Do you often get compliments about your cooking? Do you love spending time in the kitchen, cooking or baking? If cooking is your passion, why not bring that outside of your own home? Here are some tips for wanna be caterers – you may just find your new career.
Benefits of being a caterer
Cook for others and enjoy a fulfilling and financially rewarding career as a caterer. One of the nicest benefits of this type of self employment is that you can set your hours.
You can decide how many clients you want to take on. Are you busy with a family, looking after little ones or driving kids to sports activities? Then you could maybe book only two dinner parties a month.
If you have more free time, you could take on more clients or cater for one or two special events a month. A celebration lunch? Small weddings maybe? Special anniversary parties for 16 people?
There are always weddings, special events and gatherings that go on in your community, If you are good at what you do, word of mouth will travel. It won’t be long until you are as busy as you want to be.
Now if you think you can move towards a promising business in the catering world, here are a few tips:
Tips for Wanna Be Caterers:
1. Know your prospects and target market
The first thing that you have to decide upon is to target your specific market. Do you want to cater weddings only? Or you want to become a multi-event caterer? What is your specialty?
Do you want to offer All-American flare? Mediterranean, perhaps? Oriental? Gluten free meals only?
Whatever your choice, make sure that your target market is sufficient to guarantee sales and allow your business to grow in time.
2. Know your logistics
What is great with running a catering business is that you only need a low startup capital. There are even rental companies that you can turn to should you need tables, chairs, tabletops and pretty cocktail napkins.
This is a great option if you don’t want to buy your own supply.
Or you could only provide the cooking services and leave the host the responsibility of ordering tables and supplies. Or you could outsource this part to another person.
Although you can start cooking right in your own kitchen, be aware that you can be penalized for this in some states. It’s always wise to invest in a commercial kitchen.
Not wise though, to build your own commercial kitchen. They are very expensive to build and building codes in your area could be very difficult.
Just find a commercial kitchen that you can rent by hour or by schedule, whichever fits your budget. Existing restaurants may rent their kitchen on off hours.
Or check with local churches and community halls. They often rent their kitchens and are usually very well equipped to do so. And they probably already have this great commercial mixer which gets lots of use.
3. Shop for the equipment
It’s good if you have the basic kitchen tools, but if you think your kitchen equipment is not enough, then it’s time to shop around for vendors and suppliers.
Before you start shopping, be sure that you are not wasting your money! Renting a commercial kitchen for the afternoon includes use of their equipment and utensils. They may already have everything you need.
Here are some books that could be very helpful for you:
4. Get the best help
It pays to take a crash course in catering before you plunge into the market. So if you want to turn your hobby of feeding for your friends into money-making deals, it pays to get the best help from the experts.
Take catering classes at your local college; evening classes are offered at many campuses.
Ask for the advice of your local business or economic development council. They are especially helpful on issues relating to preparing business plans and other technical details.
5. Link with event planners and vendors
A successful catering business is built mainly from word-of-mouth, so if you want to make more clients, you have to establish a reputation among event organizers, vendors and recurring clients.
You can give them discounts in exchange for tapping your service or offer them freebies each they time they refer a client to you.
6. Go Social
Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites are perfect for caterers who wish to reach out to their prospective clients.
It doesn’t cost you a thing (unless of course if you hire a social media expert for this matter). You’ll reap the benefits of promoting your business and letting people know that you’re the caterer to work with.
7. Never stop learning
As long as you’re in the business, it means you have to keep going and growing. That’s why it pays to keep up with the times, especially with the latest trends in the catering industry.
Stay focused and keep your business a pace ahead of the competition by making sure that you’re offering something that others don’t.
All it takes is a little research and hard work to make sure that your catering business will come to fruition.
Success as a caterer will always come your way, especially if you have the passion and you’re giving your very best. Hopefully these tips for wanna be caterers have helped you come to a decision. Are you going to start a rewarding new career?
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