Thinking about starting your own catering business? The wedding and events industry can be very lucrative, but before you start handing out your business cards or promoting your business online, we’ve listed the top three aspects that new caterers should never miss.
- Get Some Experience!
There is no better way to learn, than actually doing the task. If you’re interested in catering, you need the practical, real-world experience to successfully launch and maintain your business. Catering is no joke – it requires passion and stamina to work the long hours and big events. Getting some hands on experience will prepare you with the tools you need to move forward. You’ll also get insight on market trends and other major catering firms, allowing you to build your business to meet the needs of your customers.
- Get Organized
What are the most important items to get you up and running? First you need to apply for and obtain a business license. Secondly, you’ll need approval from the department of health, certifying your facility. If you plan to start out of your home, contact your local health department. There are various zoning requirements and safety codes that are specific to each state. Also keep in mind that some states do not consider a home as a foodservice facility. Do your homework and be prepared to make some costly renovations.
Once the business end is covered, you’ll need to invest in professional catering equipment. That’s where Burkett Restaurant Equipment comes in! Commercial restaurant equipment and catering supplies streamline your operations and make every event flow smoothly. From serving utensils to storage pans, we carry all of the essentials for your new business.
- Go to Market
A little Business 101: In order to have a successful start-up, you’ll need a strong customer base to boost profitability. Social media is a great way to get your name out there and to have real-time interaction with potential customers. Sign up for twitter, set up a Facebook page, and monitor sites like Yelp for customer reviews. Every business owner can set up a free account on Yelp to post photos and message your customers. Don’t forget print advertising if it’s in your budget. You might consider flyers and advertisements in your local paper and magazines.
Finally, develop valuable relationships with other event industry vendors such as florists, bands, event planners and organizers. This network of businesses can help refer customers to your catering business, and vice versa.
Most importantly, successful caterers have three things as their strongest attributes: Talent, Flexibility and Organization. Focus on the food. Be a savvy business person. Plan your events down to the last detail, but be ready to accommodate any last-minute changes. The rest, including your customers, will follow.