How to Start Your Catering Business

Have you finished catering college and are now looking to profit from your education? Maybe you’ve been working as a chef and want to progress your career? Perhaps you’re operating in a different professional field and want to pursue your passion for food? Whatever the reason, you may have settled on the idea of starting your own catering business.  

After all, there are many advantages when owning a catering business – from the freedom to the potential financial rewards. However, there are a number of steps to take before you can start wowing clients with cakes and canapes. Here’s a quick rundown:

Decide on a niche and catering style

First of all, you have to ask yourself a big question: What type of catering business do I want to run? 

Not only do you need to know what niche to focus on, you also have to decide what sector to work in as a caterer. For instance, you could focus on private catering work such as weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. Alternatively, there is the corporate sector which covers various business events. 

When deciding, remember there’s more to catering than food. You also have to consider that you’re delivering an experience. This means that presentation, service, and the type of catering facility – such as a buffet or wave service – need to be determined. 

Acquire the correct licensing 

It’s one of those boring aspects of business, but it needs to be done. As you will be working in the food industry, it’s vital you acquire the right licenses to cover your business. Even if all your food is prepped and cooked at home, you still need to be properly registered and licensed. Additional licensing will be needed depending on what type of food you use and if you’re distributing alcohol. 

Get funded

As with any entrepreneurial venture, you need to have the necessary funds in place before you can get your catering business off the ground. If you’re not fortunate enough to already possess the capital to start, there are various methods available to raise the cash. One of the best ways is by getting a business loan. As noted by, a business loan provides the money instantly at competitive rates.  

Maintain safety and hygiene regulations

Even before you get up and running, it’s important to have the necessary hygiene and safety regulations in place. Not just that, they need to remain in place for as long as your catering business exists. If not, you could face serious financial penalties or possibly even a prison sentence. 

Responsibilities to remember include: 

  • Ensuring food is safe to consume.
  • Have your food hygiene rating visible. 
  • Maintain records on the food’s origins.
  • Never mislead consumers on the contents of the food.

Build a client base 

Once all the previous points are in place, and you have registered and insured your business, it’s time to get to work. As there’s plenty of competition in the catering industry, you need to market effectively and stand out from the crowd. 

To build up your client base, you could provide sampling sessions or exhibitions at relevant events. A professional website with high-quality pictures of your food creations is also a sure-fire way to entice customers.