering business gives you the freedom to go wherever work takes you. You can ride your truck on anything from a week-long music festival, to a one-day event, or even a wedding.
DEVELOP YOUR CATERING BUSINESS PLAN.
Whether it’s a home catering business plan or a mobile catering business plan, a business plan is the cornerstone of any successful catering operation. Taking the time to write one will give you a solid plan of action and a mission to work on.
A large part of the research stage of your business plan is calculating the size of your relevant market , where you will analyze exactly who your target customer is and how much you could sell to them.
It must detail:
- You, the owner of the company, what qualifications and relevant experience you have in the catering industry? Have you previously run a catering business? Or did you even work as a chef or waitress?
- The business: what is the mission of your caterer and how is it different from existing caterers? Where will you find catering staff? How will the business be financed?
- The service – What kind of cooking are you going to do? Where will you get the equipment and supplies? What bureaucracy and regulation will you have to comply with? What insurance will you need?
- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats – How is your catering business better than the competition? How are you at a disadvantage compared to the competition? Is there a threat to the success of your catering business?
- The Competition – Look for rival caterers in your local area, as well as indirect competitions such as restaurants or cafes. What are your strengths, weaknesses and differences and what can you do better?
- Sales startup and forecast costs – Describe all expected costs of purchasing food and equipment, premises or vans, bills, insurance, staff salaries, website development, and any other costs incurred in setting up your catering business
- The process of researching and writing your business plan is a great way to establish the viability of your catering business and get a realistic idea of the main costs you will need to budget and fundraise.
- Your catering business plan will also act as a valuable document to demonstrate the viability of your business to investors.
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