How To Start Your Own Catering Business
The best business to start is one that engages you. Rather than focusing on the money, find something that you love. So, if you love good food, especially preparing and serving it, then consider starting your own catering business.
It’s not only profitable to start your own business in food catering (because there’s always a high demand for caterers), but it is also fun. You’ll meet a variety of interesting people in the course of your work and learn how to prepare many new dishes.
If you start small, then you’ll be able to learn how to run your own business without feeling overwhelmed and without borrowing too much from a bank. Three basic steps to starting a catering business are to choose your specialty, market your business, and constantly improve your business model.
Choose Your Specialty
Although you can whip up anything on short notice, it’s not a good idea to be a generalist. You will earn far less and have a lot more competition. Instead, choose a specialty. If you’re unique, then you won’t be competing with others, can charge what you’re worth, and only work with clients who appreciate what you do.
One way to figure out what to specialize in is to visit restaurants with catering services. This will give you a good idea about what people are interested in buying from my food catering business and how much they’re willing to pay.
Once you decide on a specialty, figure out how long it will take for you to prepare the meals and how much the ingredients will cost. Once you understand these basic metrics, you’ll be able to forecast whether the business will be profitable.
If you find that it takes too long to prepare the food or the ingredients cost so much that they limit your profit margin, then it’s better to research another specialty rather than choosing to specialize in catering your favorite foods.
Market Your Business
Every business is a marketing business. Unless a business gets good at marketing, it will never get off the ground. A brilliant business concept and exceptional service will not help much if people don’t know about your business. If people don’t know who you are and what you do, you won’t be in business for long.
An excellent way to get people to hire you is to give away food samples. Go to trade shows or county fairs and set up a food concession tent. After people taste your food and get to know you in person, they will be much more likely to hire you or refer friends who are looking for a catering service.
Besides getting out there and meeting people, you should also set up a website that fully describes your business. When people come to visit your tent, give them business cards with your website address. Think of your website as an online brochure that describes every aspect of your business. A website is a way to help people get to know, like, and trust you. Once they do, they will be eager to hire you.
Constantly Improve Your Business Model
After you’ve planned your business, got the licenses and permits, and built relationships with vendors, then focus on Kaizen, or constant and never-ending improvement, which is great for everything from personal development to business building.
As you run your business and get to know your customers and other business owners in the food industry, you’ll get a much better idea about the needs wants and desires of your ideal customer.
Use the insights you gather to try out small experiments to see how well they work. For instance, you could experiment with new dishes within your specialty to see if people would like to see something new on the menu.