The Catering Business

These years are a financially-trying time.  We have to come up with ways on how we can augment our incomes, and this is especially true if we have to rely only on our monthly salaries.  If you have the culinary skill, then why not try out the catering business.  Many have succeeded in this venture, but then again, many have failed.  For this reason, here are some of the things that you have to consider before you launch your own catering business.

Studying the Market

It does not matter if you are opening a part time or a full time catering business, but what matters is that you study the market.  You have to know just how high or how low the demand for catering in your area is.  You should know that the demand for catering depends upon your location, your neighborhood, the income of the households in your area, and the competition, of course.  All these data will help you come up with a good plan.

In connection with studying the market, you should also know and fully understand the laws and regulations of your local area as well as your State when it comes to food handling and safety.  Remember, your clients are going to be the lifeblood of your new catering venture, so you should be knowledgeable too about the current FDA guidelines.

Budgeting and Knowing the Start-Up Costs

Any new business will need money, of course, so for this reason, you have to know the start-up costs of starting a catering business so as to come up with a good budget.  This step will involve knowing the cost of the license and insurance fee and other fees associated with starting a catering business, of course.

These are the questions that you have to ask yourself in this step.

Are you going to work in your own home using what you currently have in your kitchen, or are you going outfit your kitchen like that of a professional’s?  You can save a lot of money with the former, especially if you are just starting out and want to keep your start-up costs down.

There are some clients who allow on-site cooking, and you can make use of their kitchen equipment; however, there are also those who do not.  If you want to have a professional kitchen but still keep the costs at a minimum, then you can consider renting the items.  This way, you can build your reputation without spending too much on kitchen items, and when you have a good client base, you will then have the ample capital to invest on brand new kitchen items.

Are you going to go solo, or are you going to hire employees?  Going solo is cheaper than hiring employees, but it is also very impractical.  One, you will need some help in the food preparation and cooking, and two, you will need help in transporting the dishes and arranging them on site.  Going solo is okay if you are just starting out and are catering for a small group of people, but once your catering business grows, you will need to hire employees.

Aside from knowing the cost of the license and insurance fee and other fees, the cost of working from your own kitchen versus renting kitchen equipment versus outfitting a professional kitchen, the cost of hiring employees, you also have to consider the impact it will have on your home financial budget.  The first few months are the rockiest months, so you have to have enough money to cover not only your initial overhead costs for your catering business but also your expenses at home like bills, mortgages, food, groceries, medical, education, etc.

Lastly, you need to know the prices of the food products in the market.  It will help you a lot if you know a local farmer or a local provider who can give you good discounts on their products.  By knowing the food product prices in the market, you can come up with a good price for your products and services that is not only competitive but also profitable.

Getting Your Name Out There

Provided you already have answers for the above and you are now ready to launch your new catering business, the next step is to get your name out there.  So, advertise, advertise, advertise!

Start small, and cater for your friends, relatives, and family’s parties.  Through word of mouth advertising, they will refer you to their friends who will also refer you to their friends.  For this reason, quality is more important than quantity, and you will get more clients if you are consistently delivering quality products and services.

It would also not hurt you to put up your own website and join social networks like Facebook and Twitter.  This is a free way to advertise your new catering business.

Lastly, if you have the budget for it, advertise in the yellow pages, newspapers, radio shows, local TV shows, etc.  This will give you a bigger audience and get your name out there much faster.

Chef Matthew, the owner of ProChef360 Blog, is an expert in culinary arts. 
He is after all an outstanding chef, having had worked in some of the finest resorts, hotels and restaurants in the world.

His interest, however, in social media was awakened when he started his own websites. 
Over the years, he took it upon himself to learn everything he can about social media.

He endeavored to discover the secrets behind generating huge traffic and leads for his websites.

He studied the secrets behind generating sales by piggy-backing on high-traffic social media sites.

Over time, he has developed 77 techniques on how to generate huge amount of traffic through the use of social media.

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