Catering business…Are you planning to be fat?
Are looking for a business that you can start from home? Do you sometimes host parties for your family and friends? Do you love cooking and making recipes? Are you’re up to date on food trends? Then you should consider starting a catering business.
Catering is all about providing cooking services at strategic places such as offices, hotels, events and other locations, based on contract. In Lagos, the potential profit margin in the catering business is extremely high.
You can even start a this business from home with no money, and then use your client’s advance payment to rent all the equipment you need.
Do you want to learn how to make money with your cooking or baking skills? Here is a detailed guide on how to start a catering business from home.
How To Start A Catering Business From Home:
1. Decide on the type of catering services you will offer
Will you be an indoor or outdoor caterer? Will you cook for specific companies, hotels, etc? Or you would rather be your own boss? Will you strictly focus on providing catering services or you will provide full scale event planning services? You must think this through thoroughly because whatever decision you arrive at will break or make your business.
For instance, if you are interested in catering for weddings, you may decide to contact florists, department store heads, musicians, and people in charge of wedding venues; and form strategic alliance with them. If corporate entertainment catches your fancy, then you may decide to contact the corporations in your area (the chambers of commerce should be able to supply you with area names).
2. Decide on the type of food you will make
This is another important factor you must decide on before even writing a business plan.
Your decision will determine the type or course you will take at the catering school and the type of clients you will serve.
Will you specialize on African dishes, local dishes, intercontinental dishes or continental dishes?
3. Acquire the necessary skills and certification
Running a profitable catering business entails being an exceptional cook / chef, with a strict hygienic standard and exceptional customer service.
A good way to build up your knowledge by attending a catering school. And you will also be issued a certificate, which separates you from other caterers without certification.
4.Choose a name for your business
5. Write a catering business plan
Having a business plan clearly distinguishes you from the average self employed caterer, as it helps you to forge your mission, vision, goals and objectives. It also helps to keep your business on track.
Even if you are starting a catering business from home, you still need to write a business plan. This is because it can become an important tool tomorrow as you try to expand and source for funding. Click here for a sample catering business plan template that you can use for FREE.
6. Create a Menu
A food menu is one of the first things that clients like to see. So you will need to get many items to suit different tastes and demand, even if you specialize in one type of meal.
Also, you should consider offering vegetarian and vegan meals for clients who don’t eat meat or other animal products. Keep your menu to a manageable size, with foods you can cook comfortably and with ingredients you can buy locally.
7. Test your dishes
Once you are done creating your menu, organize a small scale party with friends / family and have them taste your meals. Ask for their honest feedback on both the food and service. Then, you can adjust your dishes.
8. Look for a good location to rent
If you are starting this business from home, then you don’t need to rent a space. However, if you decide to make this a full time business, you will need a more permanent storage and cooking equipment.
9. Register your business
Certification is not enough to run a catering business; you will need to find out what license is required and acquire it immediately. The license for this business is overseen by the Food and Health Authority. You will need to pay a certain amount of fee before your license will be processed. The Food and Health Authority will access your catering equipment, to ensure that they are in good shape.
10. Purchase the necessary catering equipment
The equipment you will purchase depend on the type of service you plan to offer and the size of your catering outfit. If you are starting from home, you can rent or lease the catering equipment you need.
You will need serving platters and serving utensils. Buy linens, napkins, table decorations and centerpieces. You must also make sure you have the proper equipment to keep the food hot or cold. Some caterers also offer tent canopies for outdoor events.
11. Set up your kitchen
The equipment you will use in your catering business is more expensive than the one you use in your personal kitchen. This is because catering entails cooking on a large scale, it requires industrial equipment. You will also need baking equipment if you plan to bake.
12. Decide what staff you will need to help you with food preparation, delivery, and service.
Consider what type of uniforms you want your serving staff to wear. Train your employees.
13. Market your business.
Hand out fliers and menus and post on social media. Also consider placing ads in local newspapers a few weeks before you plan to open.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to boost a new catering business. If your first events go smoothly, you’ll have your hands full with new clients.