I once worked with someone who had started her own catering business. She had been very successful so I’ll tell you a little bit more about my experience and how it may help you get ahead in this game. Maybe it will help you learn how to start a catering business from home.
Being a qualified chef for some is a dream, but it can also be extremely pressurized. For people who have families to come back to, this is no fun. It just makes sense why you may be thinking of your own home business, especially when you have to go to the restaurant for 12 hours at a time during peak season.
If you want to be with your family, but you also want to be your own boss, then this is a good decision to make. There are many more people in the world who want this lifestyle for themselves.
However, they give up on their dream too quickly, saying it will cost too much or there is too much of a risk involved. They may even say that it is just too hard, so they keep on slogging away for the rest of their lives in their little office cubicle. This brings them no joy.
Sometimes a big catering industry can be stressful, especially when you are working for others and that is why more people are deciding to take the plunge. Setting up a business from home is not hard work. There are not a lot of start up costs if you are working in your own kitchen.
In any business, it is obviously best that you start out small, and as you grow you can invest more in your business in terms of assets and equipment. If you are keen on cooking you may find that that you have most of the gear anyway so there won’t be much more that you need.
credit: Lisa Williams
The difference here is that you will require larger equipment, like big pots and pans and baking trays to be able to cater for lots of people. You will probably have to get those basic things.
You can easily slip out and pick up your kids from school and attend to anything that crops up at home. You don’t have to have a massive kitchen either. When you start out, you won’t have anyone working for you, but as you grow and become busier you will be able to employ more people to help you out with various tasks.
What you need to think of before starting a catering business
The most important thing is to draw up a business plan. This should also include a marketing plan.
- You have to have the mindset that this is going to be a proper business and not something that you are going to do in your spare time to make some extra pocket money.
- Find out about the competition in the area and how many other people are doing something similar to you.
- You have to know exactly what type of catering business you are starting. There is so much you can do. This can vary from baking cakes for weddings to catering for kid’s birthday parties.
- How are you going to find your clients? Is it going to be word of mouth? Will you have business cards or a website? What are your advertising costs going to be?
- Find out about the expenses and expected income.
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More Ideas on starting a catering business
There is lots you could come up with here. You don’t have to be a chef and have had extensive training. Having a passion for food and being able to please people by satisfying their taste buds is going to be enough.
It is a lot better that you enjoy what you do and you are someone that loves food otherwise you may struggle with this because this is what you are going to be doing day in and day out.
credit: Lisa Williams
Here are a couple of things that you could think about
- Cater for companies on a small time basis using a variety of themes like providing lunches, corporate events, which could even be combined with another company who does the entertainment side.
- Kids birthday parties – If you have kids this will be a good one for advertising, which will basically be free because you can just spread the word through the school and various events.
- Weddings and functions – This can vary from making cakes to something a lot bigger like organizing the catering side of the wedding.
- Organize cocktail parties, which will include snacks with a difference. People will impressed by what you do and the word will spread. You will want to move away from the boring old sausage rolls.
- People love a good barbeque. They also don’t like to do it themselves most of the time so this could be something you organize for parties and social events.
- Bigger catering events like bar mitzvahs, reunions, and big dinners for corporate events can also be organized.
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What Else You May be Interested in:
Begin Choosing Your Chef Schools - are you looking to improve your qualifications. This is not necessary, but it will definitely help you and you will learn a lot.
Dressings, Sauces and Relishes - Getting to know the basics will help you in your business because things will go a lot smoother. Every caterer should know these simple steps.
How to Make and Bake Blind Pastry - Don't forget about the sweet stuff, as well as more technical terms, because you will most likely come across these. This is even more important if you are not a qualified chef.