Catering is one of the aspects of all event planning that will make the most out of a business meeting, wedding event, or any other event. However, if you do not plan out well, it can become a well-planned disaster.
Many people who love to eat different types of food, dream about becoming a caterer and even starting their own catering business. However, one of the best news is that becoming a caterer is not a bad idea, and its success rate might be high enough if you take the necessary steps and are fully passionate about it.
Let’s not wait any further because, in this article, we will show you the x tips you need for running a catering business.
12 Tips to follow to ensure your catering business is a success
1.Your food should be top-notch
Most caterers will start a business because of their passion, but some even get stuck in the food quality and only serve basic dishes. However, if your customers want something more, don’t say the ordinary words most restaurants say, “Sorry, we don’t have that,” but try to work around their preferences.
Additionally, focus on making some foods that are pleasing to your audience. The visual taste might be just as good as the actual taste!
2.Gain as much experience as you can
Being a caterer isn’t only about saying it with words but putting it into practice. If you are during the start of your career, you can work as a server for a caterer. First, however, make sure that the person you are working for is experienced and identify if starting a catering business is something you would love to do.
Let’s not forget that you should get used to working long hours and staying on your feet for many hours!
Maybe you are the best cook in your house, but to make your catering business successful, you’ll need to have a high level of time and organizational management skills. Especially if you’re planning on running your own business, you’ll need dedication and motivation. Additionally, it requires financial assets, scheduling, and even accounting. However, you can always learn these things.
The best is that your catering business can also bring in a respectable amount of income. According to Zip Recruiter, the average salary of a caterer is around $28,000 to $47,000 annually. That’s not an insufficient salary at all, and let’s not forget that if you own a catering business and it’s going well, your annual salary might become even higher.
Furthermore, on your path to learning more about how you progress is. You can try to follow performance reviews and see if you are on the right track or not. You can have a look at these performance review phrases on Leapsome.com.
4.Evaluate your ability to organize events
Your ability to stay organized isn’t the only important thing about dining experiences, but it will highly influence the atmosphere of the entire event. Making one mistake might not be a big problem, but if you rush the food, aren’t organized, and don’t serve people on time, there will be too many issues to address here. Nevertheless, the last thing you want is to look like some amateur that doesn’t know what they are doing.
To avoid having this issue, you can try using event staff software. For example, Agendrix event staff software allows you to manage your events and catering staff effortlessly. Nevertheless, the features are available to events and catering companies of all sizes. Whichever event software you choose, the most important thing is to try a demo before using the actual software.
5.Try renting a licensed commercial kitchen
If you’re ready to start a catering business, you can’t start one from your house kitchen. In this case, you need to search for a licensed catering kitchen and gather more information about renting kitchen space. Of course, when you do, look at the size and quality of the kitchen. Sometimes, you can pay more than how much the kitchen is worth.
6.Do something to stand out from the competition
There are many catering businesses, but it isn’t that difficult to stand out from your competition whenever you add your specialties and services. As we mentioned before, presentations are super important, and getting creative with your dishes is one of the best ways to stand out. Food is an art, and how you add your specialties to it makes that art better.
Alternatively, you can try offering additional services such as personalized table arrangements, event planning, themed events, and much more.
7.Don’t forget about catering furniture
Of course, nobody will come to eat and prefer standing. Therefore, you must secure providing tables, chairs, and serving tables. If you don’t know how many guests are coming, try to ensure that you have enough chairs and tables unless you work with a high-quality supplier that can help you with your needs.
8.Keep your customer service top-notch
This probably counts for most of the restaurant cases, but especially for catering. Your customers want to be serviced no differently in any restaurant. To better pay attention to the details, try to prepare weekly reviews and see if anything has improved over the weeks.
Above all, after your customers are done eating, it doesn’t cost anything to say “thank you” after the event is over. In the digital age, you can even consider making phone calls and writing ‘Welcome’ and ‘Thank you’ cards.
9.Keep your clothing professional
There’s nothing terrible about adding uniforms to your staff. However, the best bet is to include formal black and white uniforms and matching t-shirts and add a professional service to your catering business. Even if your staff’s uniform isn’t identical, you can ensure that their clothes are clean at least!
You can take yourself as a good example. Would you instead be served by a person with dirty clothes or someone clean and neat?
10.Set catering prices
Like any other business, you have to weigh your gains and losses from everything you do. Ensure that you are adding up the hours you put into your events because the best way to know whether you are making money is to check each hour continuously.
11.Market and network
You can’t have a successful business career if you don’t consider promoting your catering business on social media, word of mouth, or event-planning forums. Try setting up your own website, creating a blog, and social media channels where users can consider contacting you because the last thing you want to do is to look limited.
Additionally, it’s helpful if you network with other catering professionals and services, such as event coordinators, planners, and more. Whenever you do this, they may recommend you to their clients and might be your next client tomorrow. Overall, networking is one of the most incredible things you can do when you want to grow your business.
12.Know who your guests are
It’s never a good idea for your guests to arrive and scratch your head wondering who they are or guessing what they are going to eat. You may find out that you were expecting your guests to eat chicken filet, but they may end up eating rump steak. So, it’s important you know your guests, and let’s be honest, you can’t know everyone, but you should know your most loyal guests.
Moreover, your best option is to ask as many questions as you can before bookings. Try to learn more about newcomers and see what they are trying to get from you. At the end of the day, your performance will greatly depend on how much information you gathered from your bookings. Not all of the credit can go to the way you make food but to how well you deliver it.
Wrapping it all up
That’s about it for this article. These are our 12 most important tips on how you can run a successful catering business. However, it’ll all depend on how committed you are and what you are focused on. Are you really passionate about pursuing a catering career?
Have you found people who want to join you in your journey to pursuing a catering career? There are many questions to answer and lots of practice to follow, so don’t waste anymore time and go out there and do the best you can!