If you plan to set up a catering company and you can produce great food you stand a good chance of heralding the beginnings of a sound business choice. Catering companies, who develop a reputation, are often in short supply. The various types of occasions you may wish to specialise in include weddings, birthdays, christenings, funerals and corporate events.

Now setting up a business is going to be an uphill struggle. There are many hurdles to overcome, but the rewards can be fantastic. It may take a good few months to start making a profit, but if your business model is sound, then there is nothing stopping you from making money.

Begin your venture by planning a menu and devising a business plan including costs to make sure that the menus that you propose to deliver are going to make you a profit. You can range your menus from budget to premier – or you can specialise in one type of menu and go for high end or cheap and cheerful. Consider the venues that may host events and require the need for outside catering then take along some samples of your food. If you can get a few initial bookings word of mouth will begin to occur and recommendations will begin to occur.

Thanks to the internet it is so much easier to advertise and promote new businesses. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts can be used as a way of spreading the word and informing people about offers and services. It is possible to set up a website for a relatively low cost – give plenty of thought to branding and image. You can then incorporate this into your business cards, logos and uniforms. The basic elements of a catering business include menu, website, stationary including cards, a place to prepare food and equipment. Your supplies will include serving platters and napkins and other disposable goods. Uniforms can be purchased online and if you set up an online account you can order more clothing as and when you need it.

A good catering firm needs to be well-presented and members of staff should be wearing smart uniforms. Anyone who is preparing food needs to be dressed in chef whites – this will be expected by all customers. Chef’s whites are important for hygiene reasons and this helps to show who people are. Waitressing staff can wear smart shirts and trousers with an apron and a cravat or a tie. Uniforms are an important feature in the catering business especially at formal events to show who is a guest and who can be called upon for serving duties. You may not be specialising in the waitressing side of catering and simply producing the food instead. It will show professionalism if the people delivering the food are wearing a uniform. There are many stylish options such as long apron and a waistcoat and tie or cravat. Alternatively a short apron or a tabard with embroidered logos will look neat and professional.

This post was written by Christina Jones, a freelance business consultant and sandwich shop owner, who has used small business services like Co-operative clothing in the past.

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