How to Start a Catering Business

Posted by Catur Setiawan | 5:38 AM | , , | 0 comments »

If you thrive in the crowd and love everything about food, your ideal entrepreneurial niche could be a catering business. The challenges in a catering business include back-breaking hours at the stove and lots of physically laborious activities, but the ultimate rewards are definitely worth all the hard work.

It's not compulsory to have a culinary degree to start your own catering business. However, familiarity with food safety measures, preparation techniques, presentation and of course, governmental procedures for setting up and maintaining the business will come in handy. Also, as common sense tells you, prepared food must be eye-appealing and delicious at the same time.

Most importantly, you need to believe in yourself and get started with enough information to succeed. So, start by researching on the internet or by visiting libraries. Make sure you do a thorough research on licenses, certifications and registration requirements before you invest your time, energy and money to your catering business.

Once you are through with your primary research, you will have to assimilate relevant data and organize it well for your use. Now you have to formulate a business plan and a marketing strategy from all the information that you have learned. The internet provides excellent resources for this. You can check out websites like, where you can find various published papers and other useful data.

The next step is finance. Having your hands on a good business plan and marketing strategy will give you a fairly accurate idea of the kind of credit you will require, as well as increase your chances of quick loan approval. You can get this done through banks and finance companies. Obviously, you will have to invest a small fraction of the total budget upfront. Even as you do this, take care that you do not end up investing more than you can afford losing.

While it might be exhilarating to start your own catering business, it's important to realize that in the beginning you will be wearing many hats. In addition to preparing food and catering events, you'll need to have a good understanding of marketing in order to obtain new business. And, let's not forget the day-to-day duties such as answering the phone, quoting prices, following up with clients, performing accounting duties, ordering supplies, etc.

Although owning your own catering business is a highly rewarding experience, you should be prepared to work long hours and be available to work weekends and evenings, at least until you are well-established.

A catering business is not just about preparing food for an event. The actual A to Z process involves preparation, delivery, table arrangements, food serving and cleaning up after the event. You'll need lots of stamina for this business and it's best to be prepared for the uphill climb.

There's more for you to tackle when you are running a catering business. Most often, caterers work 15 hours per day, 7 days a week. Outdoor events are more common than indoor events, so you'll need lots of energy and gumption to be able to handle the summer-day catering events. Also, maintaining a friendly attitude with lots of vitality throughout all this is essential for a good catering business relationship.

In any case, notwithstanding all the hard work, in the end, if you genuinely love what you do, it is going to be worth it, and a lot of fun. Catering jobs are hectic and taxing and hence you require a good plan for all your activities.

Gary Pearson is an accomplished niche website developer and author.