How To Start A Caterer Business? Step By Step Guide In 2022

by Starting a Business 11 June 2022


Are you passionate about food? And do you consider yourself a culinary expert, and have decent culinary skills as well? Do you think you can mix your passion with your profession? Then opening a catering business is not gonna be a very difficult task for you.

The History of Catering

Today’s successful catering businesses have been evolving for a long time. Can you guess how long it has been? Since the 4th century BC in China, catering has been a big part of Chinese culture, along with traditional drinking and eating. Parties like these were mostly centered around the Monarch or the nobility.

But in America, this service has been very profitable since the 19th century, one of the first pioneers of the catering business is Robert Bogle. He became a successful African American businessman in the catering industry. Since then catering became a very important part of our modern society.

Read More: How To Start A Coffee Cart Business?

How To Start Your Catering Business?

In modern society, the catering service generated an $11.35 billion revenue only in 2019 alone. If you are a full-time caterer then your average earnings in a year are about $53,000.

So here are the steps you need to follow in order to open your catering business.

1. Do A Thorough Research

Do A Thorough Research

Before you start opening a catering business, you should conduct thorough research on the market opportunities and the competition, as well as the trends that are going on in the market.

You should also look into the market costs of food supplies and kitchen supplies as well. After that, you should conduct research to find out your potential customer base and potential clientele.

After getting all the necessary information now you can decide what type of food you might wanna create for your service.

From here, you can even decide on what type of catering service you wanna go for.

  • Remote catering.
  • Home-based catering.
  • Mobile catering (Carpool caterer).
  • Contract catering services (wedding caterer, event caterer).
  • Boxed lunch services.

2. You Need A Good Business Strategy

You Need A Good Business Strategy

A competitive industry such as the catering industry needs a good business strategy to start with.

To strategies a good business plan, you need to take into account all your competitive advantages. These can be anywhere from employee efficiency, to cost-effective techniques of making food, whether to make it in-house or making catering services or deliveries.

Taking into account all these factors will help you to make an estimated budget for your service. Also, this will help you to estimate the average cost that will be required to open your catering business. A rough estimate of about $10,000 should be required to start the business.

This price covers all the costs including marketing strategies, transportation, and also the cooking equipment. You should also consider how much to tip a caterer, and be open about it with the clients.

3. Set A Location For Your Business

For any successful business, it is all about.

Location, Location, Location!

Depending on the type of catering business you want to have, your establishment location is very important. There are a few things that should be considered while choosing a location for your business, these are.

  • Your location should not be unsanitary.
  • There should not be an overwhelming amount of competition.
  • Should have proper visibility.
  • And easily accessible.

Whenever you are selecting a location for your business, you should know your target audience and market, and also select a place of high traffic, and accessibility where there is an increased chance of customers.

4. You Need To Obtain License And Permits

For you to have any business you need to have a valid business license or a business permit. These licenses or permits vary from state to state. Licenses and permits are also important when alcoholic beverages are a part of your service.

Separate permits and licenses are required available for alcoholic beverages, but that too differs from state to state.

5. Prepare All The Equipment

Prepare All The Equipment

For any catering service, the important things that are required are kitchen equipment. If you are opening a catering business then you need to have a long range of kitchen equipment to be able to make a long range of cuisines as well. 

To minimize the cost, you can buy second hand pieces of equipment as well. Pieces of equipment such as utensils, stoves, ovens, refrigerators, etc can all be bought secondhand.

6. Create Your Menu

One of the most fun step to plan is to create the menu and have a tasting of the menu you have created. And then curate your dishes.

While creating your menu, you need to keep a few things in mind. Depending on your customer base, you need to prepare your dishes, whether they are spicey, non-spicey, fried, or bland. You need to choose a specific cuisine as well.

After deciding on everything have a party with your friends or family, and ask them for feedback and reviews from them about your food.

7. Hire Your Staff

Hire Your Staff

The obvious next step for you is to hire your catering staff. The staff you are hiring should be competent, productive and highly efficient, and professional. 

This step is not an easy one, it might take a long time for you to hire your support staff. Your staff needs to be properly trained and professional, they should know your choice of dishes properly. 

This process can be tedious but you have to be very patient while choosing the most efficient staff. 

8. Insure Your Business

If you have a small-scale business, then it is highly possible that you might feel weird about insuring your business. But if you see your business is growing then it is always better that you should insure your business.

Though it is not very obvious you should always consider certain accidental events, such as theft, fire accidents, or something like that might happen, so it will be helpful if you take precautions ahead of time, before any such thing happens to your business.

You May Like To Read This: How To Start A Glassblower Business?

9. Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis

You should always keep an eye on your competitors such as Guru The Caterer, but if you are not aware of any competitors around you then you can simply Google Caterer Near Me.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. What Type Of Licenses Do I Need For My Catering Business? 

For your catering business, you would need state licenses, which include business licenses, and even local or county licenses and permits as well. Then you might also require food-handling and alcohol licenses and permits as well.

2. How Much Does It Cost To Open A Catering Business?

To start a catering business, the average amount you need to invest is about $10,000 to about $50,000, to start only a standard catering business. If you start with a smaller event to cater to, then gradually you would be able to open a business very easily.

3. What Are The Qualities That Make A Good Caterer?

A few things that make a good caterer are – Good meals, professionalism, timely delivery, efficient workforce, cleanliness, good presentation, and skills, and reasonable pricing.

To End With

Catering businesses are quite profitable as well as hectic at the same time. But, it is very important to know before you start any business, that there are always profits and losses in a business. Hence, you should never give up on your business only after a first loss.

Hope this step by step guide will help you in properly strategizing your plan to start your catering business.

Read Also:

  1. Starting A Personal Chef Business: Best Guide
  2. How To Start A Business As A Makeup Artist?
  3. How to Manage Your Business Finances More Effectively

She is a Digital Marketer and specializes in SEO with over two years of experience. She brings her decade of experience to her current role where she is dedicated to educating & inspiring the world on how to become a better digital marketer.

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