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Catering Business – Characteristics, Entrepreneurship and Tips

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Starting the Catering Business

The catering service today is booming, is one of the most requested in a wide variety of events, from birthdays, weddings, business dinners, even, can be present in a simple way for any time with the ability to adapt to the conditions and capacity of all pockets. Not only a few people can hire a catering company.

This food and drink service is becoming increasingly common. Therefore, if you are looking for a food sector in which you can undertake with good conditions, this is one of the options that you cannot leave aside. Find out here everything you need to know to start and start today.

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With food and drinks you can start a business, look at it all here

How does a catering business work?

The first thing is to define exactly what catering is. Well, it is mainly a service that provides food and beverages to those who hire exclusively from a team or staff specialized in serving all available food and that are agreed, according to the offer and the type of event for which it has been hired.

However, in order to establish our own catering service, we need to know what type of food we are going to offer initially, as we have options such as: traditional, exotic, design food, etc. We must also consider whether the food will be prepared or cooked on site, so we will need one or another set of elements.

What products should be offered in a catering business?

As we mentioned, a catering service can offer a great variety of products and meals oriented to the needs of its clients, so among the offer you can consider: breakfasts, snacks, lunches, dinners, appetizers and desserts, even tables specialized in all kinds of drinks.

Within the offer we also consider offering other types of food, because if you hire this service for an event, you will surely find people with varied diets, so we can take into account gluten-free food, vegetarian food, but also other preferences such as national and international dishes, children’s dishes, formal or informal, exotic and classic dishes, among others.

Starting the Catering Business

Starting requirements: What do you need to open a catering business?

The first thing we have to do is consult and apply for the legal permits in the catering field, which are relatively simple. If the business includes preparing meals on the premises, it will be essential to have a health permit, both to approve the premises and to be able to transport the food. The requirements determined by the corresponding entity in the city where we are located must be met.

In addition, we must have authorization to open the premises. In this case, in principle, it will not be necessary to have such an authorization if the establishment is a private food supply. Do not forget the certificate of food handling. There are various permits depending on the activity to be carried out and they can be easily acquired.

Don’t forget…

Ideally, before taking another step, we should carry out a study of the other catering companies, i.e. the competition. This will allow us to know what they offer, what prices they have, among other data, because it is important to know the market. The main objective of any company should be the differentiation covering a need of the society or having competitive prices.

How to start a catering business?

For this point, we recommend that you organize a series of plans that you can offer your clients according to their budget and the type of event they are going to give. Of course, by this point you will have already defined your list of possibilities.

These plans can depend on the following: type of food, number of dishes, accompanying beverages, type of dishes, number of waiters, service hours, among others that you should take into account, especially if the place of the event is a separate site or is your property. Remember that you must equip your business with articles and products of the best quality, since your image will depend on it in each service.

Who are we addressing – Who are my clients?

You can create a catering and collective restoration company, that is, a company aimed at schools, companies, hospitals, residences, etc. Most of the clients that hire catering companies are companies dedicated to events, but there are also educational centres, around 22% correspond to hospitals and geriatric residences, 10% to company canteens and 19% are made up of associations, religious entities, the military and prisons.

On the other hand you can offer a catering for companies that include breakfast

coffee breaks, cocktails, management dinners or other so that workers can close deals in restaurants or simply make themselves known.

Finally there is the option of being a catering company for individuals. A clear example is wedding banquets or family celebrations, engagements, such as birthdays, 15-year parties, first communions, baptisms, among others. This type of event requires exclusive settings, often on farms, but also takes place in communal halls or reception rooms. It all depends on the clients.

Key tips for setting up a catering business and making money 

It is not necessary to have an extensive staff or a large infrastructure to start a catering company. The best way to start is to hire staff on an hourly basis for specific services, such as administrative, accounting and commercial staff, warehouse management staff, kitchen staff, waiters and public relations.

In the organization stage of your business, it is convenient to make an initial investment and with it to start a business plan to know exactly the expenses that will be incurred. We recommend investing in construction and work, as well as in the creation of contracts and uniforms for the staff, installation of electrical power, water and air conditioning.

It will also be necessary to invest in the furniture and decoration of the premises. However, remember that it is not necessary to have a venue, as you can offer home catering services contracted by your clients directly or by event agencies, so you can dispense with an open venue and invest in a storage area for your equipment and materials. Take into account the transport costs and other expenses such as: electrical appliances, kitchen utensils and other elements to work with and computer equipment. Not to mention the cost of renting the premises, the workers’ salaries and the various additional expenses incurred for advertising or small initial incidents.

The secret of this business: 

The greatest virtue and objective, shared with the quality of the dishes you offer as a catering service, is the customer service to each of the guests served by the waiters and of course, the people they hire. A dissatisfied guest or the client himself, can damage our business, limiting the possibility of being recommended for other events, so it is extremely important that you take care of the attention that each staff member offers to the guests and hosts.

catering business

Weaknesses: avoid limiting your services as some other businesses do, refusing the possibility of increasing their income. These are options to which I recommend you not to be closed such as the loan and rental of dishes, greater variety in the dishes for all kinds of occasions, having clothing for the waiters for a particular event or theme, etc, the possibilities for innovation are many.

Communication is one of the key factors to know the needs of our customers and in this measure, be attentive and offer everything you might need. An unsolved request, an unheard request, could easily rule out your catering company for another occasion.

Points in favor: this is a business idea in which you can choose the modality to provide your service and even the dimensions, since you do not need to have a place open to the public, but you can have a small warehouse or storage room to keep all the materials, utensils and machines. You can hire staff according to each service, and even undertake without experience, but always hire people who have it. This implies starting to train yourself to know more about your business.

Many people choose to hire a catering service because of the facilities it offers, so it is a business that easily moves its customers, so the location, in principle, is not a problem.

Success stories 

To learn more about the operation of services and businesses focused on the food sector, we present some success stories that undoubtedly should be reviewed to start setting the course of your own enterprise, so that you can know not only its operating model, but its experience and path in the venture.

Growth opportunities are very wide with this type of business, so it will be necessary to generate relationships with agencies and seek contacts with whom we could do business to build a promising future in the market, always offering the best service.

And you, what are you waiting to start?