How to Start a Professional Catering Service

Catering refers to a professional service that takes care of the food and drinks at weddings, arranging candlelight dinners, high profile business lunches etc. Catering is very exciting business and is quite interesting. Catering requires a habit of paying attention to details, good stamina, excellent organizational skills, superb interpersonal skills etc.

If you are planning to start catering business there are lots of issues like start up capital, legal issues, start up costs that need careful handling. Let look into some of the important things when planning to start a catering business:.Expected Income: This is a rough expectation of what you can make every month. Keeping a realistic target helps keep up the morale and motivation also.

Initial set up costs: The initial costs are quite low as compared to opening a traditional restaurant. The costs are not much and you can start pretty small also. If you do not have lots of capital at hand, there is no issue as you can begin with USD 1000 also. This much sum is sufficient if you start from your won kitchen but in case you want a professional kitchen outfit then you need around USD 100,000.When you start taking contracts, you will be required mainly to cook on the location but lots of small stuffs like cleaning and cutting vegetables etc will be done in your kitchen only.

The main cooking will be done on location so you can first rent the kitchen equipment every time you need it instead on investing into buying everything. Utensils, china, tables, serving equipment etc are available for renting so you can cut costs this way.Getting a License: Usually the local health departments give the requisite permissions. The caterers have to fulfill certain minimum safety requirements or getting the license.

Once you get a license there will be routine inspections conducted to see if you maintain the proper health safety standards.Planning and cooking: Catering business requires superb cooking and planning skills as well. To run the business successfully you need to be a very great planner as every detail has to be taken care of. You need to visualize the entire event and think of all the contingencies that might happen.

On the face of it you need to be well organized but there needs to be enough flexibility in your systems so that in case there are last minute changes, you will have no problems.Clear and solid business plan: This is extremely important as you need to know what your specialty is and what your target market is. Based on this information develop your skills and competency. Keep track of new trends and develop some Competitive Advantage over other caterers.Attractive menu: A creative menu will help you serve your guests better.

You must look into, type of event, time of event, number of people coming, profile of guests, available resources etc. Try to include the following:.Meat, poultry, fish, dried beans, eggs and nut
Bread, cereal, rice and pasta
Milk, yogurt and cheese.

An attractive menu is one which is rich in taste and color as well. Proper balancing of light foods and heavy meals is also necessary.Contract for clients: Always have a proper contract and include the relevant information before the event.

State clearly the terms of agreement. An attorney can review the contract form for you.Price your product right: Add all your fixed costs and the variable costs as well the material costs. Then a profit percentage needs to be added.

Insurance: It a good idea to get a cover for materials and personal you employ. It includes personnel and product liability. Insurance always protects you from unexpected.

The success of your business depends on the service you provide to your clients. Try to be the best in the business. Competitive pricing will help you gain the first few clients. After that, it is the kind of work you do that will help you gain business.

.Chris Bennett owns a search engine optimization and web design firm that has helped many catering businesses get off the gound through succesful search engine placement.

He has helped catering companies all over the U.S. more than double their business their online leads. Some of the cities or states include Arizona Catering and Las Vegas Catering.

By: Christopher Bennett

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