A catering business can open lots of doors into the culinary world and if food is your passion, you’ll find it a very rewarding career. However, you’ll need to build up a reliable, professional and superb reputation with companies and individuals to ensure they continue hiring you for their events.
Therefore, to be successful, you need a clear plan of what your catering business is going to look like and how it will be run, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Find a space to rent
You need to save as much money as possible with this aspect, especially if you’re positioning yourself somewhere like London where square metres don’t come cheap. Be creative with your space, caterers have been known to create masterpieces from transforming a storage unit into a kitchen. If you’re not committing to the start-up business full time then there are licensed catering kitchens in most big cities where you can rent commercial kitchen space by the hour.
As well as a kitchen, you’re going to need equipment from plates for canapés to ovens to keep food warm. It’s sometimes much easier to rent this equipment but don’t be afraid to visit car boot sales and antique centres to pick up quirky plates that you can arrange dishes on.
Set up prices
Once you’ve done your research and you know the food you’re capable off, set up tiered prices for the packages that you’re willing to offer. Approach prices as you would any other business, by the hours. For example, if someone wants you to do your very finest menu, charge them accordingly for the extra preparation that it will take.
Equally, if you’re going to be at an event until the early hours of the morning, you should increase your prices past 8pm and so on and so forth. It’s then important to keep up with invoices and records so that when you come to send off for your tax return, you’ve got it all organised.
All businesses need insurance, caterers included. You’re often working with equipment that isn’t yours, at venues that don’t belong to you so with the exposure of these risks, it’s important you get the right cover. Make sure you compare quotes and find an insurance policy that works to your individual business.
Focus on your marketing
These days, it’s really important to build brand awareness on social media including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. This includes posting regular updates surrounding events, (as long as you have the client’s consent), building a logo and sharing your personal touches with the world so that they can see what you have on offer. Once you have established a brand image, make sure you promote yourself at those events with personal business cards, uniform and you can even wear personalised aprons, you never know who you might bump into!
Understand the Most Efficient Sourcing and Buying Processes
Catering businesses need to source food that tastes great and offers prices that can improve their profitability. That’s why establishing strong sourcing and buying processes is something that’s so important, and it should be done as early on as possible. Buying wholesale french fries and other staples is a good place to start.