Starting your own food catering business is tricky. In fact, starting any food business, be it a restaurant, a food stall, or a food truck is not as simple as it seems. There are numerous factors that need to be considered, and all of them should lead to the restaurant being profitable and sustainable.
Before ingredients are purchased or working capital is set aside, research needs to be done first. And research starts with the formulation and creation of a business plan. To help you create your own catering business plan, here are some examples in PDF to guide you.
Take note of these tips when writing a business plan. This does not only cover a food catering business but also other types of startup businesses as well.
The first thing you should do, and continuously apply in your simple business plan, is to do research. As quoted by former senior financial and management executive Bill Pirraglia, “Consider spending twice as much time researching, evaluating and thinking as you spend actually writing the business plan, and do continuous research on your product, your market, and your objective expertise.”
As a researcher and possibly a business owner or a member of the management team, it is your responsibility to know everything about business and the industry that you will be entering (in this case, the food catering business). Take time to read and analyze the industry as well as have initial communication with your target market. You may also see company plan examples.
As defined by Entrepreneur.com, a business plan is a “written document describing the nature of a business, the sales and marketing strategy, as well as the financial background, while also comprising a projected revenues and profit/loss statement.” But the great thing about a business plan is that it can serve several different purposes. You just need to specify the purpose of your plan beforehand.
Probably the most basic yet one of the most important sections of any business plan—a company profile needs to be incorporated in any business plan.
The company profile should include the history of your company or organization, the products or services you offer, your target market, your resources (physical assets, financial resources, and human resources), and the competitive advantage of your business. Take note that since a company profile or background is written at the beginning of a general business plan, it should be one of the first written sections.
Aside from creating a company profile for your business plan, you can also incorporate the company profile in your company website or other online social media platforms (social media).
It is only reasonable that investors want to get a copy of your business documents especially if you are creating a business plan to seek investment. But remember you cannot disclose to your investors (or other stakeholders) every document, for safety and security purposes of course. You may also see annual plan examples.
Investors want to make sure that you earn, because if you earn they earn as well (with interest). Document everything from your expenses, cash flow, and industry projections. Also include location strategy and licensing agreements.
The core of an effective business plan includes strategic planning or using strategic methods. No matter what methods you choose, it should achieve the marketing objectives listed below:
According to Entrepreneur, “The potential readers of a business plan are a varied bunch, ranging from bankers and venture capitalists to employees.” Each type of reader has certain types of interests, and if you can identify these interests up front, you can easily take them into account when creating your business plan. You may also like implementation plan examples.
For example, bankers are more interested in reading balance sheets and cash flow reports while capitalists are more focused with the overall operations of the business and the management team.
Whether you’re sharing the business plan with an investor, customer, or team member, your simple plan needs to show that you’re passionate and actually care about your business and the plan. Discuss the problems you are hoping to solve, the values of your company, your products and services, and how those products stand out from the competition and provide you a competitive advantage.
You may be asking yourself where to start when you plan on opening a small catering business. Listed below are some tips on how to start a catering business in which you can also implement in your basic business plan. Starting a small catering business can easily provide headaches, but if you follow the tips we listed below, you can be assured that your catering business will be up and running in no time.
To start off your catering business, you first need to write down the items you need. Make an inventory of the materials or equipment you possess and the items you need to purchase.
For example, having a dishwasher that does not have the capacity to wash enough dishes to keep up with your business or purchasing a new freezer since the freezer you currently have is constantly leaking. Take note that although the ingredients are a important part of your inventory, you also need to the itemize equipment that assist you in your daily operations such as cooking and transportation. You may also see risk plan examples.
To make it easier for your business long-term, find a market niche that you feel you can excel at and be profitable. Being a small caterer might be difficult for you to cater, for example, to a wedding with 100 or more guests, but you can always offer your catering services to smaller events such as wedding showers, engagement parties, and bachelorette parties.
Also, research what your competitors are offering. Check to see which local restaurants offer catering services or if there are businesses that only offer catering services. Base the menu on what your market niche or target market wants, and don’t forget to price your items reasonably. You may also like business plan guidelines examples.
Catering is more than just cooking. It is essential for your catering business to establish a strong relationship with vendors and suppliers. Once a relationship has been established, vendors can assist you in your business, such as providing discounts and also offering dining materials such as linens, china, glassware, utensils, etc. You may also check out operational plan for restaurant examples.
You definitely do not want to operate your catering business without a license or without processing the necessary business requirements.
Make sure to gather and submit all the documents to the local government before they give you the approval to start your catering business. Additionally, since you are operating a food business, you also need approval from the local health department who will do necessary inspections in your kitchen and food service. You might be interested in business plan outline with examples.
Developing a marketing program is vital in helping you reach your potential clients. Utilize traditional and digital marketing methods. Design and distribute business cards, attractive brochures, and elegant flyers, and take advantage of social media to increase your visibility throughout different market segments. Don’t forget your signature dishes in your marketing materials as this can entice your customers, and take photos for the brochure and your website.
Even if you are only starting a small catering business, there are still more individuals who prefer using the Internet to find the things they want or need. Research has shown that 74% to 80% of people between the ages of 29 and 69 use the Internet for product research. You may also see market analysis business plan examples.
We hope you found this article to be informative as well as helpful when you will be writing your own catering business plan.
As previously mentioned, starting a catering business is tricky, but as long as you start on the right path by formulating an effective business plan, your small catering business will easily beat out competitors and you can maximize your revenues as well. Once you are earning consistently, it will be easier to expand your catering business in which you can add more dishes and also add more personnel.