How To Start A Catering Business

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One of the fastest growing businesses in the service industry has to do with preparing, cooking and catering food to groups of hungary people gathered together for specific reason.

Catering is a respectable and profitable service business that allows you to offer your customers a variety of ideas and themes. Understanding how to start a catering business the proper way will give you the opportunity to have your own business and to have a wonderful extra income source.

With reported revenues of over 12 billion dollars a year, the catering business continues to thrive as consumer and business spending on catered events increases year over year. Every party, every event needs food and if you enjoy cooking, baking, serving food, coming up with great food and party ideas  and putting your own twist on things, then this business might just be the answer you are looking for.

People that have their own small catering business are more likely to provide and organize special events for small gatherings, while caterers with more experience, inventory and employees can go into the areas of corporate businesses, hotels and large special events.

Catered food will always be found at weddings, private parties, all types of receptions, holiday events, graduation parties, business meetings, group meetings, organization picnics/meetings, all types of special events and even tailgating.

The size of a catering business takes  into consideration someone’s desire to work, the love of  preparing food, understanding finances, understanding the cost of food, planning and organization skills and especially everything involved in catering.

What avenues do you want to take? What type of customer or business client do you want to attract?

  • Do you want to provide simple catering with basic food products such as sandwiches?
  • How about exquisite finger foods and hor d’ourves?
  • Full course meals. Sit down meals?
  • Or what about  the idea of perhaps just deserts?
  • Another big area is grilling and barbecuing
  • Perhaps you only want to provide services for family and friends

I know one lady that only does wedding and baby showers (at this point in her life it works for her).

Figuring out how to start a catering business and being successful takes serious consideration, a huge variety of responsibilities and a “hands on” environment.

Here are just a few topics you need to be aware of:


  • Where area and how will you develop your business? Certain types of food? Certain types of events, or perhaps the type of customers will you go after?
  • Such things as personalized services, quality of food, food presentation and special food needs is high on the demand list of what customers are seeking when making that final decision to use a specific caterer.
  • How much do you know about food, preparation, storage, buying in bulk, cooking for large groups
  • Will you be able to use your creative presentation skills and artistic talents to put together unique and pleasing displays
  • Will you have a food menu option for your customers to select from or will you be capable of providing specific foods and themes that the customer has requested.

Understanding numbers will be extremely helpful in knowing how and when to buy food in bulk, factoring everything in down to the salt and pepper, the needs and qualities for the number of people who will be attending the catered function, include all the extras such as plates, silverware, drinks, even flower arrangements.

Are you flexible and able to multitask, do you have organization skills? Starting out you will need to be able to take on every task involved. Such as preparing all the food, getting everything organized, transporting everything to the event location, skillfully setting everything up and ready to go in a certain timeframe.

How will you be marketing your service? Will you be prepared if you get an over abundance of request?  Last minute changes or what about extra guest coming to the event?

Will you be able to have family members or friends to help you out, or will you need to hire part time helpers.

Let’s start catering!

Starting out make sure you do not get in over your head. Taking on too much can lead to a nightmare of results. Start out with family gatherings, small weddings, graduation parties, and private parties. These tend to be more laid back and easygoing.  As you gain more experience you will be able to add bigger and more specialized events, elegant functions and will have the ability to offer unique food options.

You will be profitable if you have the desire, if you understand how the catering business works and have the skills needed to pull it all together!

Making a professional decision on if, and how to start a catering business will set the stage for a successful business only when you can understand and  incorporate all the factors of the enjoyment of food preparation and all the steps it takes to pull off a successful catered event.

I want to share with you a couple of excellent places to find more answers on how to properly start and operate catering business is with


How to start, operate & be successful with your very own catering business by Bowe Parker

How to start a home based catering business by Denise Vivaldo

Both of these sources have excellent guidelines and professional advise on all of the catering questions you may have. So your next step is to get started

Never stop learning….Angela

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  1. Garrick Breaux

    I love to cook in my house. Cooking is one to the most stress free things you can do. I have been cooking for over 30 years and have never thought about having my own business until reading your website.

    I appreciate your article and will take your information into considerations.

    1. Angela

      I hope you can use some of the sources that I suggested here. Figure out how to start small perhaps offering services to family, small parties and find your niche. Best of luck to you. Come back and visit often.



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