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How to Start a Home Based Catering Business

What sort of caterer will you be?


When starting a home-based catering business, the first and perhaps most important question you need to ask yourself is what type of catering you would like to do. Are you planning to handle catering for say 100 guests at a wedding or would you prefer to do smaller crowds of 10-30 people? Are you planning to focus on outdoor catering or will you mostly be doing indoor catering? Once you answer these questions well, you are safely on your way to starting your business.


Start the paperwork


Once you know what sort of catering you want to do, begin to get the paperwork sorted. Get in touch with your occupational licensing office or the health department of your locality to find out what you need to do to be recognised as a catering business. Find out what permits and licenses you need to acquire before you can start to operate. And when you do, make sure you fulfil all these and pay whatever fees you have to pay so that you are legally allowed to do business.


Design and set up the Business Structure


Once you have started the process of paperwork, think about creating an entity out of your business. Give your catering business a life of its own by making sure it is independent of you. This will help you to protect yourself and the business from shocks that might arise from either side. And once you have set up the business structure and designed a business plan, embark on creating the marketing plan. How do you plan to grow the business and how do you plan to expand it. Will you use Social Media? Will you perhaps use flyers? Are you thinking about making an appearance on your local radio or TV? Will you hire some foot soldiers to spread your word around the local town?


Create a Menu and Rate card


The menu and rate card are the ones that will give you a bit more direction regarding where you want your catering business to go. Make sure you look at what is already on the market and what other catering providers are doing and see if you can offer something unique that they are not offering. Make sure your menu caters to the market you want to serve. And when you create the menu, create a rate card that you can share around to give people an indication of how much you can possibly charge for what sort of service.


Get the Equipment Ready


The next thing you want to do is secure the equipment you plan to use in your catering business. Secure professional cookware as well as silverware and dishware to get you started. Make sure you get the right utensils and any other equipment that you will need for the cooking and serving. Ensure that as you get this equipment, you go for durable and reliable equipment. You don’t want to be replacing your serving spoons every month because they keep getting broken or ruined somehow. Make sure you only settle for equipment that is durable and trusted. Make sure the cleaning and storage of this equipment is perfect. Sometimes equipment gets worn out easily because of the manner in which it is stored.


Locate Vendors and Suppliers


At this point you are now ready to start contacting vendors and suppliers. Start to create connections with people who will be supplying you with items for cooking. It is important that you treat these people well because eventually they are going to be the people who will make or break your business. If you treat your vendors and suppliers well, they will start to provide you with the best quality inputs and they will also help you navigate certain financial waters in case you are ever short on cash but would like supply. You can only do this after you have established a good working relationship with them.


You are now ready to hit the market and start providing catering services first to your friends, workmates, family and then as you grow you will start to offer your services to the general public. 













18th October 2021


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