or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Catering › When did you make the transition...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

When did you make the transition...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Here is a good thread to go on.. seeing that I am currently in the transition stage.

When did you make the transition from catering full part-time to fulltime?

What was the final push? Was there anything leading up that was holding you back?

Currently in my situation I work fulltime at a software company and I have been paying off all of my industrial purchases over the past two years. I am equipped to handle 300 but at the same time I am finding it hard to leave the security blanket of my fulltime job and focus on catering fulltime. I find it to be too much focusing on being creative, expanding and caring to catering clients while also working a full time job. It is not bad if I have a consistent clientel which I do that has 3-4 events per month, but when you throw in a few extra weddings and events things start to get hectic, stressful and I come to the realisation that if I want to move forward it has to be 100% dedication of my time.

So I am putting the question out there and i'd love to see what helped you all through the transition or if you are currently in transition what you plan to do or are doing to over come this.

Thanks in advance.
Colin :)
post #2 of 6
I actually went the opposite way... now work part time in my old profession, and cater part time. This 1st happened accidently... I was offered a job in my old profession that I was really excited about and wanted. It was about 50 hours a week and so my plan to keep catering went out the window. I took a few catering jobs during that year that I really wanted because I missed it. When the job turned out to be the job from ****, I put my catering name back out there.

So now I find I enjoy catering the most when I do it part time and work at my old profession part time. Doing a couple of catering jobs/month. Having fun and making some money.

Not much help in nswer to our question...
post #3 of 6
I hear ya abut financial concerns. I'm still rounding out my skills before I even think of setting out one my own. Also need capital. I also wonder about getting sales experiance. Right know I'm thinking about getting a booth at one of the local farmers markets. I just need a job with Sunday's off! Until then, I labor in Brunch Purgatory.

The more I talk with people in the industry the more I hear that most business failures happen due to insufficient capital and poor cash managment.

Some stuff to do before you quit your job:

Figure out your breakeven. Then figure out if you can get enough business to cover costs and make a living. If are at any point confused with this, consult a professional. It will be the best $ you ever spend.

If you haven't all ready, talk to your accountant or lawyer about business entities. Take a look at your contracts too. If you're going to use a program like QuickBooks, get your accountant or a "QBProAdvisor" to set this up for you and teach you to use it if you don't know how too.

Brace yourself for a sticker shock! You need to enough cash to cover your personal (don't forget COBRA!) and business expenses and to finance any debt. Plan your cash for at least 6 months. You're going to have an increase in taxes too, at least 7.65%. If you touch your retirement funds, I will hunt you down myself.

You may want to iron out any staffing issues in advance if you can.

Also make sure your facilities are 100% go. You don't want to have down time due to construction or bringing stuff up to code, equipment repairs etc.

If you've got a spouse and/or kids, this can put a strain on things. Please make this a mutual decision with your s/o!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips!

I have my own accountant and finances, all are well. My credit is top notch so sourcing the funds is not an issue, my problem is the creativity department starts to lack as a result of working so much (in another field).

Housing prices in my current location are too much for a single 24 year old to purchase, and I need a full house to operate out of to install my upcoming monster of an oven so I have been looking to other provinces, 20 hours away by car exactly to purchase a house and work full time from. I have my expenses paid for atleast a year and I am confident in my business, sales and marketing skills to be able to build up clientel in a new area as I have done great in my current one. It's just jumping that hurdle to full time catering, thats why I created this thread to hear what others have done in the past :)

I think for the next few years I will continue working another job, but on a part time basis to supplement my income until catering is a rock solid consistent income.

post #5 of 6

I'm still part time after 17 years

I started in 1990 and use to do mostly corporate catered lunches etc. From the very beginning I was catering just for extra money for vacations and things I wanted and I really never have liked the corporate thing much. It takes too long to get my money 4-8 weeks and I'm tired of complaining about it all the time to my husband etc. So, I have decided finally to give that part of the business up unless it is for larger groups of 40 or more. Normally my business lunches would be less han 20 and that isn't worth my time and energy anymore. My heart has always been with cocktail parties and teas/showers. I love making that type food and won't miss the boring sandwiches (and I had a few different ones)/salad/finger dessert luncheons I use to do for companies. I never wanted to get any bigger than what I could do myself. I have no help in the kitchen but do take someone with me to help at the party. Guess I was no help but good luck in your transition.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input cflower.. it's interesting to see a lot of people catering part-time after all of these years.. My heart is definitely in the cocktail parties too... I am having a lot of requests for weddings, but frankly, if the brides won't shell out the big bucks, there is not too much creativity in the kitchen for their budgets.

I should fine out within the next two weeks how and when this transition will happen, i've been finishing some menu's, re-designed my entire website. I have been practicing all weekend with fondant cakes, and can now say that I can make them quite well :)

If anyone else has advice or input, please share,
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Catering
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Catering › When did you make the transition...