It’s always good to be in the catering business. You get to rub elbows with people, prepare nice and scrumptious delicacies and best of all, earn the raves of your clients. Indeed, while competition could be tough, your creativity and knack for preparing delicious food and being the warm person you can be are your passports to successful catering. It’s really an honor to be that someone to turn to when dilemma over what food to serve strikes your clients.
What is off-premise catering?
Bill Hansen and Chris Thomas, authors of Off Premise Catering Management, explain that off-premise catering is the term used to describe a catering service in a location away from the caterer’s food production facility. While caterers are always ready to provide one-event food service, not all caterers can offer the same kind or quality of service. Off-premise caterers are actually classified into three groups:
Party food caterers. These caterers actually focus their operation on providing food for events. They are not involved in the event preparation and it is really up to the client to get the venue ready, including cleanup, etc.
Hot buffet caterers. This type of caterers focuses on serving hot foods, which are made in their commissaries and delivered to the venue. Foods are sealed in hot containers. Sometimes, there’s a personnel to help serve the food but for an extra fee.
Full-service caterers. Other than providing and serving the food, food service caterers also prepare the food onsite. Likewise, the service of wait staff is available and other food-related facilities and equipment are included, like china, glassware, utensils, tables, chairs, napkins, etc. In other words, a full service caterer is not just involved in preparing the food; the caterer is also involved in the over-all facet of the gathering.
Success with Off-Premise Catering
Admit it. It’s no easy thing to be a caterer. It’s not only the money or start-up capital that you need. You also need the passion, the skills and the patience to deliver a world-class service and to sustain your business’ growth in the long run. Here are some of the elements that you should note of to make your off-premise catering a successful endeavor.
- Work experience. It’s always important to have prior experience in this niche. Experience in food preparation and food service will make it easier for you to gain deeper understanding in the ins and outs of the business and on how to provide an efficient and effective service that will help your business grow.
- Passion. Successful caterers do what they love and love what they do. They have this strong drive to give their very best and so the results mirror their love of their job.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit. An enterprising attitude is what all off-premise catering needs to have to keep their business on the right track. A successful caterer is always happy to spend more than enough time and energy to keep the business going and staying successful.
- Basic business knowledge. Among the basic knowledge that a caterer needs to acquire include: accounting and bookkeeping, computer skills, commercial and business laws and regulations, human resource management and marketing implementation.
- Efficiency and Productivity. To the help caterers on this, it’s a great investment to acquire a catering software. According to Anthony Franco, himself a successful caterer and owner of the successful catering firm Better Cater, getting a catering software is a huge time saver. It’s also an efficiency booster and streamlines tasks to ensure productivity.
So, there you have some of the best ideas that you should take note of to become successful as a caterer and phenomenal as a business owner.