Starting a catering business or a food enterprise can be exceptionally rewarding.
You can cook; maybe you’ve been professionally trained; friends are always telling you how great your food is so it can’t be that hard can it?… but this is not just about cooking, this is about running a business.
And that’s what we understand really well.
I want to thank you for your very helpful consultation and for pointing me in the right direction. You’ve saved me a lot of time, trouble and money. I will be in touch soon once I have applied the advice you have already given me”
~ Vera, on the road to success, April 2012
We see our role as helping you to get to the point of selling your products as quickly as possible, by planning effectively, passing on to you all the things we already know and all the things that others have already learnt, and helping you to make the right decisions.
Planning is all well and good, but you don’t have a business till you’re selling something
~ Dan Germain, Creative Director
Here are a few things we think are important in starting a catering business:
Before you start
Do your research and honestly assess your skills against the requirements of running a food business; are they fit for purpose? Do you need to invest in some additional training? Who do you need working alongside you and what skills should they have?
Legal bits and pieces
Food safety, registering as a food business, documentation, quality management, insurance…boring for some but absolutely essential and the backbone of any successful food business
What kind of caterer or food manufacturer do you want to be?
There are so many options: private dining, contract catering, corporate catering, special occasions, festivals and street markets, specialist and niche, global retail brand, foodservice specialist, niche artisan brand…
How will you be better than the competition?
Who are your prospective customers and why would they choose you? How will you be different? How will you compete in this crowded market place? Who are yout competitors and what do they do well? What are your brand values? What will make you stand out?
Company name, logo and web design
After your food and contacts, a good website is a small business’ most powerful tool to reach customers and win business. We eat with our eyes first, so an appetising name, great photography and a well-presented website are important early investments
Unforgettable, great-tasting food
Your menus have to match your aspirations, your capabilities and the needs of the customers you are targeting. This is about what your customers want to eat, not about what you want to cook!
Thanks so much for all the help you have been giving me. I really don’t know how I would have got to this point without your help and advice. I feel really excited about the business but also know that the hard work is only just beginning!”
~ Julia Boddy, Mrs Tinks September 2010.