It is imperative for new business owners to understand the fundamentals of operating a business before actually doing so. Knowing the essential market insight can help any would-be catering managers to succeed, but recent economic downturns have meant that fewer people have considered starting a catering business of their own. The thought of owning, managing and working in your very own catering business, whilst being financially rewarded is what encourages budding catering entrepreneurs to make it happen. Whether you cater events on a full-time or part-time basis, the opportunities are excellent. Understandably the UK recession is hitting the catering industry hard and fast, but don’t let it deter you and this is why.
The catering service is a really tough job. As a supplier you can change the mood of the event. Caterers need to at least meet the expectation of their client and the guest. While most will simply ponder the varying standards of catering services on offer, the more entrepreneurial know full well of the business opportunities that lie with private and particularly corporate events. It goes further than preparing a few sandwiches for a business meeting.
The first thing to consider is finances. Money must be raised to purchase the kitchen equipment. The expense here obviously will depend upon the services you hope to offer. Specialist equipment will cost more but generate the most income. As your client base grows you will find your equipment needs will change. My advice here would be to start small and invest in larger, more bespoke equipment as your business expands.
Supplies will be essential in your ventures and negotiating competitive prices will be important in making your margins more profitable. Supplies are not getting cheaper and ample supply chain of ingredients will be key to your business. Ensure an affordable and accessible wholesaler. I can’t stress the importance of accessibility enough. Of course you can order online but issues with delivery are an inevitable issue.
Controlling costs is crucial to your best not just turning a profit, but surviving. Catering is a competitive market and how you price your service will be the difference between success and failure.
Also have you ever considered the working hours of a catering business? Catering is typically rather unsocial, as you’re more often than not working when everyone else is having a good time. Mainly through summer too!
Have you decided or considered what area of catering you will specialise in? Weddings? Birthdays? Corporate? It is wise to offer additional services in order to stand out in an already mentioned competitive market. Things could include cutlery rental, server services, marquee hire etc. This will help you attract business far quicker.
Just remember it is never too late to start your catering business. Good luck in achieving your dreams!