Creating a successful catering business requires a lot more than just providing tasty food to a bunch of guests at an event. Even if you do have the most delicious catering menu available, it is still important to consider a range of factors that could make or break your business.
Here are the top 8 tips for success in your catering business.
- Cleanliness and Hygiene
A catering business is all about the food served at events. However, in order to supply great food to guests, you will need to pay particular attention to food handling, preparation, and serving rules and regulations. Ensure the room in which any food is prepared is clean. Check that all staff members working for you are aware of the importance of hygiene when handling and preparing food.
- Create a Solid Event Plan
Every event will be slightly different. Whether you are catering for a wedding, anniversary, funeral, or corporate event, take the time to plan each individual booking on its own merits. The menu will vary between functions and the number of staff required to facilitate your services will also fluctuate. Work out exactly what is required to meet your catering obligations in advance. Then stick to that plan.
- Pricing, Costing, and Earning
Undercutting your prices in an effort to win business might keep you busy, but will your business really be profitable in the long run? It is easy enough to add up your total food cost to cater for an event, but have you taken into account the cost of labour, uniforms, remaining food stock you are holding, linen costs and other incidental items?
Work out your accurate costings before setting a price for a catering event. You will be in a better position to set your prices accordingly and ensure your business is still making a profit in the end.
- Catering Furniture
Will you be required to provide any catering furniture for the event? Providing trestle tables, chairs, and serving tables to seat the required number of guests can be challenging, unless you work with a good quality restaurant furniture supplier that can help you with your specific needs.
- Be Creative
Affordable catering should never mean ordinary food. There is always plenty of scope to be creative with the type of food you serve and still ensure guests are happy. Even with seemingly boring food, it is possible to create a taste sensation by getting creative with sauces, dips, or seasonings. Get it right and you can turn a boring selection of meatballs or finger-foods into yummy morsels that have guests coming back for more.
- Know Your Guests
Turning up to a high class event with frozen party pies may not get you the response you hoped for. Likewise, there is no point arriving at a casual event armed with intricate petit fours and hors d’oeuvres that make the guests scratch their heads in wonder at what they might be eating. You may find guests were expecting finger foods brought around to them by your staff, so planning a full sit-down three course dinner may be pointless.
It is important to select your menu items according to the expectations of the guests and the hosts. Ask plenty of questions when accepting bookings and be sure you are in a position to provide the type and quality of food everyone expects.
- Special Catering Needs
Most catering businesses know well enough to provide vegetarian options. However, have you considered other special catering needs that may arise? For example, you may be required to provide gluten-free options, lactose-free options, or full vegan options for guests with very specific dietary needs. Does your event require wheelchair access for some guests? Always take the time to check whether any special needs need to be taken into account.
- Don’t Forget Buffer Foods
Regardless of how well you estimate the amount of food required to cater for the number of guests attending, there will always be times where you are caught short. Consider including a selection of platters that allow people to nibble and graze. Cheese and crackers are ideal options to have available, as are nuts or fruit platters. Simple platters like these can stretch much further than hors d’oeuvres and ensure you will not run low on food if you have underestimated.
The food you serve can be one of the more memorable things about any party or event. Keep these tips in mind when planning your next catering event and you will ensure the success of your catering business.
Here at Nextrend Furniture, we help ensure the success of your catering business with high quality function furniture. View our selection of function chairs, trestle tables, and other function furniture.