Perhaps, one of the most exciting, lucrative and creative businesses you could ever venture into is in catering. Indeed, no event—no matter how big or small it may be—will ever turn out successful unless a table full of mouth-watering cuisines graces your occasion. If you have the knack for cooking and serving great dishes, then, offering catering services will do you great. But before you start handing out your business cards or promoting your business online, take time to consider the important aspects that any caterers should never miss.
- Gain catering experience
They say experience is the best teacher, which is why Rob Hard of About.com’s event planning section would suggest that any wanna-be caterer should have practical knowledge to make it through. This is the only way that you can prepare yourself before you decide to put up your own business. This will also make you realize that catering is not a joke—and that you’ll need to have the passion and stamina to work and stand on long hours.
- Getting your things ready
The first two most important things that you need to get your catering service running are the following: a business license and the approval from the health department that certifies your facility is good to start. You’ll also need the professional equipment to streamline the operation and make it flow smoothly and easily. You can either purchase or rent them.
- Getting the crowd’s attention
You need to have a strong customer base to boost your business’ profitability. That’s why you need to devise a marketing plan that will sell your service to people, like running ads in the Yellow Pages, newspapers and magazines. Giving away flyers and brochures will also help, but hitting the social network is way cheaper, easier, faster and more affordable when it comes to grabbing everyone’s attention. Elizabeth Wilson, who writes for Entrepreneur.com, suggests building a valuable relationship with organizers, bands, florists and other party vendors.
- Minding the Competition
The catering industry is very competitive and if you want to rise above this cutthroat environment, you need to take a good look at the market. Research the market trends, the similarities and differences of the major catering firms, and the things that they don’t offer that you think the market needs and that you can offer. It would be even better if you can give better service or offer and extraordinary (and unique) dining experience! Always be positive on your outlook. Always try to be innovative and creative with your ideas, although don’t be too overconfident to underestimate the competition.
- What do successful caterers have in common?
So, what does it really take to become a successful caterer? If you think you have most—or all—of these skills, you’re on your way to becoming the next food service magnate!
• Talent: It is expected that any be caterer-to-be has these impressive skills in cooking. All else will follow—including customers—if you have the flair to preparing something nice, yummy and pleasing to the eyes and tummy.
• Planning: Aside from the talent in cooking, caterers also need to be savvy when it comes to organizing and planning any event. It always pays to be detail oriented, a sturdy multi-tasker, a great boss to your staff, and a PR gal in front of your prospects.
• Flexibility: You never know when a last-minute order is coming. The least that you could do is be flexible enough to accommodate—and satisfy—every whim of your client.