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Start s Catering Business

To obtain a license, apply to the local Health Department. Before a license is issued, the Health Department will inspect your business to see that it meets food sanitation requirements. Once a license is issued, the Health Department will conduct routine inspections of your business. These inspections are needed to help insure compliance with food sanitation rules developed to protect the public from foodborne illness. Outbreaks of foodborne illness have been attributed to factors such as poor hygiene by personnel, inadequate cooking, and improper cooling and storage of food.

The development of a business plan will aid you in planning a successful business. Prior to starting a catering business, you need to determine your type of business i.e., cakes, receptions, seated dinners, box lunches, picnics, or dessert course and the type of food you will serve (primarily convenience or “from scratch”). Analyze your market. Ask yourself the following questions to see if your business venture will satisfy at least one of the following fundamental elements of success. If not, you probably do not have a viable business idea.

The questions are:

Will the business serve a presently unserved need?

Will the business serve an existing market in which demand exceeds supply?

Can the business effectively compete with existing businesses because of some “competitive advantage?”

Decide whom you will target as customers. Who is your competition? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Where will you get supplies? Decide how you will promote your business. Will you need to employ staff to help with production, service, and cleanup? What other skills do you need to make your business successful?

Start-Up Costs: You may choose to start your catering business by renting items to keep initial costs to a minimum. You may rent the use of kitchen facilities, utensils, tables, tablecloths, serving equipment and other items. This will allow you to: 1) Build a reputation; 2) develop some capital for investment and expansion and 3) evaluate how much time and money you want to invest and the impact that this business will have on your family.

Food Safety: To be successful in the catering business, one must produce delicious food that is safe and wholesome. The production of safe foods is your responsibility. Time and temperature abuse of foods contaminated with foodborne pathogens, such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and Escherichia coli O157:H7, will certainly lead to a foodborne outbreak that would likely destroy your reputation and business. Foodborne illness can be avoided if you and your employees follow safe food handling practices.

Like I said earlier, starting your own catering business can be both financially rewarding and fun. Whether you cater events on a full-time or a part-time basis, the opportunities are excellent, but it do require some planning and hardwork in order for you to enjoy the benefits.