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How to Start a Catering Business

How to Start a Catering Business PhotoThe holidays are nearing, and the season of parties is upon us again. If you are the entrepreneurial type, you know that this is the perfect time to start a business since everybody seems to be in a spending mood.

According to a survey conducted by Evite.com, 13.6 million people have been invited to holiday parties in 2010, and this number just keeps on increasing. With millions of people to that have to be wined and dined at these parties, a catering business can definitely be successful during the holiday season.

But before you turn on that oven, here are a few tips to make your catering experience smooth-sailing, for you and your clients.

Build your Reputation

If you were to start a catering business, it would help if people knew you already had a background in party planning or food preparation.

If you don’t, start bringing dishes for sampling at the office, and tell your colleagues to consider you as the caterer for their holiday bashes. Cater for small dinners or get-togethers first, before moving on to 200 people extravaganzas.

Invest in the Essentials

If you’re looking at catering as business for the long haul, start investing in your tools of the trade. Numerous chafing dishes, tableware, and cooking utensils should be secured way before you start accepting reservations.

Invest in manpower too. Start by hiring an assistant cook that you can already train to cook your famous recipes. This would save a lot of time when your parties start piling up.

Start off at a Discounted Price

Big parties such as office get togethers usually have a tight budget. Although office catering is a hassle, the advantages definitely trumps the small slash in profits.

Your dishes will be sampled by hundreds of people, most of whom are looking for caterers for their personal parties. So don’t ignore the events that don’t pay as well, because they might offer a lot of exposure, and that’s priceless.

Set Yourself Apart

Having sumptuous dishes is a requirement, but have a signature dish or two that you’re guests will definitely crave for. This will make sure that you are memorable once they’re picking out caterers.

Be Self Sustaining

This is especially important during peak season. If you outsource everything from labor to utensils, you might be caught in a bind if your suppliers flake off.

Try to be as self sustaining as possible, and only say yes to parties that you are confident you can handle. It’s definitely better to be known as a reputable caterer that always delivers than as a caterer that sacrifices quality for quantity.

Offer the Whole Package

While caterers are usually limited to providing food, holiday hosts will love it if you offer more services that would ease their burdens. Offer to be in charge of booze and bar tending as well.

If you want to extend your services, have an option to take charge of decoration and documentation as well. Being an all around party extraordinaire will definitely impress your clients, and will assure you of a lot of additional bookings.