Catering is a task best done by food lovers with culinary flares who can’t help it but offer their service to people. It’s no easy task to start and run a catering business, but if you really have your heart into this, you’ll find it a very rewarding endeavor. Read on and find out our tips on how to become a successful caterer and run a successful catering business.
1. Be ready for surprises
Catering offers you a lot of surprises that might leave you either feeling stressed or overwhelmed. But admit it. Surprises are every day part of your life as a caterer. You have to embrace it and be ready for it. If you are a caterer, you should always have plans on your mind to trouble shoot problems and make sure that the event runs as smooth and flawless as it can be. Take this case for example: You’re packing up your stuff already to deliver food for a bar mitzvah when you’ve suddenly realized that one of your staffs prepared ordinary hotdogs rather than the traditional kosher hotdogs. An emergency situation to troubleshoot, indeed. There goes your plan B, of course! Get someone to the grocery to grab the right ingredients.
2. Being prepared is all that matters
The key to getting ready all the time is staying organized. As catering demands you to be in a hurry almost all the time, you’ll find it necessary to organize items, your work and your staff so it’s always convenient to keep the work speedy and easy to accomplish. Get your list of to-dos and must-haves ready and check them a lot of times before you hit the venue. Ask someone to check them, as well, since you’re also prone to forgetting some stuff, too.
3. Visit the venue
If you’re catering somewhere else, it pays to ask your client about the location of the event so you can do a site visit. This will help you a lot in making sure that you can plot a nice layout of how tables should be arranged and the food laid.
4. Be smart
Always keep your on eye even on the smallest details of your business. Remember, it’s the detail that makes or break your business’ success. Be open for suggestions, especially if it’s for everyone’s good. So don’t be afraid to ask for client feedback. Provide adequate training to your staff and oversee them as they work. Don’t hesitate to give them a hand if it means teaching them how to do things the right way.
5. Act professionally
An amateurish act does not have room in the catering industry. By all means, be ethical, respectful (both to your clients and your staff), and customer-centered. Be transparent and be truthful in every service that you offer. Don’t provide misleading information. Stick to your price and never surprise your clients with last-minute add-on.
6. Stay away from the competition.
Be yourself and let your business stick to its identity. Don’t constantly change your service or menus for the sake of riding with what’s popular. Your catering business’ success depends on your creativity, uniqueness and customer service, not on copying other company’s offerings. Focus on where you’re best at you’ll carve an image for yourself.
7. Keep your cool.
When pressure mounts and demand heightens, giving in to your emotions won’t help. Stay cool and stress will more likely stay away. Manage your time effectively, delegate tasks, set realistic goals and work on it one at a time and you’ll be OK.
8. Invest in must-have software
“A catering software is a wise investment that will make every caterer’s life convenient and productive,” says Anthony Franco, a successful caterer and owner of the renowned catering software firm Better Cater. With a catering software, it’s easy to book appointments, design a customized menu plan, budget, and organize everything, so it’s quite a value for money investment.