Top tips for starting a small catering business

Starting your own catering business is a dream for many people. Whether you love baking cakes or hosting dinner parties, making money out of your passion is a great adventure. Catering covers so many options. You could be providing a buffet spread for a large wedding, a private dinner for 12 guests, a sit-down lunch for a corporate affair or catering from a food truck at festivals.

Top tips for starting a small catering business

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How to set up your catering business

Once you have decided on your type of catering business, you will need to research whether there is a need for it in your area. Ask family and friends what they think and you could even let them sample the produce to give honest feedback. See what your competitors are offering and make sure your price is in line with theirs while still being profitable.

Getting permission to set up your catering service

In the planning stage, contact your local environmental health service to see what training you need and any licences. You will have to register your business if you are selling, cooking, storing, preparing or distributing food. This includes registering everywhere you carry out such operations, even if it’s from home, as well as any business premises, stalls or food trucks – https://www.gov.uk/food-business-registration. The department can also let you know what training or certificates you need, such as food hygiene or health and safety.

What will it cost?

Then sit down and work out the finances. You may need industrial ovens, fridges, freezers, blenders, containers, cutlery, pots, pans, kitchen knives and a refrigerated van. Cleanliness is of the utmost important so you will need sinks with plenty of hot water plus grease traps to stop oils and other fats going down the drain. You can find out more about grease traps for commercial kitchens at http://www.ukgreasetrapsdirect.co.uk/. Professional grease traps for commercial kitchens can trap and recover these oils which can be sold back to your supplier too.

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Shout about your new venture

Now you need to make sure everyone knows your name. Save a proportion of your budget for marketing and advertising. This could be anything from setting up a Facebook page and an event for your launch, printing leaflets to distribute in local shops, getting a website prepared, advertising in the local media or getting T-shirts printed with your company name.

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