One of the most important parts in planning an event is usually the catering. It’s a make or break the plan in any kind of events such as business meetings, wedding, fundraising galas, or corporate holiday parties. Often time, the client will hire a catering manager to take lead of the plan and help out execute programs at hotels and other venues.
People who enjoy most of their time choosing food and beverage, dream in becoming a caterer and soon opening their own catering business. What’s the best part? According to the information from National Association of Catering Executives (NACE), the success rate of catering business are actually higher than a restaurant because it's less overwhelming and employees are only needed during the planned events.
Check out these tips on how to run a successful catering business
1) Gain experience with catering jobs
If you're planning on becoming a caterer, you should have experience working for a caterer first. A good choice may include working as a server for a well-established caterer. This will also help you decide if this is the best time to start a catering business and if it's something you really would like to do. It will also help you prepare for the long hours of physical work in the catering business.
2) Find a licensed commercial kitchen to rent
Ready to start your catering business? Wait a minute. You cannot provide catering services from your home kitchen, you must find a licensed catering kitchen near you and make inquiries about renting a commercial kitchen space by the hour.
3) Set your catering prices
Like any other business, you must have a profit and loss statement for everything. Tally up the hours you place in making the events. The best way to know if you are making money is to approach it hour by hour for every event done.
4) Rent catering equipment
With a catering business, you will need the necessary catering supplies and equipment. But you don’t need to buy everything you need right away. With a catering business, everything you need may be rented. You can build your inventory later on as you take on more events.
5) Don’t forget to obtain a business insurance
This is a business like no other, which is why you must secure it by having an insurance. You need to have a proper business license and a commercial liability insurance to cover any vendor, client, guest, or anyone affected by your services in a negative way. If you hire employees, you must also have workers compensation insurance for each of them.
6) Be an approved caterer
A lot of venues have their list of approved caterers who are allowed to operate in their facilities, this is a great way to start and maintain your catering business.
7) Build a network with event planners and coordinator
We know that you want your catering event to stand out right? Event planners hire caterers as one of their many services offered. So don’t be afraid when working with them and be sure to give discounts for your services. They act as sales folks for your company and giving a discount is basically their commission for hiring you – that’s how they are paid.
8) Promote yourself as a catering professional
Social media tools are an excellent way to start promoting your business. Build your group of “friends” and “followers”. Share a few business related tips and advices to establish yourself as an “expert”.
9) Join catering associations
Join related professional associations and organizations. With this you can attend meetings and national conferences where you get to meet others who are a more established catering business, and those who are also just starting out.
10) Stay focused on your catering
Being creative with your catering business is fun, but keep in mind that you also need to keep track of the paperwork when it comes to being professional with your business. Don't forget create fun marketing ideas for your catering company.
So get your flames burning! A business breakfast or a lunch for 50 people? Coming right up!
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