How to Start a Food Catering Business

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Owning a catering business means planning menus, having a flair for festive presentations, and serving grateful guests. Owners can specialize in one type of event or cater to different events, such as weddings, corporate affairs, charities, or individual parties.

The main requirement for beginning a catering business is the owner must have a strong knowledge of cooking. Other skills which will help make catering easier are organizational skills, time-management skills, and record-keeping skills.

Keep costs low

When beginning a catering business, it is important to keep the costs low, so that the business will succeed. Begin the business by accepting small jobs. This will help in reducing the outflow of cash. Decide to prepare the food out of a personal kitchen or prepare the food from the kitchen located at the facility of the event.

When it comes to keeping costs down, using rental equipment is the best bet. Purchasing china, linens, and equipment can be too much on a young business. By renting these items plus chairs, tableware, decorations, and even silverware the cost will be much lower than attempting to purchase all of these things. In time, after several catering jobs, the owner can purchase plates, tableware, and equipment a little at a time with residual profits.

It is nearly impossible to own and operate a catering business alone. Owners need to know how to cut costs with employees. Check with local temporary agencies about the costs of hiring temporary workers. The cost involved with hiring temps will be significantly lower than hiring full-time staff members.


The catering business when running out of a home or when food is prepared on location needs to have a menu which a small kitchen can handle. The menu should be that which can be prepared several days in advance. When preparing the food in advanced, it gives the owner a more flexible schedule, so the owner will not be in such a rush before the event.