Your Guide to Starting a Catering Business

woman in apron standing in front of dining areaCatering is an important aspect of planning an event. So it’s not surprising that people who love preparing food and drink see starting a catering business as an attractive option.

If you’re planning to start your own catering business, here are a few tips:

Gain catering job experience

Before becoming a caterer, gaining work experience provides many benefits. Working for a caterer gives you the chance to understand, first-hand, how things are managed when operating a catering business. Also, it will prepare you for the long hours of work required to run your own business.

Rent catering equipment

When you’re just starting, you don’t have to buy everything that’s needed right away. Rental companies are available to provide most items you need. By renting equipment you can ease cash flow difficulties whilst building-up your inventory and meeting start-up costs.  If the equipment malfunctions, you don’t have to worry about expensive replacements. However, as your business grows and you start purchasing your kitchen equipment, there are companies offering catering equipment repairs throughout the country, particularly in the big cities like London.

Look for a kitchen to rent

Many successful small businesses start from home. Once you begin to establish customers and a reputation, you may need to identify bigger premises. Various options are available, including renting a commercial kitchen by the hour.

Know your catering costs

Like any business, you need to know the bottom line and whether you’re making a profit or loss. With an accurate budget for the menu, staff hours, equipment, utilities, transport costs and other items, and a time period for meeting your start-up costs, you will be better able to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments to your business plan.  By dividing the overall costs into work hours, you make it easier to compare costs for different events and price your services more effectively.

Promote your business

Embrace social media and create Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages; these are great ways to promote your business and to establish a following. Use these pages not only for promotion but also for sharing your experience, expertise and offering advice to customers.

With creativity, planning and preparation, establishing a catering business will be hard work but worthwhile.