So, you’ve gotten quite a few compliments on your cooking lately, eh? People love your cooking so much, you might as well make a career out of it. But why spend all that energy on building or renting a space for your cooking when you can do it right from your home. Of course, starting a catering business costs money no matter how you do it, but using your own kitchen might prove the most lucrative method. Let’s check out the key steps to turning your regular kitchen into a thriving catering business.
1. Determine How Small (or Big) of a Business You Want
Image via Flickr by DC Central Kitchen
How much money do you want to initially spend on the business? Most people probably want to start small, regardless of how much extra money they may have lying around. Smaller businesses can always grow, but if a high-budget business doesn’t take off, you’re out a lot more money than you would have been otherwise. How much demand for catering services do you find in your area? You want to have an idea of what kind of catering gets requested in your area, as well as how often.
Some people say it’s possible to start a small-scale catering business with just $500. It might serve you better to use closer to $1,000 at least, though.
2. Meet Safety Health and Safety Standards
If you want to start an official home catering business, you’ve got to get your kitchen approved to the standards of health and safety codes. Make sure you’re following zoning laws. Get approved by the state and have them send a health authority to make sure your kitchen and house space reserved for the business meets the codes.
You’ll probably have to separate the kitchen from the rest of the house in some way. This means having a solid wall and a door, if you want to get approved.
3. Buy the Right Supplies
You’ll have to get some heavy-duty gen2 cooking equipment if you want to put out food for large numbers of people at a time. Some items you should consider for your business kitchen include: disposable catering supplies, steam table pans, commercial dishwashers, kitchen work tables, and commercial refrigeration.
You’ll probably have to invest in a fryer and a convection oven when catering for events as well, so you can prepare food faster. You can rent other event items like table skirts and items specific to the event.
4. Find Clients
Most importantly, you need people to use your service. You can use several ways to try to get extra clients, besides all the people who already love your wonderful food.
First, make sure you have a good marketing strategy. Wikihow provides a great article on how to market your catering business. Second, you can try to emphasize to people the homemade-ness of your business. People like the idea of homemade food because it undeniably has more “love” put into it, (unless maybe that person’s angered by you in some way). Third, give tastings of your food. The easiest way to convince new clients that you cook delicious food is to let them try it themselves.
So what are you waiting for? Put those culinary skills to use and get your catering business moving.