Knowing When To Break Into The Catering Business

You love throwing parties. Everyone always eats your dish first when you bring something to a party.

Perhaps you even own your own restaurant. But you aren’t in the catering business. How do you know when to break into the catering business? Well there are few things you should know before you decide to make the jump.

The goods:

Catering is estimated to be a 7.1 billion dollar industry, according to the National Association of Catering Executives. The potential to make money is very high.

You can pick what you want to do and what you specialize in. If you only want to cater a few select items from your regular menu, then no one is stopping you from doing that. If you only want to do catering for weddings, you can do that, too. You are free to pick what you want to do, and you can even make your own days off. If you don’t want to cater an event, then you don’t have to agree to cater it.

There is less monotony than working in a regular restaurant. Every night you’re in a new place with new people serving up a slightly different menu.

The bads:

It’s pretty physically demanding. You’re going to have to set up all the things you would need in a restaurant every single time you cater a new event. And then at the end of the night you’re going to have to load it all back in the van.

What you will need:

If you have decided the time is right for you to get into the catering business, then here is what you are going to need.

The first thing you are going to need is someone who is excellent at organizing. Catering businesses move around a lot and you have a lot of people calling all the time to change little details of their event, which you’re going to have to remember if you want to get it right and have a satisfied customer. That means you’re going to have to have an exceptional organizational system.

When a customer calls you to say something about the event, make sure you write it down! Don’t ever think you will just remember, because then it will be on you if you don’t. Especially if you have a larger catering staff, if you don’t write it down, chances are they won’t know to do it.

You’re also going to need some good marketers. When starting any sort of a business you need good marketers. You need people who know which area of the market to target and how to target it effectively with your brand. As a newcomer, you won’t have the repertoire that all the other catering businesses already have set up with clients, so you’re going to have to set yourself apart in other ways through your marketing.

The most important thing you’re going to need is flexibility! Catering requires a lot of hard work. It is interesting and fun work, but you’re going to have to stay flexible if you want to be successful. It always helps to be prepared for any emergencies. Always have a plan B!

Sammy Jo writes for Lutz’s BBQ, catering company in Columbia and Jefferson City, Mo. Visit for more information.

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