Finger Food Catering
If you enjoy making food for other people, then this is a good trade to be in. It is even better if you have a gift for it and you would like to learn more about the art of finger food catering.
There are different forms of this style of catering. You could cater gourmet style where you would charge a lot more for your services, but you would be spending a lot more time in the kitchen, paying careful attention to every item. There are also casual finger food styles that you could branch off into. The choice is yours.
There are many catering ideas one may think of, but finger food catering is always in demand
This could be another home based catering business or you could base your business at another rented premisis, but it works well at home if you would like to do it part-time and still have time for your family or for yourself.
It does not cost a lot to set up your business, but I would spend more money on marketing and advertising the business. You could always rent equipment and you will know you always have to put in extra hours in any business.
Advantages of finger food catering
It is a good idea to get together with the client beforehand and ask them what they would prefer and what kind of party or event they are having. Sometimes if it is just for an office meeting they would want casual snacks. If it is a ladies party they might want something more upscale. A cocktail party would be a totally different event and so would a student graduation party.
It is sometimes best to specialize in one particular area. This would also let you know what your budget is and where the best places are to find what you are looking for.
Finger food Ideas
Here are some suggestions that you could think about.
Morning and Afternoon Teas
These are getting more popular, especially because people don't have time to bake little eats and it is often cheaper to call a caterer to do it. They could also be suitable for a light supper so it's nice if people are coming straight from the office. You would have to find out what type of occasion it is.
If it is a ladies tea party I would go for sweet tarts, but a high tea would include savoury treats.
Sweet and savoury pastries with various fillings such as feta and spinach, tiny quiches and pies
Bruschetta with different toppings like roasted red pepper and balsamic, parma ham and various cheeses
Mini savoury muffins and you could include cheese straws
You can make a lot of money from providing a few snacks in a cardboard box. Lunch Boxes are a little more than finger food, but then again they don't consist of a huge meal. They are very popular and people will often make a large order so you will have to be prepared for some hard labor. They are popular for conferences, tournaments, outings and maybe for meetings that go on all day long.
You could include:
- Gourmet ciabatta sandwich or something more simple if it is for a student.
- A sweet muffin
- A fresh juice
- A piece of fruit
- A small dessert like a chocolate brownie, but you can always discuss this with the client. It will depend how long they will be out for.
Making Money in the Sandwich Trade
Think of what kind of sandwiches you will be working with. Will they be ordinary school sandwiches with different fillings or will they be open gourmet sandwich on a French loaf with all the trimmings to go with them? You should make each sandwich appealing so that no one sandwich is better, but that the customer will want to try different types.
Market the sandwiches to different businesses. You can offer a few samples of your best sellers at lunch time. There is a big chance they will come be coming back for more.
Variation is important. If you are catering for functions, some events will have a tighter budget than others and you will have to be more creative. Use different types of breads. There are so many different breads you can buy. You can even make your own, although this is time consuming it is worth the effort. Using different cheeses and other fillings for closed sandwiches and different preserves and garnishes for open sandwiches is also important.
Presentation is equally important. If it is a function you are catering for then make sure you plate the sandwiches well. If you are selling them privately or at a company make sure they are packaged and labelled presentably.
Make sure your standard is always high. For example, don’t leave sandwiches standing in the open as you are making the rest of them for the next hour because they will dry out. Put a damp cloth on the bread and work hygienically.
You don’t want to lose customers because of your working conditions. Also make sure you have equipment that is of high standard. It doesn’t have to be the best from a celebrity chef in France, but make sure your knives are sharp and, pans are non-stick and you have enough utensils.
What are the other options
Private catering and selling from a home-based business are just two of the options, but there are countless others. These are probably the cheaper options. Starting your own sandwich shop or deli is another idea. Any shop costs money when starting out, but selling sandwiches will always be stable, especially if you are situated in the business district within the vicinity of companies and businesses. The sandwich business is highly profitable, making over £3 billion in Britain alone. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a fresh slice of bread with their favourite filling. Of course you will be competing with other shops, supermarkets and canteens, but competition is a part of business.
Another cheaper option can be to sell sandwiches using a van. Buying a van would be your biggest expense, but there are second-hand vans that are still in good condition. Make sure proper market research is done before venturing into this project. You would be delivery sandwiches to the same places regularly. You could also send out free samples to different areas. The advantage of this method is careful thought doesn’t have to be made when planning the location because you will have the transport to get there. Make sure you have ample space in your home and it is well equipped.
Think about the costs as you start up your business. You will know when a supplier is taking you for a ride. Do research. Try new suppliers. Roast your own meat such as turkey and beef and use that as filling instead of buying every time, which works out a lot cheaper. Always look for new, creative recipes. You can do a lot with a tight budget and most of all enjoy what you do!
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