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Starting a Catering Business

If you are thinking of starting a catering business here are some ideas on how to start up a catering business from opening up and growing longer term.

Types of Catering Businesses

Many people start a mobile home food catering business delivering food in a van to schools, local businesses, corporate events or for private parties such as children's birthdays and anniversaries or even smaller weddings. This can be a great way to build up a business and expand once you have a steady list of repeat customers.

It's a great way to start and is favoured by people with less experience than running a restaurant and has lower start-up costs. You can offer finger food buffets, sandwiches, platters (meats and cheeses) or hot food.

Even preparing food at home requires certain hygiene certificates with seperate food preparation areas.

Preparing to Start

Setting up seem a minefield and there are certainly many areas to consider such as the following:

  • Plan your business on paper by developing a business plan - this will show you what revenues you need to cover your costs and if you require any finance or business loans to cover your cash flow in the first 12 months
  • Understand all your costs at set up such as insurance, marketing, accounting, product cost, van contract hire, petrol and maintenance, preparation set up and any staffing costs
  • Put effort into marketing your business - perhaps get all your friends and family to spread the word, take out advertising, get a website or offer initial events for free and get your local paper involved.

Catering Buiness Insurance

Apart from all the items you'll need to purchase you'll need to obtain some form of catering business insurance such as public liability insurance (this covers you against such unforseen circumstances that injure a third party eg: if someone gets food poisoning from your service, if you can't carry out your duties or damage to persons or property). You should get a quote and understand exactly what the insurance will cover you against.