Should I consider starting my own catering business?

You may excel at “baking a cake,” but nobody said owning your own catering business would be a “piece of cake.” Putting your heart and soul into a business is not for everyone, however, if you would like to be your own boss, becoming a small business owner is the way to go. Through your online certificate program in catering, you will learn how to become an excellent caterer, as well as, learn the important business skills needed to run a successful catering company.

First and foremost, you must be aware that success will not happen overnight. Catering jobs will come and go. In the beginning, a steady income may be hard to depend upon. Some caterers work part-time for others until they can build up their own catering customer base.  A following takes time and is dependent primarily on your good reputation. In today’s world of technology, a good or bad review can make you or break you. You must be willing to build a clientele base over time to bring in a reliable stream of business… and profits.

Are you an excellent cook? Making delicious food is half the battle when building up your clientele base. Without a doubt, you will need a plethora of choices for your clients to choose from, for only cooking what you are good at will not satisfy every client’s palate. You must be able to create recipes that please everyone, often satisfying requests related to food allergies or gluten-free diets, as well. Cultural and specialty dishes are also often requested.

How can you appear to be a true professional? Think about what professionalism looks like to you. Good management skills are a must. As the owner of a catering company, you will need assistants and servers for most events, depending on the size of the crowd. Excellent management knows how to properly instruct their employees in a respectful tone while maintaining authority and a cohesiveness among all. Good communication skills are imperative between you, your employees and the client to avoid any mistakes.

Your employees should look and act as professional as you do. After all, it’s your reputation on the line. Each assistant and server should dress accordingly in coordinated uniforms to signify who is working the event. They should maintain a clean and tidy appearance, always, as should you.

How’re your organizational skills? Perhaps, the key to your success will depend on your organizational abilities. If you are unorganized and chaos ensues, your guests will feel uneasy and uncomfortable, will not enjoy the event and your business will suffer for it. When planning, carefully make a supply list for every dish, bowl and serving spoon you will need, as well as, cleaning supplies, invoicing information and everything in between. Creating a pleasant atmosphere by being prepared will benefit everyone, especially you.

To have a profitable catering business, you must mind your costs while maintaining competitive pricing. Of course, you can’t prepare your food and serve it to others while losing money, however, overpricing your services will be just as harmful to your success. You will want to do careful research and compare the prices of other competitors before starting your own company. It will be necessary to shop the best prices from each vendor without sacrificing quality and know the specific amounts of food to order to avoid waste. Be prepared to use leftover ingredients in other dishes, if possible.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but another crucial point to make here is the importance of maintaining a sanitary workplace. Health inspectors will make sure your kitchen is clean and up to standards or you will not be allowed to continue offering your services. Nothing will shut a catering business down quicker than a string of food poisoning cases being reported and linked back to your business. In addition, while attending events where other kitchens are provided as a workspace, be prepared to ensure that the space is clean and sanitary before presenting food, always keeping adequate cleaning supplies at the ready.

If you are interested in opening your own catering business, enroll in a program today to help you achieve success. To get the proper training, please see our list of the best Online Schools for obtaining a Career Certificate as a Caterer.