More and more hospitality graduates are choosing to launch their own catering business as opposed to opening restaurants. There is no better time to get into the catering industry as it is growing a lot and shows no signs of stopping. Here are some steps to starting your own catering business.
- The first thing to do when starting a catering business is research the market. This involves researching your competitors and seeing what food they sell and who their customers are in terms of demographic. Look at their prices, and how they advertise themselves. To research your potential customers such as what they like and what they look for when hiring a catering service, you can do surveys and talk to people in person.
- Once you have researched your customers and know what they like, you can decide the type of food you want to serve. This will also depend on your own skills and expertise. It is best to stick to what you know as long as there is a market for it. You should also research the ingredients you will need; how easily available they are in your area; and how much they cost. You can try out different ingredients to decide which source tastes the best. You can also ask around to see what recommendations people have. Moreover, if through your market research, you discover that your potential customers are more likely to use a catering service that uses organic and local food, this will obviously impact where you will source your ingredients.
- Next, you must decide what will make your catering business stand out when compared to other catering businesses. You must narrow down your niche to something such as only corporate events, or informal parties, or weddings. It may be that you only cater a certain food type such as Indian food.
- You must create your brand. This means coming with a name for your catering business, a website, and a logo that represents your niche. It should look professional and classy if you only do formal private events, but if it is for children’s parties, it should be colourful and playful. Make sure to pick a name that is reflective of the services you offer, and easy to remember.
- One of the most important steps to starting any type of business is creating a business plan. Most people may have heard of a business plan but it is surprising how many start-up businesses forget to create one or think they don’t need one. It is especially important if you want to apply for funding, work with others, or find investors to help your business grow. A business plan that is specifically for a catering business should also include the menu you will have, the expenses on things like ingredients, employees, marketing, and transportation, and you must include your calculation of projected earnings.
- After you have done this, you can find the financing you need, through a business loan, investors, or grants. You will need to register your business as well to make it official and legal.
- Once you are up and running, you will need to make sure you have health and safety regulations in place, as well hygiene training as you are dealing with food. It is best if you get a Food Hygiene Check. You can visit https://hygienecheck.net to organise one.