Should You Start a Catering Company?
Opening a New Business? Find Out if a Catering Company is Right for You
If you’re questioning whether you should start a catering company, you obviously have an interest in this field. Most catering companies are not run by those looking to make huge money. They are often run by those that love to create amazing food and show off their culinary skills to the world. We started our catering service in Las Vegas: Worry Free Catering, because we love to put on great events for locals and tourists. It makes our day when clients give us great testimonials and reviews.
Maybe you’ve been to culinary school and you’ve been working as a chef for several years. Is it time to split off on your own and start a catering company? There is no better time than the present. Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about starting a catering company.
You Must Love Food
It makes no sense to start a catering company if you don’t have a profound love for preparing food for others. However, if you find incredible joy in watching someone delight in the food you’ve created, catering is probably a good option for you. Without a love for food, starting a catering company may be a recipe for disaster.
Do You Know Catering At All?
Working in a restaurant and working for a caterer may seem similar, but they are vastly different. In a restaurant, you have orders coming in one at a time and you handle them one at a time. With catering, you have to be prepared to serve larger numbers of guests quickly and you don’t have time in between orders.
If you’ve never worked in catering, before you start your own catering company, it may be a good idea to gain some experience. Find a job working for a catering company to get the lay of the land before you jump right into running your own catering company.
Do you Have any Business Skills?
Running your own business isn’t the same as working for someone else’s business. If you have taken business classes and maybe you’ve managed a kitchen, it may not be too big of a leap. However, if you’re not business savvy, you may want to partner with someone that is or hire a business manager to handle the day-to-day tasks.
It’s still very possible to start your own catering company without a ton of business experience. You will just need help in this area or you will end up doing the day-to-day tasks you dread instead of what you love. Hire someone or partner with someone that knows how to run a business and you can focus on preparing the food for the company.
Know the Laws for Your State
The laws for food service vary from one state to another. You need to know these laws inside and out or you could put your entire catering company at risk with just one simple mistake. Take the time to study the laws and know what’s required of you, your employees and your business.
How Will You Find Clients?
Do you have a marketing plan put together or do you have a list of contacts you already have made working as a chef? You will need clients and you want to make sure you have a plan for finding clients to support your business.
There are several types of events needing caterers and you can specialize in a few areas. Catering companies often work with corporate clients, weddings, social event planners and others in the industry to get their clients. You may even want to find out how you can get on the approved vendors’ list for the best venues in your area.
Are You Ready to Work Long Hours?
As a chef, you may already work long hours so this may not be a big deal. When you run a catering company, you will likely put in very long hours, at least in the first couple of years.
Once you’ve built up the business, you may be able to afford to hire extra help to take the pressure off of you. However, most small business owners start off by working long days and six or seven days a week to make their business successful. Before you start a catering company, make sure you consider the hours you will work and whether or not you’re willing to put in 60, 70 or even 80 hours a week to make your business successful.
Starting a catering company can be very exciting. It gives you a platform to show off your culinary skills and build a business around your passion. If you love to cook and create in the kitchen, using these skills to make money with a catering company is a great plan. Just make sure you consider everything that will go into your business before you jump into the arena.