How to Start a Catering Service
Starting a catering business from home can be a great career for people that enjoy planning, cooking and working with customers. The job of a catering business from home is to ensure the meal, appetiz...
Starting a catering business from home can be a great career for people that enjoy planning, cooking and working with customers. The job of a catering business from home is to ensure the meal, appetizers, desserts and drinks are perfect for the clientís event. Catering services are used for conferences, birthdays, anniversaries, and, of course, weddings.
In fact, you can specialize by doing only wedding catering and keep yourself busy and your catering service growing. You need to be creative and have a great deal of knowledge about food. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Catering can be hard work.
The first step in starting catering company is to create a catering business plan. This plan will be needed if you try to get a loan to help your catering business get off the ground. It will also help you organize yourself and your business, by answering questions, and ensuring your services are professional and dependable.
When you start a catering company you will be required to have many licenses and certifications, and must adhere to Health Department regulations. You will need to contact your local Health Department for the specific regulations, certifications, licenses, and insurance information for your area. The Health Department also usually requires an inspection of the area to be used for your catering business.
With your catering business start up, you have to decide what types of food you are going to offer. Once you have decided on the food, you need the equipment to prepare the food and a way to transport it. Some places you will be working will have a kitchen that you can use for final preparation, but the majority of work will be done at your location.
If you donít have a background in cooking or if you want to be able to get more creative and exotic, you may want to look into cooking classes at a local community college or even a culinary college. You may be able to find a culinary college that offers classes in catering business management. Being able to attend those types of classes, as well as cooking classes would be beneficial and relieve a lot of stress.
Once you have your training, certifications, insurance, and you have complied with the local Health Department and any other government regulations, you are ready to finalize what catering services you will provide and the associated fees. The best way to get this information is to contact some local caters. Find out what they offer and their fees. Do the same with any restaurants that offer catering services.
Marketing of any business can seem almost impossible. However, you have many options. You can write a press release for local newspapers and radio stations. You can offer your catering services to fund-raising events. You can invite wedding and event planners to a tasting of some of your food. If they know your work, they are more likely to hire you. Once you get your catering business name into the community, your best advertisement will be word of mouth.
Now you know just a few things about how to start catering. If youíre still interested then your next step is to get more information about the industry and the training required. There are plenty of books, such as the Complete Idiotís Guide and other similar series that can help you get started. You should also subscribe to industry magazines to stay ahead of the trends and your competition. The internet is another great place to find information, recipes, trends and other issues of catering services.
The last step is to do it. Whether it is just part time or full immersion, remember that through all the hard work that in the long run it will be worth all the effort. People will always need catering services. The potential for growth in this industry is unlimited. There is always room for one more catering business to share the wealth.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Randy is owner of Profitable Home Businesses. Randy owned and operated a very successful storefront/mailorder business from 1988 to 2003. Currently full time owner/operator of several online businesses.