If you love cooking, you can turn that passion into a profitable business by starting a home-based catering business. What you need for starting a home-based catering business is a dash of culinary skills, determination, and grace under fire and some other vital elements of the business. You can run your business from home for full or part-time, and earn $30,000 to $80,000 per year.
There is an initial investment like any business. Your business needs some equipment and system such as an event catering software. It is money is worth investing and will make your business look professional from the start. The startup cost of your business will depend on how big you are looking to start. In this article we will explore what you need to start a home-based catering business.
- Find Your Niche
Before you start your catering business, you need to find your business niche aka what type of catering you want to do. Some catering businesses are found to be successful when they concentrate on a particular niche. If you can become an expert of your targeted niche, your services will be in high demand. Moreover, you can keep your operating costs down and focus on your marketing efforts if you are an expert in your niche.
For instance, if you like to bake cakes, your focus and passion can lead you to many wedding cake maker contracts.
- Prepare a Catering Business Plan
Next, you must prepare a catering business plan. If an idea goes through your mind, you should write it down to transform multiple of these ideas into a business plan to achieve your goals. For making your catering business plan, you need to know who your real customers will be, where they will need your service, who they hire for catering, and various other things. It is an excellent idea to make your business a limited liability company to protect your assets. Your business plan should also contain your revenue and marketing plan.
3. Insurance and Licences
Every state has different requirements when it comes to starting a home-based catering business. If you want to find out what you need, you should contact your state’s occupation licensing or health department. Generally, you will need a business license, inspection from your local fire department, federal tax number (EIN), and health inspection of your kitchen since you will work with food. You also have to know if you require a professional kitchen or you can cook at your home.
Next, you need enough space in your kitchen to store equipment and to cook food when required. It is recommended to have enough space for storing ingredients and preparing food for at least 50 people. However, if you don’t have enough space in your kitchen, you can always rent a commercial kitchen or share with someone else to cut the cost.
- Kitchen tools and Storage
If you are going to cater an event, you need to purchase some kitchen tools and ingredients such as serving spoons, plates, bowls, cups, utensils, silverware, etc. Though you can cook from your home kitchen, you should buy some tools that are dedicated to the business separated from your personal kitchen tools. You need to buy the best quality professional kitchen tools from professional kitchen supply vendors.
- Business and Marketing
For the business and marketing part, you need to know if you are going to cater for large, medium, small events or a combination of each. Then you should decide whether you will market about your service via word of mouth or by advertising. Since you are starting a home-based catering service, it is recommended to opt for word of mouth strategy. Additionally, if you can afford local advertising, it can also bring you good results. Since the food ordering system is going online, you should also try to create an excellent online presence of your business.
Last but not least, you need to create a full-proof menu. I suggest you make a list of items that you can offer in your catering services. You also need to consider proposing a variety of items so that your customers have multiple options while choosing a menu for their event.
In conclusion, all that matters for the success of your business is your effort. These are just a few steps that you can follow at the startup.