Five Tips for Starting a Catering Business

people group catering buffet food indoor in luxury restaurant with meat colorful fruits and vegetables

Starting a food business is an expensive endeavour, especially if you are starting a restaurant. However, if you would rather work special events instead of sun up to sundown every day in a restaurant, then you may want to consider starting a catering business. Here are five tips for starting a catering business in the United Kingdom.

Determine Catering Style

Before you start writing a business plan to get financing, determine what type of catering you wish to do. There are several catering styles from which to choose, including:

  • Table d’Hote
  • Buffet Style
  • French Service
  • Open House

You may want to offer more than one style after you begin your business to attract more customers. For instance, some brides will be satisfied to have guests get their food from a buffet while others may want a more formal reception that includes French, or table, service.

Consider Locations

You will also need to select a location from which to run your business. If you want to run it from your house, you will need to review the regulations where you live. Due to health concerns, some areas do not allow caterers to serve food made in their home kitchens. You can either rent a commercial kitchen or purchase a van to create a mobile catering service.

Write a Business Plan

If you need to get financing for your business, then you will need to write a comprehensive business plan if you seek loans from banks or other lending institutions. Your plan should include how the money will be spent, your credit rating, your experience in the industry, and realistic projections for how much business you can do within the first year, five years, and beyond. A business plan can be complicated so you should seek advice from an accountant before writing one.

Select Vendors

As you move forward in the process of starting your catering business, you will need to find companies from which to buy food, supplies, linens, and cooking equipment. Get recommendations from local caterers or restaurant owners in the area and carefully consider your options. To save money and have more product choices, you should also consider buying catering supplies in the UK from an online vendor.

Plan Advertising

As a start-up, you need to let people know of your existence by advertising your service. Newspaper, TV, and radio ads can be expensive so you should start a website and promote your business via social media. Also, connect with other types of businesses such as wedding boutiques, pubs, and event planning services to get recommendations.

When you’re ready for business, make sure that you’re servicing delicious food to generate word-of-mouth recommendations from the customers who hire your service.