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5 Things to Know for Starting Your Catering Business


Do you have a passion for cooking and dream of opening a catering business? It’s time to make this dream a reality. But before you get into the business, there are many things you need to know. Just like with putting up any business, opening a catering requires careful planning, especially since the restaurant industry is highly competitive.

So, here are some things to know for starting your catering business.

Market Research

Like opening any business, the first step is to conduct market research. Take a good look at the other caterers in your area. If possible, create a spreadsheet and list your competitor’s names, the food on their menu, demographics, etc.

Using the list, evaluate whether there is a need for another catering business to open in your area. Assess your competitors in terms of pricing and find out the important things they are doing when starting their catering business. You should apply both primary and secondary research when conducting market research. The primary research involves gathering your own information about the products and services you plan on offering. Meanwhile, secondary research is collecting relevant data from others, which you can do through simple Internet research.

When doing market research, gather data only from reputable sources. The best sources of information are websites of government agencies and organisations specialising in publishing reports and statistics. They usually provide the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Food Hygiene

When opening a catering business, food hygiene should be a top priority. As you know, your business requires you to prepare food for large parties and public gatherings. Foodborne illnesses can spread easily in these situations, and it won’t take much before an outbreak can occur. Thankfully, there are many online courses available regarding food hygiene. These essential food hygiene courses can help you up to speed in opening your catering business.

As food handlers, you must be fully aware of the dangers of eating contaminated foods that could lead to foodborne diseases. These range from unpleasant symptoms like diarrhoea to more severe infections, such as those acquired from E-coli, which can also lead to fatal consequences. Thus, it’s highly critical that foods are well-handled in your catering business.

Some essential practices for keeping food safe include ensuring proper cleaning procedures on cooking equipment, utensils, cutlery, and appropriate food and ingredients storage. Caterers should also maintain correct cooking and holding temperatures to ensure that food is cooked and handled thoroughly and avoid the risk of bacterial contamination. Allergen control is also essential for food safety and hygiene in the catering business. Those handling food should be well aware of the most common allergens and recognise the importance of keeping these allergens away from other foods to prevent cross-contaminations.

Work out Costs

Another essential step to opening a catering business is working out the costs involved. Calculating the costs, such as ingredients, labour, transportation, marketing, etc., is crucial when preparing a business plan. It can also help you to move forward with opening the business.

Catering companies usually have lower initial overheads than many other food businesses, such as restaurants. Therefore, you can expect to save money on the initial outlay when launching your catering business. But if you do need financing, you will have plenty of options. Banks, online lenders, and credit unions offer competing loans to new businesses. So, take time to look around and choose one that best suits your needs. Make sure to incorporate the repayments into your operating costs.

According to estimates, opening a catering business should cost you around £10,000 to £50,000 for the startup costs. Of course, startup costs will vary from one business to another. Whatever your startup cost is – make sure you have enough money to cover the cost of operating your business for at least a year without considering the revenue you will earn.

Human Resources

Many startup companies view the human resources department as unnecessary. But, if you want your catering business to grow, you should establish a reliable HR team from the start. HR plays many important roles, especially in recruiting.

You can rely on HR recruitment agencies to manage the HR aspects of your catering business. Having a good HR function can come with many benefits. First, it shows that you truly value your staff and what they do for your business. As a result, you will have a high retention rate, which is essential for the overall success of your catering business.

In addition, when you invest in HR, you can easily attract and hire the best talents. These recruitment specialists know where to find the best candidates to help grow your catering business. Remember that hiring the right people is extremely important especially when you’re just starting. Wrong hires could cost you a lot of money and prevent your business from growing.

Hiring Staff

Knowing where to hire the best candidates is essential when opening a catering business. But hiring the right employees is not as easy as conducting interviews, shortlisting potential candidates, and then making an offer to hire them. If you are trying to set up a large catering business, you should establish a reliable HR staff who will be responsible for organising staff recruitment on your behalf.

Recruitment is one of HR’s most important responsibilities. While HR works in various aspects, including employee development and engagement, one of the key focus of HR is to select and hire the most suitable candidates for your catering business. Remember that each employee you bring into your company plays an essential role in the sustenance and growth of your business. Thus, it’s extremely important that you hire the right people. Hiring the wrong candidate can have a devastating impact on your business. Recruitment is not just an operational activity – it’s also an essential activity for your business.

Selecting the right employee for your catering business is an essential goal for HR and having the correct recruitment process in place can enhance the overall experience of the candidates. It also helps to improve the efficiency of your business operation.



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