Are you looking for a side hustle but don’t know where to start? Sometimes the most overlooked thing can be the answer.
Do you like to cook? Do you find your self getting creative in the kitchen and loving it? Then it may be a good time to start your catering business.
No matter the time of year, whether we are in a recession or not food always sells. Yes it is a competitive area in some places but you could find a way to carve out a special place for yourself.
Now if you are already holding down a full time job you can still venture into this area.
What Is Catering
Wikipedia defines catering as, “Catering is the business of providing food service at a remote site or a site such as a hotel, hospital, pub, aircraft, cruise ship, park, filming site or studio, entertainment site, or event venue.”
Related Article: The Best Side Hustle For Single Parents In 2021
Ideas For Your Catering Business
- Prepare snack Items for a school canteen or school business
- Start a preorder catering business for bachelors
- Cater deserts for parties or four course meals
- Lase on with wedding planners in your area to provide the meals or food items for their events
- Look at the recipe of local restaurants or Sacketts to see where there is a gap that you can fill and pitch them your idea
Name Your Business
Naming a business is not nearly as easy as you may think. You will likely want a name that is memorable, unique and stand out from the competition.
It is worth spending hours or even days trying to arrive at the correct name since it is a name around which you will build everything.
Changing it later will not be so easy so take time to choose well.
Related Article: Start A Home Sewing Business In 2021
The Earning Potential
I have six friends in this line of work. Three are holding down full time jobs and rave about the amount of money they are able to make from their home catering business.
The earning potential vary by country. It is as different as the economy of your particular country.
According to medium.com, “the average salary for caterers in the US is $48,000. You may be pleased to learn that caterers enjoy a salary that’s in the top 25% of all careers in the food industry. As a starting caterer, you can expect to earn about $30,000, while top caterers at high-end or established businesses often pull in upwards of $80,000.”
Find A Specialty
As one who has been doing the cooking for your family for a while you should already know what area you are most comfortable in.
This may be baking, creating snack items or four course meals. Whatever it is ensured that you work on preparing a list of special dishes that you would like to market.
You may need to work on your recipies to ensure they stand out from the competition.
You do not need to start with a hundred items. Start with your best meals. Write down other possibilities and work on those one at a time, until you are comfortable with the final outcome.
In fact if your resources are limited specializing in a particular item or items will help you to keep your initial investment down.
What Do You Need To Get Started
When you know what your specialty will be you will also know what equipment you will need. Make a list.
This will vary from person to person and depends greatly on what you will be creating.
Do some research to ensured that your list is complete and nothing is overlooked.
Find Suppliers for your consumable goods to ensured that you will know how and where to get regular supplies. Place small orders.
This is important at the beginning when business may be slow to avoid spoilage or exhausting supplies when you most need them and loss of revenue.
Getting The Legal Requirements Out Of The Way
As a new business owner you will first need to get the legal requirements out of the way. In my own country this means
- getting your food handlers’ certificate
- getting your business registered
- obtain liability insurance
These may not be the ones that apply to your particular country. You will need to ensured that you find out what is necessary for your country and cover your basis so as not to run into trouble with the authorities.
Set Up A Business Plan
Create a business plan.
This will help you to prepare for things that you may not think of by your self. Proper planning will help you to clarify what you are doing and help you to clarify the different aspects of your business that you need to be pay attention to.
If you have never done this before it is pretty easy to get started with one of the many templates available on the internet.
Investment To Get Started
Your startup investment will vary on the scale of the business you wish to have.
If you do not have a lot of money to invest in this you could do one of two things, either get a loan or start small. Only you can decide which works best for you.
You will of course need cooking utensils and storage containers. You may also need to look into the type of marketing you will need to do and whether you need to invest in that two.
One of my friends serves desserts and
Getting The Word Out There
Suggestions For Targeting A Retail Market
If you will be retailing your items, you will need to get the word out to the many people in your target market. If you wish to market to family and friends this can be done via your WhatsApp status and other social media platform.
Five of my friends actually employ these platforms and have developed a reasonable customer base.
Expanding your horizon. Now here is something I saw another of my friends doing and I have seen this works very well.
My friend got promoted about two years ago. I didn’t know her very well then nor did I know of her business but she would bring cakes, pinwheels and other items to share with her coworkers.
Her creations were really outstanding and as you can imagine we would ask questions and comment on them. We found out then that she usually do catering on the side.
If you are planning to retail your goods and has easy access to your target market I couldn’t think of a better way to get the word out.
As you can imagine she soon had orders for school events that would amount to a lot of work but great financial returns. Additionally, she was being called to prepare items for birthday parties and such.
Now if you wish to target the whole sale market a different approach may be necessary.
Here is my suggestions, come up with a list of local business that you would like to have market your creations and make contact with the owners and or head chef.
Take along samples of your best items, well packaged. Be sure to dress well, prepare a brochure displaying your best work and the different services you will be able to offer their business.
Then make your sales pitch.
Point to note in bargaining for price always start high and have knowledge beforehand of how low you can allow them to bring that price down and still make your intended profit margin.
When that point is reached ensured that you do not go lower. Too often small business owners kill their own businesses by allowing themselves to bring their price down beyond what is reasonable.
You are going into to business not giving away your labor. It is not a sin to be paid fairly for your labor. Name your price those who value your labor will pay it.
Get The Word Out Through Your Customers
Every new business need to get the word out.
Another way to do this is to offer rewards to customers who refer new customers.
Do not offer rewards just for telling others about you, rather offer rewards when someone new (better for wholesale) use your service.
Encourage Your Customers To Return
Offer Discount To Your Repeat Customers. Let them know upfront when you are making a pitch for your business that you will also be offering discounts through your customer loyalty program.
Give them a breakdown of what they can expect from you in return.
Catering is a really great business idea for those who loves to cook, is great at it, is determined and methodical with a great attention to details.
It is not difficult to get started if you plan well and makes use of the marketing ideas shown above.
Before You Go
If you have questions or comments about starting a catering business from home be sure to leave me a question or comment in the section below.