Catering for functions, weddings, parties and other occasions is big business. If you enjoy cooking and preparing food then a catering business might be for you. But it's important to ensure all the legal requirements are met and adhered to at all times, and you design your business to appeal to the kinds of customers you want to attract.
From a small van that offers sandwiches and refreshments to local businesses, right through to a mobile caterer that supplies buffets for functions of a hundred people or more, there are lots of opportunities in the catering business for people who have the drive and commitment to succeed .
Outlining exactly what type of food you would like to supply people with will determine your market, so it's important that you consider all the elements that go to make up a successful catering business before you start.
Are you interested in doing cold buffets that you can supply ready to your clients, or do you want to create hot buffets that you can set up at the venue? Do you like the idea of providing a proper meal for people to enjoy? Or does the idea of selling freshly made gourmet sandwiches to local offices pique your interest?
Whatever kind of food you prepare and whoever you will be catering for, you will need to prepare it in concessions that are fit for the purpose. Find out all the requirements you will need to meet from your local authorities, and make sure you do not cut any corners – they will want to inspect your promises to ensure they are clean and specifically designed for catering purposes. This applies regardless of whether you are intending to use a part of your home for this purpose, or rent an outlet to use for preparing food.
It's an excellent idea to enroll in some training courses as well; not only is a knowledge of food hygiene a must, but even courses on starting your own business and marketing it to your customers will help immensely too.
A catering business can be run full or part time; it's possible to start slowly with just a few clients if you still have a regular job and want the security of some regular cash coming in while you build your business. Once you develop an income from catering (during which time you can promote your business and find new clients through word of mouth as well) you can leave your job and start doing catering full time.
The important thing is to make sure there is a ready market for what you want to offer – then you can hit the ground running and cook up a storm.