How to Make a Catering Business Plan


Starting a business is never an easy thing to do. There are a lot of things you need to think about such as the people you are going to hire, the materials that you need, and the tasks that you have to perform to ensure that your business is able to push itself out into the industry.

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This is something that you have to do, especially if you are in the catering business, and the only way that you will be able to ensure that can do everything that needs to be done for your business is by coming up with a business plan. This article is going to discuss how you are going to create one for your catering business.

How to write a business plan for a catering business

As stated earlier, there are a lot of things that you have to consider if you are going to start a business. So, with the help of the business plan, you can focus on all of the things that you need to do, and it will help reduce stress knowing that you already have a detailed plan mapped out. If you are going to create a business plan for your catering business, then here are the steps that you need to take:

Describe your catering service and the type of food that you want to prepare

These items should be on the first section of your catering business plan. You know your catering business better than anyone else, so it is going to be up to you to provide these descriptions. The style of your business is all up to how you think your business should attract its customers. There are some that enjoy a buffet-style  meal wherein guests can choose their own food, drinks, and deserts themselves, and then there are those who enjoy catering services who provide them with food straight to the table. Think about which of these suits your catering business best and then place it in the description of your business plan.

When you are writing down the menu for your business plan, it is best that you list down specific types of food such as Asian, Italian, or even German cuisine as applicable and as a sample. You also have to indicate in your plan if you will be the one to provide the chairs, tables,  table settings, and any other items that are needed for an event at the request of a client, or if you plan on outsourcing this work to an event rental company.

Determine the amount of space you need to run your catering business

This should be in the second section of your business plan. Conduct a needs assessment to figure out the vital components of your catering business and figure out the budget that will allow you to do the operations. How you are going to decide the location of your catering business will depend entirely on the results of these two items. So, you could end up leasing a commercial kitchen space, rent space from a restaurant, or share a commercial space with another caterer or work from home. If you are going for the cheaper option, then it is best that you go with sharing the space with another caterer rather than leasing a commercial kitchen space on your own. It is best that yo contact your local commercial real estate agents, or you can go with contacting restaurants within your area and ask them if they can rent out kitchen space during off-hours. Just remember that if you are going to go with this option, it is most likely that these spaces will only be available either late at night or really early in the morning.

If you really want to go with the cheapest option, then you can always decide to do your catering business in the comfort of your own home. However, this is provided that you have all the equipment needed as well as the space that is required to run a catering business. So, you have to keep these things in mind if you think that it is best to run your business from your own home.

Create a list of kitchen equipment you need to run your business

You will not be able to make any meals if you do not even have all of the necessary materials that will help you make the food. The first thing that you have to think about is the amount of room that you will need to be able to prepare and store food. Then, you have to think about the amount of room needed to use and store cooking equipment.

If you want to find out more about what you need, then you can always go online and do a quick search. Once you are able to list down everything that will help you prepare the food that your customers want and need, then the next thing you have to do is to check out the prices of these equipment. Find out if your personal budget is capable of purchasing most of the items.

List all of the permits needed to legally operate your business

Not having any of the required documents needed to operate your own business will definitely land you in hot water. If you plan on selling food to the general public, then you have to acquire a food dealer’s permit. Although you will not really have to obtain a food dealer’s permit if your catering business will only cater to private parties or family events. Additional permits such as frozen desserts, retail establishment permit, and temporary food dealer’s permit (if catering an outdoor public event) might be necessary depending on the type of services that your catering business is going to provide. So, be sure that you clearly point out how your business is going to provide its services so that you can figure out what permits you will need before you start launching operations.

List all of the other additional start-up costs

These are additional items that your business is going to need in order to run things smoothly. Examples of these would be telephone, Internet, transportation, and insurance costs. It would be much easier for you to purchase liability insurance so that you are able to protect your business in the event of a possible lawsuit, workers’ insurance compensation whenever you decide to hire employees,  and additional auto insurance or homeowners’ insurance if you are running your business from home. Just make sure that you only get the insurance that your business needs and not the ones that will just end with you paying unnecessary expenses. You can always consult with an insurance company to figure out the kind of insurance that your business will need. Include a copy of all the insurance policies within your business plan to remind your employees and yourself that there are things that you need to follow if ever a situation happens when you will need the insurance.

Create a marketing strategy for your business

This should be in the last section of your business plan. Coming up with the right kind of marketing strategy is essential for every business as this is what helps them attract and keep the customers that will hire or purchase from them. So, let us say that your catering business is one that focuses on hosting family events. The best way that you will be able to advertise it is by handing out marketing materials such as brochures, flyers, and business cards at local parks, family restaurants, daycare centers, and grocery stores. If your business is the type that focuses on corporate events, then you will have to contact local businesses so that you can schedule an appointment that will allow you to market your services. There are also other ways that can land you jobs such as talking with wedding planners, photographers, public relations firms, and other businesses that help plan events. Whenever you have an appointment where you are given the opportunity to show how your business operates, then you should definitely bring some samples of your dishes to showcase your talents and encourage referrals for your services.

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