How to Start a Catering Business

By Lanee’ Blunt

Starting a catering businessmay be your life long dream, or maybe your friends’ and coworkers are alwayssuggesting that you should start your own catering business.  An advantage of opening a catering businessis that the start-up cost is low.  Presentation skills and the ability to makefood look fancy go a long way, and keeping up with the latest trends in foodand party ideas will help make your catering business a success.

Apply for Licenses
Register your business withyour state and county government.  Obtaina food service permit and a business permit. Register with the IRS.  Check with your county Public HealthDepartment if you are going to operate your catering business from home.

Many caterers look for acommercial kitchen where they can rent space by hour or by shift. Arestaurant’s facility may be used in its off-hours or you can share the rentalcost of a commercial kitchen with other caterers.  You will need a delivery vehicle and a phone.

Start a website and takepictures of the food you make and some of the parties that you havecatered.  Talk to wedding planners andintroduce yourself to bridal boutiques, bakers, party suppliers and florist.  Create and handout your brochure and businesscards. Send direct mail to corporations and small businesses. Follow up with aphone call and ask fo an appointment to discuss your services.


SBA; Starting a Home-BasedFood Production Business; Caron Beesley; 2011
Inc; How to Start a CateringBusiness; Gina Pace; 2011
Entrepreneur: Business Idea Center:Catering

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