How to Start a Catering Business? – Business Plan Format
Have a flair for cooking and plenty of time to kill? Fret not! With some clever business strategies, you can make a profitable business out of your love for cooking!
1. Target Audience and Occasions
There are many occasions in India where they require catered food. Events like wedding and family functions have their own specific requirements. The food served there has to match up to the relatives/guests’ taste and must cater to their preferences (veg /nonveg or from a specific location). For corporate meetings, mostly continental or less oily food is preferred. That is why it is important to think about what kind of food you want to make and about your target audience.
Decide whether you want to cater to the vegetarian palette or nonvegetarian palette. If so, what kind of menu do you want to keep? Do you want to go international or serve a desi menu? Or better still, do you want to serve fresh food whose secrets have been handed down over the centuries? This kind of food has extra demand for special, elite parties due to its traditional aura.
2. Deciding the Menu
Once you have decided about the food preference (veg/nonveg, or from an aspecific geographic location such as Bengali, Punjabi. Hyderabadi, etc) and have also decided to serve alcohol or not, the next logical step would be to create a menu. The menu has to be designed in such a way that the raw material of those kinds of food can be sourced easily. Another thing which you must keep in mind is that in catering business orders can come at any moment.
One must prepare beforehand for such events. You must always keep basic sauces/gravies ready so that they can be prepared quickly for any event. Also, it is advisable to test your menu. Call your friends/relatives over to a testing session. You will have a reason for a get-together in the process. Tweak your dishes until they are perfect and again make sure you are comfortable with them.
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3. Alcoholic Beverages
It is important to understand that you have to take special permission/license for serving alcohol. After taking the requisite permissions you can start preparing a menu of the alcoholic drinks that you want to serve. You can also include cocktails/mocktails in your catering menu. Along with these, you can think of adding a few starters or snacks. These starters can be both veg/nonveg as per the preference.
4. Financial Planning
It is very important to plan your budget before starting the catering business. The costs for variable costs such as that of raw material should be included in this plan. Finding a space to rent is crucial and one should make sure the space you are going to rent has adequate plumbing and water services. You want your kitchen facility to be clean. Make a list of equipment you need, buy them, and set up your kitchen. Do proper research before buying your equipment though. Doing this will help you in recognizing what kind of investment you need and then you can apply for the same amount for a bank loan.
5. Checklist Before Launching Your Catering Services
Don’t forget to set the price for your food items in accordance with the current prices of the same in your local area. You must also consider rising raw material prices before finalizing the food items’ price. Hire trained and professional staff as people will only come to you if you serve hygienic and tasty food with good service. Make sure to tie up with food suppliers, wedding-related vendors, event management consultants/companies, etc. Print leaflets and business cards and market yourself.
Get social and make a page on Facebook and post regularly. Create an attractive website for your Catering business and open to accept online ordering.
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