It is one thing to plan for a party or want to host some guests in the comfort of your home; and it is yet another to have them well catered for.
While there is no exact recipe to creating a catering business, you can increase your chances for success with knowledge of your state's food and health laws, a solid business plan and marking strategy, and a repertoire of mouthwatering recipes.
Find Your Cooking Calling Most catering businesses are successful when they focus on a particular niche. By targeting a specific market, you can become an expert in that area, keep operating costs down and focus your advertising efforts.
For example, you might love baking cakes, tweaking traditional recipes and having all of your friends sample your products. You can take your passion for baking and perhaps focus on baking cakes for weddings. This allows you to purchase only the baking equipment you need to make your cakes and focus your marketing on wedding venues, bridal events and wedding literature.
Other niche markets include business events and small parties — activities that you can reasonably prepare for in your home. Instead of focusing on a particular type of event, you could also focus on a particular type of food such as barbecue, kosher or vegan. If you have an established brand identity, customers will feel more confident turning to you to cook for their events.
Develop a Catering Business Plan Writing a business plan is important because it helps you transform your ideas for a catering business startup into a concrete plan to achieve it.
Understanding your target audience is a key part of a business plan. For example, in their startup phase, the owners of Bacon Co. For them, it meant having their friends and family try their recipes and give opinions through surveys.
This allowed the owners to better understand their target market and refine their recipes. Another important element to include in your business plan is your business structure. Consider setting up as a limited liability company, as it allows you to protect your personal assets from the business.
For example, if you plan to make organic cakes, you might include in your mission statement that you believe in the health benefits of organically sourced foods. In your financial projections, you would include costs of organic ingredients and how much net profit you expect to make per cake sold.
In your marketing plans, you might plan to target local organic foodie newsletters and events. Small Business Administration provides templates and guidance.
Home-Based Food Business Licenses Each state has slightly different requirements when starting a home catering business. In general, you will need a business license, federal tax number EINinspection from your local fire department and health inspection of your kitchen.
Ensure you are actually allowed to cook at home in your state or if you must use a professional kitchen. For example, in California, the California Home Food Act allows you to prepare low-risk foods from home.
This means that you can prepare jams, baked goods, dried food and other low-spoilage food from your kitchen. Depending on how you sell your food — directly or indirectly — you might also need a yearly health inspection of your kitchen. However, you will always be required to prepare dairy or meat-based foods from a professional kitchen.
The additional costs for renting out a professional kitchen can vary depending on where you live. Create a Foolproof Menu Create a menu of items that you can include in your catering services. Consider offering a variety of items so your customers can pick and choose the types of food they want at their events.
Also, offer bundle packages to help you save on food costs and waste. For example, The Event Group, a catering company based in Arkansas, provides dinner buffet package deals. Customers choose which package they want, and the caterer provides the rest in a full-service atmosphere.
Your Kitchen Tools Once you have decided on your menu, purchase the appropriate equipment and ingredients. If you are cooking from your home kitchen, you likely need tools that are dedicated to the business, separate from your personal kitchen tools.
Purchase professional cookware and utensils from professional kitchen supply vendors for the best-quality products. Promote Your Food Create a website and include a system for showing testimonials and referrals. Word-of-mouth advertising is especially powerful in the catering industry. For example, ZeroCater, a San Fransico-based office-lunch catering company, used word of mouth by first targeting small technology companies and startups that didn't have their own in-house food services.
As the business grew, it was able to upmarket to larger companies in the same field. Also, consider using social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. Create interesting and engaging content; for example, show attractive pictures of your food at different events that you have catered or include tips on the types of food that are popular to serve at a wedding reception.
Because incorporating your home based business might not be appropriate considering the costs involved, you may consider establishing a limited liability company LLCwhich is much simpler to establish compared with a corporation and exposes the business owner to much less liability than the sole proprietorship.Nov 16, · How to Start a Catering Business.
In this Article: Article Summary Finding Your Catering Niche Securing Your Space and Supplies Setting Up Your Business Community Q&A If you host dinner parties for your family and friends every chance you get, you're up on food trends and you have an entrepreneurial spirit, consider starting a catering business%().
A Sample Catering Service Business Plan Template Are you about starting a food catering company from home? If YES, here is a complete sample mobile catering service business plan template and feasibility report you can use for FREE. You can start small, catering events you can manage on your own or with a couple of helpers to see if a catering business is really something you want to pursue.
Start-up costs depend much on how big you want to start, your state's requirements for selling food made from home, and what you already own to help you get started. Fressen Catering catering company business plan executive summary. Fressen Catering offers creative, colorful, and unusual kosher and traditional foods.
Toggle navigation. Starting a business made easy. Business Ideas; Business Planning Start your own business plan». Related: Business Plan Examples To Get You Going In addition to the above, the company will seek contacts at universities and researchers that are involved in greens, and will continue the quest for the best flavoured, large, and firm vegetable throughout the year.
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If you are driven by that burning desire to start a catering business and are prepared for the work and accompanying expenses, the catering industry will offer some distinct advantages over 5/5(1).