Tasty tapas, enticing entrées, and delectable desserts – if the sounds of these dishes whet your career appetite, then employment in catering might be right for you. If, in addition to being a virtuoso in the kitchen, you’re an expert event organizer, then perhaps you can do more than just work for a catering company. That skill set is just what a catering business entrepreneur needs to be successful.
Launching your very own catering business can be incredibly rewarding but also requires a lot of hard work and careful planning. Before you start working on your catering business plan, make sure you take into consideration these four factors as advised by professional business plan writers.
Glossing over the logistics in your catering business plan won’t suffice. Being successful in the catering industry requires a keen understanding of the logistics involved in the delivery of your catered dishes. A simple miscommunication between you and a supplier, for instance, can result in a botched wedding and a very unhappy clientele. Therefore, invest in logistics technology that suits your needs and learn all there is to discover about lead times, transportation, handling, etc. These skills will go a long way in keeping your business afloat.
Even if you have all your internal ducks in a row logistics-wise, having an unreliable supplier can just as easily doom your business as if you yourself were a shoddy caterer. This is especially true when the goods being supplied are food. Since you’ll be working with perishable items, stocking up your inventory for the long-term is not an option for the most part. You’ll need to partner with suppliers who can deliver fresh meat, fish, dairy, produce, and more in a timely fashion. Moreover, you’ll need suppliers that you can trust to handle and store food safely and properly. A bout of food poisoning – even if not caused by your kitchen – can ruin your business, nevertheless. So, do your research and ask for references when you’re on the hunt for a dependable supplier.
Depending on the needs and requirements of your business, you might be able to save on rental or leasing costs. Instead of leasing a commercial space on your own, you can share it with another caterer to reduce overhead. Other options include working out of your home or renting a restaurant’s kitchen after they close. A little creativity in your catering business plan can go a long way to saving money!
According to IBISWorld, the catering industry in the U.S. is a $9 billion industry with over 11,000 businesses. Revenue growth is mediocre, however, with annual growth between 2009 and 2014 measuring only 2.0 percent. With the industry as a whole experiencing little growth, new entrants in the catering space have a difficult time getting their share of the catering pie. If you want to compete, finding a specialty might be your best option. For example, you may choose to cater solely for corporate parties and events. Likewise, you might become the first gluten-free or organic caterer in your city. By gaining insight into the industry on a national and local level, you’ll be more prepared to come up with a unique strategy for your catering business.
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