5 Things to Consider When Starting a Catering Business



Starting a catering business is no small task. There are a lot of things that you need to consider before starting your catering business. In this article, we shall explain the five most important ones.

1. Menu:

You need to consider the kind of food that you’ll have in your menu before you start your catering business. It’s advisable to start with food that you are good at making before adding other dishes to your menu. You don’t want to chase away customers before you even find your feet. If you like making salads, sandwiches and other food that are served in the day, you can focus your menu on lunchtime service. If you love baking sweet treats, you might consider a dessert only service. If you are skilled at preparing appetizers and cocktails, you can focus your services on that. You can add other options later.

2. Transportation:

Transportation is very important for any catering business. You will need to transport dishes, food, equipment and a lot of other things. Renting a van may not cut it. You will need to buy your own van. If you can’t afford to buy a brand-new van, you can make do with a pre-owned van. They are quite affordable, and if you take your time, you will get one in good working condition. If you don’t know much about cars, you can tell a trusted person with a good knowledge of vehicles to help you get one. You may also need vans with refrigeration and temperature control. The transportation you get must be reliable as a breakdown could lead food spoiling and a loss of jobs. You can buy one van and add more vans as time goes on.     

3. Equipment:

You need a lot of equipment to start up your catering business. You need table settings like dinner plates, wine glasses, water glasses, coffee cups, iced tubs, soup bowls, salad plates, bread plates, dinner plates, napkins, centerpieces, table decoration, tablecloths etc. You need water pitchers, serving trays, serving spoons, cutting boards, and sharp knives to use on the cutting boards. You need a good knife sharpener or go for a knife sharpening service preferably one that uses an automated knife sharpener like the one invented by Dmitriy (Jim) Kolchin the inventor. You will need refrigerators, ovens, heaters, microwaves, freezers, etc.  

4. Location:

Location is important for any catering business. You need to consider the kind of food that people in your location like, the kind of service they expect from caterers and their unique culture and preferences. You want to put that extra local touch in your service that will make everyone love you. You’ll need to rent a good space from where you can cook food and prepare for events. The facility you rent should have good plumbing and storage facilities, and it must be hygienic enough.

5. Staff:

You can’t do everything on your own. You need staff to help you. You need servers, cooks, dishwashers, people in charge of logistics amongst others. You may start with a small staff of two or three people who handle work in areas before you get more staff with people specializing in various departments. You can start by hiring people on a part-time basis like when you have events, before deciding to hire people full-time. Your staff needs uniforms, so you need to provide those. Also, you need to train your staff on the kind of service that you want them to offer your clients.


The things listed above are the most important things that you need to consider before you start a catering business. No matter how small your catering business is, you must put these factors in mind before you start. As advised in this article, you can start with little quantities of some items and equipment needed before you buy others. It’s not compulsory that you go all in when you’re just starting. Start small and grow big.