As the owner of a catering company, it is important that you are aware of many of the responsibilities that you have towards both your staff and your customers. Unlike many other businesses, a catering company has a lot of extra potential pitfalls that need to be considered to make sure that you don’t get yourself into trouble – both from a business perspective and in terms of the running of your business.
A catering company needs to focus on two specific areas – the business side and making sure that you make enough money to survive, and the service that you are offering.
With this in mind, here are five fool-proof ways to ensure the success of your catering business:
It might sound obvious, but when food is involved, hygiene needs to be underlying everything that you do. This involves everything from ensuring that your staff is properly trained in hygienic practices, to the regular checking of cleanliness, to avoiding cross-contamination to using equipment such as a vacuum food sealer to protect food from germs and to lengthen the amount of time that it lasts for.
Hygiene is important not only to ensure that you keep within the laws of the country but also to keep your staff and customers safe and reduce the amount of waste that you create. You should make yourself familiar with the rules and regulations to ensure that you are complying with the law.
It is a great idea when you are setting up or running a business in an industry that is as competitive as the catering industry, that you find your niche. This could be something that you have noticed is missing in the market, or something that you feel that you are particularly good at – just make sure that it is something that makes you a little bit different to everybody else.
If possible, it is a good idea to start small, catering for smaller amounts of people – meaning that you have fewer outgoings – that you need less equipment like crockery, employed staff and storage space, for example. You can then gradually grow your business is a natural way, giving you control and the ability to build on your success. Growing slowly but surely is a more stable way of growing than suddenly trying to accommodate large groups of people or big orders.
Regardless of what your niche is, try to keep your menu to a few, perfectly executed dishes. This will not only ensure that you can produce excellent dishes, but also that you don’t need to have too many ingredients floating around (and inevitably, being wasted). Make sure that every dish that is on your menu is there for a reason and the best that you can make it.
Sometimes a client might ask for a specific food or dish and this doesn’t mean that you can’t accommodate what they want – in fact, you should try to.
Make sure that you get your insurance sorted out before you start cooking. You can find yourself at risk if something should happen to either your staff (if you have any) or customers. Even if you are producing food in your kitchen at home, make sure that you tell your insurers what you are intending to do to ensure that you are covered should the worst happen.
It may be the case that you can extend your own home insurance, or you might need to take out different insurance for your catering company.
No-one is going to know about you if you don’t tell them about you. Word of mouth is great – and will happen, especially if you offer a great product or service – but one of the best ways to advertise your business with little outlay and the least effort that is possible is online. A website is important to give your business some authenticity, doing the work of a marketer and receptionist.
Social media is another great way to market your business. You can use it to be seen by potential customers, engage with those who are interested in your company and communicate with current, past and potential customers.
Having a catering company requires not only care in the service that you are offering but also the way that your business is run. However, with great responsibility comes great pleasure and seeing the appreciation of your customers of the food that you are giving them is a feeling that cannot be beaten.