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Thread Starter 
I have been catering "unofficially" for the past five years or so, but just finally found the courage to make it a full-time endeavor a few months ago. I am off to a good start, being very cautious as I go. I am a "locavore," supporting local farmers and artisans whenever possible, which I believe has garnered the attention of my community.

As a "newbie," of course I am interested in any and all opportunities to grow my business. I met last week with the owner of a meal prep franchise who has great vision and was smart enough to adapt her business when the "take it and bake it" craze died down. She is slowly breaking away from the franchise, and recently set up a gourmet foods display in her store, started preparing meals for pick up and even offers delivery services. She has a customer base of 2000 people, and has been getting many requests for catering services. Due to the time and preparation involved in catering, she would prefer to partner with a professional caterer, rather than do it herself. She has interviewed a few other caterers, but seems to like my approach and wants to talk further. I am excited about the opportunity, but feel unsure about how to structure a business arrangement for something like this. She has offered the use of her kitchen, which is well equipped but does not have stoves/ovens/etc, although she is willing to invest in the additional equipment if we reach an agreement.

So I'm hoping you all can give me some suggestions so that I have something to bring to the table when we meet next week. What would be a fair split, considering that I will be using her kitchen and initially serving her customers? As this grows, and referrals come into play I would feel entitled to more $, so should I have one price/split for "her" customers and another for referrals or new business? Also, I would prefer to buy my own fresh ingredients, rather than use what she has on hand, so I wouldn't be using her supplies in most cases.

Thanks in advance for your insight and suggestions!