There are a lot of great ways to make a living, and if you love the food service industry, you might have very well decided that you want to make your money serving people delicious things to eat. Running a restaurant can be pretty intense, however, and not everybody has the desire to really take on quite this amount of responsibility. Perhaps you just prefer something a little more mobile, or are a bit more festive in nature! Catering gives you the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people, in a lot of different capacities, and will see you helping people out with their parties and other fun times. When you’re just getting started, however, you might need all the help you can get. We’ll talk about five great tips that’ll help you have a bit of an easier time getting your catering service off the ground.
1. Research the Market. Catering can be a relatively niche business, and it’s usually pretty locally-oriented. If you’re going to start up your own catering service, it might help to get to know the area, in terms of your competition. You also want to make sure you figure out exactly what your radius is going to be, as catering typically has you taking your service to your customers, and not the other way around.
2. Define Your Brand. You can really go a lot of different ways with catering, so it will help to sit down and actually figure out how you want to brand your business when you’re just getting it started. Are you going for some super high-end clientele, or will you cater to kids’ parties? Will you be serving fine Italian cuisine, or fun Mexican food? These decisions will help customers figure out whether or not you’re the right choice for them, and will make it easier for people to find you when they’re looking.
3. Search for Suppliers. There’s a lot you need to account for when you’re running a catering business, so it’s going to really help you out to establish a great relationship with some of the best local suppliers. Get your face in front of important suppliers early in the game, so you can get some loyalty going and have an easy time getting the equipment you and your team will need.
4. Network Relentlessly. Start with your family and friends, and don’t stop until you have people busting down your door, asking you to bring food to their next party or gathering. Make use of the social network that you’ve already got around you and start telling people that you’re going to be running a great catering service.
5. Market Yourself. The nice thing about catering is that you can save money on a lot of overhead costs, like the expensive restaurant point of sales software systems that have to go in a brick-and-mortar location. You can also save money on your marketing, since basically anyone can go online and join the discussion for free. Get on your local social media channels and figure out how you can start interacting with your potential clientele.