If you love cooking and working with others, then you might have thought about starting your own catering business. Catering is a booming trade, with more and more people choosing to have events catered, from private dinners to weddings, and in 2021, with a lot of people planning to hold celebrations that were previously postponed, it could get even busier. But is now a good time to start a catering business? You’ll need to consider a few things first.
Start up costs need to be considered
A catering business isn’t the easiest type of business to start. One of the reasons for this is that you will need a certain amount of equipment to start things up, and it’s best to invest in quality. You may want to consider setting up a commercial kitchen using Electrolux Professional products, as they are much more reliable than home products and easier to clean and maintain.
Some other start-up costs can include:
- Renting some premises – if you aren’t starting it from home
- Marketing and getting the word out
- Initial staffing costs
- Stocking up on ingredients and staples
- Equipment like serving dishes, glasses, cutlery and everything else that you’ll need to deliver your goods
While a catering business isn’t the cheapest option for a start-up, once you’ve got a lot of the equipment, it will hopefully last you for a few years.
Research local business requirements
It’s important to do a lot of research before you launch your business. You need to know exactly what it takes to start up a business in your location, from licencing to initial costs. Further to that, there are usually local regulations about starting a business that serves food. For example, you may need an inspection of your premises and certification before you serve your first customer. If you are working out of your own kitchen, you may need to make some adjustments to get it up to code.
You need to research local competition
While you may feel that your area needs a catering firm, it’s important to research how many local businesses already offer this service and see if you can offer something different. For example, if you plan to offer upmarket catering, but there are already three other firms doing the same, you might want to look at a different concept, like running a food truck, instead.
Decide whether to employ help
Many catering firms are busier during certain seasons, while others offer services that are year-round. You may want to find out how to employ someone, if you plan to have permanent staff, or look at agency workers or temps if you only need people at certain times of the year. There can be advantages and disadvantages to both.
Starting a catering firm is not the easiest option. You really have to love what you do. But it can be a busy, profitable enterprise if you do it right, and the kind of business that grows quickly over time and can move with different trends.