If you and others think you can cook or bake good enough that you can create an amazing buffet, maybe you should consider opening a catering business. But being an exceptional cook or baker is not enough to ensure the success of your catering business though.
So, here are some things you should mind as you start your own catering business.
Research your competitors
Like in most businesses, it is important to know if there are others in your area who are offering the same thing. Do some research and check out their menus, list of services, prices and customer base. Good food is not everything that makes for a successful catering business, so yours should have something that sets it apart from your competitors. Customers usually look for extra benefits aside from the food quality. To have an edge over the competition, some aspects you may consider banking on are unique menus, convenience, prices and promotions.
Secure the necessary equipment
You should have a list of all the items you will need before you begin catering. Try to have an inventory of the equipment that you may already have and what else you need to purchase.
Plating and food storage are necessary. Make sure that you have enough dinnerware and kitchenware, and a dishwasher that can accommodate them. There are specialised equipment for catering, which you can get from businesses that specifically offer catering servicing solutions.
Acquire licences and permits
For catering businesses, the food business registration should be accomplished through the government website at least 28 days before publicly selling food. Otherwise, you might be facing up to two years of imprisonment if you are caught operating without licence.
Registration is free, so all you have to worry about is completing it in due time. You should also register your business as a sole trader (if you are operating on your own) or a limited company (if you already have employees upon the start of operations). This is also done through the government website and costs £12. Remember to abide by the environmental, safety and general food laws too.
Choose your market niche
While looking up your competitors, take note of the market they cater to. Use this information to find a market niche which they might have overlooked and you think you would be good at. Once you have settled on a niche, research their preferences and the price range you can have.
Brand your business accordingly as well so it will have enough positive impact on your target market. Some niche options for small catering services are corporate events, weddings, children’s parties, festivals, concerts and sporting events. You can choose to further narrow down your target, too. Of course, your menu should appeal to them as well.
Rushing the preparations for your catering business could be a bad idea. Take your time in building up your plan to maximize your preparations and be less stressed about it. Also, consider setting deadlines for each aspect of your plan. You should be confident in what you do, and show ample passion and dedication in catering to your customers. After all, success is likely to come if you enjoy what you do.