If you are passionate about cooking and customer service then starting a catering business could be the perfect business opportunity for you. And although there is a lot of competition out there, with good marketing, hard work, and starting out correctly, you can quickly build up a successful catering company with a good reputation and a long list of clientele. In the article below, we will have a look at all the steps it takes to achieve this success.
A catering business demands a lot of culinary and catering equipment. The kind and the amount of kitchen equipment you need will be dependent on the type of food you will be catering and your target market. Be sensible when purchasing your equipment. Try to not get overexcited and buy everything and too much of things, but also don’t cut costs as you will then find yourself underprepared. As your business grows your equipment needs will change so it is okay to start small but effective. One universal piece of equipment is the vacuum packing machine. Every catering business will find that storing ingredients for longer periods of time allows them to better prepare for the future and cut costs.
Producing delicious meals for large groups of people is no easy venture. Even if you hire a professional chef, it is essential that you have your own catering and culinary knowledge. Enrolling in catering and culinary courses will provide you with informative insights into the world of catering in 2020. It is always helpful to stay on top of new trends and new developments to ensure a higher chance of success.
When starting a catering company it is also essential to carefully define your target market and niche. Picking one clear target market and catering to solving one of their specific needs is the best way to increase your chance of success. This choice of niche will then go on to influence how you build your brand and it will determine the tone of your marketing and customer engagement.
Once you have all the knowledge you require and have determined your niche, the next thing to do is register your catering company. To operate as any caterer, you will need to register your business and get a license to sell food to the public. If you want to sell food in the UK, you legally need to apply for registration through the government website. There is no cost involved, but it needs to be done at least 28 days before you begin to sell food to the public.
There are many General Food Law requirements you will need to become familiar with and abide by as a professional caterer. It is important to know these requirements well - the Food Standards Agency has a helpful guide that covers them all. You and all your staff will also need Level 2 food safety qualifications in order to sell food to the public. This qualification can be completed in one day and is a legal requirement so it is of the highest importance.
It is also imperative to contact your local health officers to arrange a kitchen inspection. They will advise on any upgrades or changes you will need to make in order to comply with food safety laws. As a food industry business, you are also required to have the correct fire-fighting equipment on-site at all times. The government website can provide you with all of this necessary information.
The catering industry is a large one. There are some great tactics to get your name out there and build up a good reputation. You can win customers through sample trying at fairs and markets. Networking is also key to catering success. There are many catering and hospitality exhibitions across the UK each year. It is highly advisable to attend as many as possible to give you the chance to meet fellow suppliers, manufacturers, and consumers.
Invest time and money in strong branding. Make sure it reflects your brand well and is consistent across all your marketing. Also, make sure to get good, professional catering food photographs to best show off your product. This will be highly beneficial to capture potential consumers and effectively portray your offerings. Joining online catering directories is another essential step to get your name out there. There are plenty of local and UK-wide options online that you can join.
The world of catering is a fun and lucrative one. We hope these tips and suggestions will pave the way to a successful catering business for you!