Congratulations on finally deciding to start a catering business! You most likely have weighed up multiple thoughts many times — both excitement and worry, but just clicking on this article proves that you are now ready to do some research. Here, we will be providing you with a list of essentials to jumpstart your new career as a professional caterer.
Before we start, it is vital to note that specific details like the exact number and type of fundamental items depend on the particular line of business you will be entering. For instance, if you want to specialise in social gatherings and parties, you will need a wide variety of fancy serving equipment.
If you want to focus on local markets and trade fairs, then you will be required to have plenty of display materials and disposable serving items. You also have to obtain and prepare legal documents, such as licenses, registrations, permits, and contracts mandated by your state for all business operations. Let us cut to the chase and discuss each one in detail:
These are — without a doubt — one of the most important things to acquire. After deciding on the specific structure of your business, you have to register it properly. Depending on your location, applying for a catering license and obtaining certain food safety certificates from a health inspection department may be required.
Your facilities must meet the regulations and standards of your state or county with regards to health, safety, and food handling practices. You may also be required to keep emergency kits and other necessary items, like a fire extinguisher system approved by your local authority. In some areas, it is a requisite to have separate systems for water supply, sewage management, and waste pickup.
Cooking and Serving Equipment
As stated, the number and type of kitchen items vary depending on the specialisation of your business. What you would most likely need are serving trays, a variety of dishes, knife sets, utensils, an assortment of glasses, cake decorating tools, pitchers, food holders, and table decorations like centrepieces, napkins, and table cloths. The Balance also suggests preparing a coffee or beverage station complete with air-pots, iced tubs, and uniform cups and mugs.
As for the cooking appliances, you need a high-quality stove, commercial oven, steamers, food processors, and beverage machines such as catering juicers and extractors, coffee-makers, and blenders.
Transportation and Storage
Make sure you have a vehicle with adequate size for transporting your equipment and food supplies. You also need to check if your vehicle has proper refrigeration and temperature control to ensure that the food you prepared will stay in a good and palatable condition.
Indeed, it is important to procure all the necessities to ensure the success of your startup. However, like all types of businesses in the service industry, operating a catering business requires substantial dedication and passion towards work. If you enjoy preparing food and bringing joy to people, then this career pathway is right for you.