Starting a business is something that appeals to many people, for many different reasons. Some are seeking a better work-life balance and more flexible working conditions once they’ve had children. Others, want to bring something new to the market or feel they’ve got a great business idea that they can only do on their own terms. And for some, it’s a fantastic opportunity to find success in the business world and carve out a future for themselves.
Whichever group you fall into, if you’ve got an interest in cooking or baking, starting a catering business might be something that you have thought about. If it’s an idea that appeals to you, here’s a look at what you need to consider before you get started.
The first thing to ask yourself is where you are going to run your business. Will it be home based? In a catering van? A commercial kitchen? Or a restaurant or café? This decision will affect the type of food you sell and how your business is run.
If you plan to work out of your house, you’ll need to make sure your kitchen is suitable and that you are insured for a home business. If you are leasing or buying property elsewhere, check the kitchen well, make sure it’s got the space for everything that you need, look into grease trap cleaning, maintenance and do some research into the location.
When it comes to choosing a location, think about space, customer areas, location, parking and health and safety.
Ask yourself what you enjoy cooking? Do you prefer more formal food? Baking? Celebration cakes or casual dining? This is a good place to start when deciding what kind of catering business you want to run.
Your Target Market
Your niche and premises need to be a good fit for your target market. Who does your brand and product appeal to? Make sure everything is a good fit.
Next, you need to start planning your menu. This is probably one of the best bits as you get to practice dishes. Throw some dinner parties to make sure they go down well.
Before starting any business serving food to the public, you need to apply for the correct permits and legislation. These are legal requirements that you can’t afford to get wrong. So, check the current specifications with your local council and give yourself plenty of time to apply before your proposed start date. You may also need an alcohol license and a music license.
Again, what you need here depends on what kind of business you plan to run. At the very least you will need cooking equipment. You may also need plates and cutlery or takeaway packaging. Other things to consider include:
- Chairs and tables
- Cleaning supplies
- Decorations and décor
- Sauce bottles
When it comes to starting your own catering company, there is an awful lot to think about and do before you can get started. But, once it’s all done, this could be a wonderful career path for you. Have fun!