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Catering business questions

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I'm sure you've heard these all before but I'm seeming to not be searching in the right places. How would I go about starting a small on the side catering business? Me and one of my budies are both in the Cooking business, and we've talked about seeing how to start up a small catering business to make extra money. I'm talking small though, like:

- 4 Portable Burners

- 2 Tables

- 2 to 4 Buffet Warmers

- Table Cloths

 

We're also looking to see about this condo. Lots of old people, they're looking to find activities for them and now I'm thinking. What would I have to do to setup a small little breakfast thing there one morning?

post #2 of 6

My main question is, where do you plan to store your ingredients, and where do you plan to prepare your food?

...."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"......
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post
 

My main question is, where do you plan to store your ingredients, and where do you plan to prepare your food?

 

These are the questions I've been asking. No clue how people start up small except for people illegally doing it out of there house and thats all anyone needs. Home cooks get one person sick and it won't be a very good day. So, i'm being the brains and trying to figure out how you even start up a small setup like that. I've seen them before, like booth sized area. Normally a mini fridge, and table to feed a small hand full. Im sure someone knows what i mean. I've seen em with a few portable burners 1 table sorta a vendor booth. We both have a few ideas but were not looking to invest in some big area, and do a huge setup. Money isn't exactly floating around so i obvious can't afford a nice setup to start out well so that's why im here asking. To figure out what exactly would i have to do to start a small scale (no more than 50 people) catering business where i could do something like set up special lunches and stuff for condos without taking the illegal route and cooking in my personal kitchen without the proper permits(my state doesn't allow anything to be cooked in a personal kitchen for commercial use).

post #4 of 6

If you want to be in business legitimately, you're going to have to spend money. You need a business license, a commercial kitchen (you can see if you can find a church kitchen, incubator kitchen, restaurant, etc that might be willing to rent you space when needed) insurance. You need to register with the IRS, the state -and they are all going to want money to register and also they are going to want their cut too.

 

Then you need to think about where you are going to source your food, where to store it before and after cooking. How you're going to transport it. Oh, and do you have your safe-serve certificate? You'll need that too.

 

You're going to need to make menus and actually price them out so you make money in the end. But not so much that no one will buy from you.

 

You have to figure out a way to bring in business - how will you let people know you want them to buy from you?

 

That's just a small view into the world of catering. There's lots more.

Gina

post #5 of 6

That is a pretty sad (and short list).

Save the $$ you were gonna spend on tablecloths and rent an incubator kitchen.

 

mimi

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginamiriam View Post
 

If you want to be in business legitimately, you're going to have to spend money. You need a business license, a commercial kitchen (you can see if you can find a church kitchen, incubator kitchen, restaurant, etc that might be willing to rent you space when needed) insurance. You need to register with the IRS, the state -and they are all going to want money to register and also they are going to want their cut too.

 

Then you need to think about where you are going to source your food, where to store it before and after cooking. How you're going to transport it. Oh, and do you have your safe-serve certificate? You'll need that too.

 

You're going to need to make menus and actually price them out so you make money in the end. But not so much that no one will buy from you.

 

You have to figure out a way to bring in business - how will you let people know you want them to buy from you?

 

That's just a small view into the world of catering. There's lots more.

Gina

 

....and this is why there is no such thing as a successful "small setup" in the catering world.

You are essentially running a restaurant that does nothing but deliveries.

The 50 guest fairy tale won't even keep the lights on.

Just for chuckles try doing some research and writing a business plan.

 

mimi

post #6 of 6

Defiantly what some of the above said. If you want it more Legit, contact you state Licensing Department  some states like mine (GA) ran through Department or Revenue. Absolutely look into insurance, you don't want to be caught in a legal bad over a bad ingredient. Do you have a Serve Safe Manager cert?

 

Start small and then expand, we all have big dreams but that is not always the case with a budget. Have you looked into Creating a Facebook page to generate business and also creating a website. you can get a free on through wix.com until you can pay for a domain. Ultimately word of mouth is the best way of generating. Look into small trade shows to start.  

 

Department of Health will be another hurtle, I know in GA you have to have a separate Kitchen from one you live in. I would start with doing events with on site kitchens. If you can get a business plan together and maybe look into a small business loan. 

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