Catering is the business of providing food service in different places. Whether you have a home, office, or other location, you can cater. A catering business can be very profitable. Here are some important factors to consider: Pricing structure, Business model, and Permits and licenses. Choosing the right business model will help you succeed in the industry.
Before you start a catering business, it is important to understand the industry’s business model. Catering is a 12 billion dollar industry that continues to grow year after year. Even during a slow economy, demand for food services increased by 1.8 percent. This makes the catering business virtually recession-proof. You will need to develop a marketing plan to achieve your goals.
A business plan can be like a map that shows your current status and your goal for the next few years. Creating a business plan will help you see obstacles and opportunities in advance. It can help you determine what to do next and give you a direction to strive for. Once you have a strategy in place, it will be easier to decide what type of marketing you should undertake.
One of the best ways to reach your target audience is through word-of-mouth. When people have a good experience with a business, they are more likely to recommend it to others. A great way to spread the word about your business is by offering referral discounts. If your customers are satisfied with your food, you can also offer them bonuses. Often, these referrals will result in a higher customer base than a print advertisement can.
The costs of running a catering business are low, especially when you start small. The biggest costs are food and equipment. When you start out, you may have no need to purchase a lot of equipment, which makes running your catering business more affordable. You can rent equipment as you need it, so make sure to factor this into your pricing. You should also consider hiring employees to help you with your catering business.
If you’re planning to open a catering business, you should check with local authorities and obtain the necessary licenses and permits. If not, you risk being penalized. In addition to getting the necessary permits and licenses, some businesses also need specific business insurance. Depending on your jurisdiction, some permits and licenses are available only to businesses that are licensed or registered.
The first step in setting up a catering business is to register your DBA name with the county clerk’s office. Some states also require that new businesses register DBAs at the state level. The cost of DBA registration varies, but it can be between $10 and $100. Another step you should take is to apply for an EIN number. This number serves as your business’s tax identification number, and it allows you to hire employees, open bank accounts, and apply for catering licenses.
In addition to business licenses, you may need state and local permits for your catering operation. You can apply for a permit online through the state’s Online Permit Assistance and Licensing system. This website will ask you about your legal structure and then provide you with basic license information for almost four hundred different types of businesses.
In order to open a catering business, you must comply with local health codes and acquire a food handler’s license. This is a requirement for any business that serves food. If you own or lease a mobile food truck, you will need a food service license as well.
You can also obtain a liquor license if you plan to serve alcohol. The Liquor Authority and local health departments are both responsible for issuing liquor licenses and catering permits for events. Be sure to check these permits before hiring a caterer.