Starting an Event Catering Business – Ten Steps to Success


If you have a love of food and people or think of yourself as someone that knows how to organize a great party or event then starting an event catering  business  could be a great small  business  opportunity for you.

Here are 10 steps to follow to get your event catering  business  started successfully.

1) Research

Find out as much as you can about the catering industry and how to run a successful catering  business . Try to also learn about small  business  management and marketing. Taking some classes on  business  or culinary related topics is one great way to prepare.

Research the industry in your town or city. Try to find out more about what the successful operators are doing, the size of the market and what kinds of events you should be targeting. Talk to people who have hired caterers before to try and better understand your future customers.

2) Experience and Qualifications

While most states and countries don’t require you to have any experience or qualifications to enter the catering  business , if you have had experience working in the food, beverage and hospitality industries (or even with another catering firm) you will have an immediate advantage.

3) Look into Health Regulations

One of the most important things to consider when going into the  business  of food preparation and service is the local health regulations that you will be subject to. Aim to know all about the permits that you will need and the cost of complying with health regulations before you even dream about starting your  business .

4) Think about where will you prepare the Food

Having access to a suitable kitchen space is essential if you are serious about your  business . Is your home kitchen really sufficient or will you need to rent time in a commercial kitchen or work out an agreement with the restaurant owner?

5) Insurance

Before you set up your company you should seriously look into the insurance that you will require in order to protect your company’s assets and your company’s liability in the case that things go wrong and result in personal or property damage.

6) Menus

Start putting together a variety of menus for different kinds of events. Have a look at what other caterers are doing to get ideas about what is popular.

7) Practice makes Perfect

Why not have a trial run before you start your event catering  business  to get an idea of what it takes to cater an event for a large number of people. This is easy to do if you throw a dinner party for a large number of friends or colleagues. Pretend that it is a real event and when the party has finished, ask your guests what they thought of your service and you food.

8) Branding

Start thinking about an appropriate name for your new venture and think about how you want customers to perceive your  business . How would you differentiate your company from the competition? What about your company values?

9) Financing your  Business 

Try to get a clearer idea of the start-up costs that you will be facing and decide how you will finance your  business . Will you be able to fund the whole project by yourself or a will you need another form of financing?

10) Your  Business  Plan

Once you have given these other nine factors some thought, you can start to compile a  business  plan outlining set up costs, marketing and management methods and goals and targets among other points. Try to cautiously forecast your expected income and expenditure for the first two years of your  business  and then you will be able to determine how profitable your new  business  is likely to be and when you can reach breakeven point.

If you follow these 10 steps before going ahead and starting your event catering  business  you will be giving yourself the best possible chance of finding success.

Source by Robert Sutherland

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