You have a restaurant, and people already love your food. Some of your customers have even asked about catering options.
As a restaurateur, you have a built-in clientele at the ready. But is a client base enough to start your catering business?
Opening a catering business tied to your restaurant can add extra profits to your business. Yet, there are some things to consider before taking the plunge. (tweet this)
In this article, we look at how to tell if you should start catering. Let’s look at what you need to begin.
The most important thing to consider is whether or not you have the resources to manage the added work.
Catering can take a lot of time, especially when demand is high. This means having enough people to handle it. Things to think about include:
Another especially important consideration is space. For example, you have busing Saturday nights, and now you are adding a catering gig to your Saturday schedule.
Can your kitchen handle all the extra preparation?
You also want to make sure your kitchen is large enough to handle any size of catering order. Remember, some of them will be quite large.
In addition, do you have adequate space for extra refrigerators and freezers to handle the extra inventory and food prep? And do you have space to put orders before they are delivered or picked up?
You might find that adding catering limits your restaurant’s capabilities, so be sure the tradeoff works for you.
Many of your larger catering orders will expect you to deliver the food.
Do you have a van or large truck that can deliver large orders? If not, you’ll want to procure this before you open your catering business.
Running a restaurant is very time consuming, and so is adding a catering business.
Do you have time for it?
You will find that catering can utilize your kitchen in your off hours and even in your slow times. Are you prepared to work those extra hours, or do you have someone who can?
You want to figure out how catering will fit into your work schedule, so you make sure to give the time it needs to grow.
In addition to the food preparation, you might even find your customers want you to provide plates, silverware, glasses, linens, and tablecloths as well as serving dishes.
Can you offer these services? If not, is there someone you can partner with who does?
As a caterer, you want to be able to meet your customers’ needs and provide the best service possible.
The next thing you want to look at to tell if you should start catering is your in-house systems.
You’ll want a specific catering menu, a way to generate bills, contracts, and policies and procedures in place including deposits and cancellation policies.
Do you have this plan put together? If not, you’ll want to work on this before you open for catering.
Do you have a catering business plan in place? How about your catering pricing structure?
You want these things laid out so you know if your catering business can be profitable. Know what you’ll mark your services based on the cost of the food and materials as well as staff time.
Do make sure you cover all of the resources you’ll be using.
Now let’s look at some of the best reasons to add catering to your restaurant’s offerings.
To get your catering business off the ground, here are a few helpful tips to get started.
Lastly, as you decide if you’re ready to start catering, you want to look at your desire level. Do you want to offer catering? It needs to be something you feel passionate about in order to grow and thrive.
Your people skills may be put to the test as well as your patience. There’s a lot that goes into catering, and it can be great for many restaurants. Just be sure it’s right for you. (tweet this)
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