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Catering Business Plan help

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am currently a student at College of the Ozarks, in Branson, Missouri. For my Business degree, I am taking Corporate Finance and our semester project is to create a business plan.  Since the catering industry is so fragmented, there is hardly any information out as to what industry standards are for start-up catering.  I was wondering if anyone could help with some numbers, becuase I have to do pro forma income statments.

 

1) How many events per week did you cater, on average during 1st three years?

 
2) How large, on average, is a typical event for you?
 
3) Percentage wise, what was your estimated growth during your first three years in business?
 
The general information that you give me will by only used by me for this project and will be seen by my professor.
 
Your help is very appreciated,
Thank you,
Christian
post #2 of 5

Christian,

 

You may have to provide a little more detail as to your model.

 

Caterers vary from those who do small, 20-50 guests, to large,over 1,000 guests, as well as on-site, off-site, BBQ, fine dining, to your local supermarket take-out trays. Another factor to consider, where would your business be located, i.e. geographically, demographically, etc. I'm in a city 0f 55,000 in an agricultural area. I'm positive that my experience would have little bearing on someone contemplating locating in a Los Angeles area suburb

 

I'm a small, 10-40 guests, caterer and ALL my projections have proven wrong, every timetalker.gif, and I've been doing it since 2000

 

Provide a few more fundamentals and you will get better responses.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #3 of 5

Catering is a business,the successful caterer will match their events to their infrastructure and staffing.

In other words, it's the old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg.

 

I specialized in corporate catering--trays of sandwiches, fruit, salads, desserts, etc to many offices.  On a typical weekday, I would do maybe 3 breakfast deliveries, and 6-12 lunch deliveries.  My staff (including myself and partner) was 4.  Weekends were open for other events.

 

Some years I worked 90-100 hrs/week and maybe a week off the whole year, other years I worked only 60-70 hrs/week and took 3 weeks off.

 

The largest event we did was 800 ppl, but that was hors d'ouvre stations, carved beef stations, and dessert stations.

Other caterers could do 2-3000 ppl parties with littile effort.  Some have their own halls, some don't.

 

Hotels are caterers as well

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well, it would be in an area that has about 120,000, and it will be a smaller business, specializing in hors d'oeuvres.  But, I need some historic data just to justify my projections, regardless if they will be totally accurate.  I have one, but I thought a couple of more sources would be more accurate.

post #5 of 5

I did catering for about 30 years  shear volume 6 rooms 10,000 covers a week . So there is many different kinds. There is a guy In Chicago who has a book and disk on different catering business plans . His name escapes me but he has been around a long time and knows the business. earch for him online.  We also did outside tent gigs etc. . Hardest  partof catering bus, is off premise or what used to be called Gypsy Catering cause you were in different places all the time. 1000s f logistics to cover here.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
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