How to Start a Catering Business: The Steps to Take

Do you love the thrill of events, food, and serving people? Then you may want to consider a catering business.

This fast-paced work is necessary for events and functions of all kinds, and you can make a name for yourself by serving delicious food in an efficient manner. 

Read on for our quick guide on how to start a catering business! 

Write a Business Plan

Starting a catering business needs to begin by writing a business plan. Although it will take time in the beginning, you’ll find that a business plan will help you create a successful business by defining actionable, objective goals. You’ll also be setting yourself up for success by defining: 

  • Key partnerships
  • Activities to gain a competitive advantage
  • Unique value proposition
  • Customer relationships
  • Cost structure
  • Revenue streams
  • And more

If you feel overwhelmed by business plans and want to get started as soon as possible, consider using a lean startup format. These are shorter than traditional business plans but still contain important information to get you started on the right foot.

Licensing and Permits

Once your business plan is complete, you’ll want to take care of the rest of the business preparations. Requirements vary depending on the state you live in, but you’ll most likely need a business license, zoning permits, and health permits. 

You’ll also want to consider getting commercially insured in order to protect your equipment, employees, and assets. 

Find Your Niche

At this point, you may have a better idea of your target audience and what they desire when they’re looking for a home catering business. Instead of trying to please everyone, defining a niche or specialty will make your marketing strategies easier. 

Consider the type of food you’ll serve, the main functions you’d like to cater, and how many functions you’re able to serve per week. Consider researching your customers and competition in order to differentiate your business. 

Purchase Equipment

Catering equipment can be one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your career. Although you’ll want to purchase as much as you can with cash, you can also consider getting a small business loan or financing what you can. 

Write a comprehensive list of everything you need and start getting quotes from restaurant supply companies. You can also discover more catering equipment online. 

Start Marketing

Last but not least, start marketing your company. Use local SEO strategies in order to make a name for yourself in your area. Set up a Google My Business page as well as a responsive website so that people can look you up easily on their mobile devices. 

Consider creating social media pages that are linked to your website so you can share the latest behind-the-scenes photos, recipes, and more with interested viewers. You’ll also want a way for people to reach you online–either through a contact or scheduling form! 

How to Start a Catering Business: Plan Ahead

When it comes to how to start a catering business, the trick is to start planning today. With your target audience in mind, research your customers and competitors and focus on a niche that they would enjoy.

You’ll then want to differentiate yourself through savvy digital marketing that’s consistent and high-quality. 

Ready for more tips on how to start a business? Keep reading our blog for more informative articles!