Starting a Catering Business
Starting a catering business can be an excellent way to own your own company in the foodservice industry without running a full restaurant. It allows you to have a more flexible calendar based around when you have orders or events. Unlike restaurants, you will also know what your profits will be from week to week. Plus, you don’t need a lot of staff to get started, just enough to deliver the food and potentially serve clients. And these are just some of the advantages! If you’re curious on how you can start your own catering business, read on.
Try It Out First
Before jumping into owning a full-fledged catering company, try it out at a small local event or a friends wedding. This will help you decide if it’s the right business direction for you and if you have what it takes.
Create Your Catering Concept
Before you start, you will need to pick a theme for your business such as gourmet, ethnic, organic, etc. Then, to get ahead of your competition you will need to find either a gap in the current market or make your menu stand out. Make sure to do lots of research on the competitors in your area and find a way to get ahead with a better pricing strategy and more unique options.
Pick Your Target Audience
There are lots of factors to consider when choosing your target audience and finding the best way to market your business to them. If you want to work for offices, you may want a location right downtown near the financial district. If you want to work weddings and conferences, you may want to set up shop right next door to the biggest convention hall. If you want to be more flexible, you can purchase a food truck for your business. Whatever you decide, just make sure to research your audience well and then plan for the best location to reach them without having to travel too far.
Find Your Staff
To get noticed you will want to find the best chef for your business. You can research some of the top chef’s in your industry or up and comers at the local chef schools. When hiring the other employees, try scouting A-list staff at other restaurants and venues. Make sure you check their references to avoid any staff with unpleasant habits and attendance issues.
Create a Business Plan
When drafting up a business plan, lay out your marketing plan, your budget, and your contingency and liability plans. To be well prepared for your launch, ensure you think about all the obstacles you may encounter and then create a response and back up plan for each item.
Invest in Inventory Control Software
To help you increase your profits, reduce your waste and manage all your catering costs, purchase an inventory control software system. This will help your business by allowing you to keep track of your inventory and manage your bottom line to succeed.