Caterers are always in high demand for different types of events, especially during the peak wedding season and the holidays. If you are considering starting a catering business, there will be hundreds of decisions that you need to make, including the type of catering that you wish to do. Here are five tips for starting a successful catering business.
Make Business Assessments
You will have a lot of decisions to make when starting your business. You will need to decide what type of catering you want to do, what type of food you will prepare, where you will conduct your business and how you will attract customers. All these decisions will have to be made while taking your budget into consideration as well.
Decide on Infrastructure
You will need to do some research into local laws about using your home kitchen to prepare food to serve at events. In some areas, you may not be allowed to make food in your home and serve it to your customers due to health code regulations. If you cannot do this, then you will need to find a commercial kitchen to work from that you can afford.
Line Up Vendors
You will need to find vendors for everything from food to beverages to catering crockery. When searching for companies to work with, you will need to decide whether you want to hire companies to provide linens, equipment and transport vehicles, or if you want to invest your operating capital in buying what you need for the business. You will have to consider your budget and assess your needs to decide if hiring or buying these items make more sense for your new business.
Get on Approved Lists
Most party venues have companies they recommend for services such as catering, so it is important that you network with venues and get your business on their lists. It can be difficult for new caterers to get noticed by venues. But if you handle a few events, you may be able to use that experience, and recommendations from those clients, to get on approved lists. Getting on those lists can also lead to other business opportunities that you may not foresee.
Spread the Word
You have to have clients in order to succeed and keep your business open, so you need to promote your business in any way that you can. Publish a website, open social media accounts, and spread the word of your business throughout your area. Try to get some jobs in order to have people try your service and food, and ask clients that liked your service for permission to use them as references to help get new clients.
In order to succeed in any business, it helps if you have some sort of experience in the industry in which you’re working. It takes more than just being a good cook to be a successful caterer, but if you use these tips and work hard, you can be successful.