6 Ways to Make Your Catering Business Successful
If you have a passion for food, an eagerness to serve, and a desire to make others happy, why not use those traits to venture into the food service management industry and start your own catering business? Catering services are a top priority for a variety of events, from weddings to business conferences. With the right tools and knowledge, you could become your town’s caterer of choice.
Understandably, opening a business can be a scary endeavor, so to help ease your mind here are 6 ways to make your catering business successful.
Education for Success
You may be your family’s favorite chef, but to make your catering business successful you will also need to possess excellent organizational and time management skills. Running your own business requires dedication, hard work, and motivation. It also requires a great deal of administrative work, including financial planning, record keeping, scheduling, and accounting. Fortunately, you can learn all of this and more with a degree program in Food Service Management.
Best of all, your catering business can also bring in a respectable income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a food service manager make a median annual salary of $48,690. That is a healthy salary, especially considering you will be doing something you love.
Serve Quality Food
The most important key to a successful catering business is the food quality. It has been said that a meal made with love tastes better than one that is simply thrown together. Ensure that your passion can be tasted in each dish you serve. Use fresh produce and quality ingredients. Cook your menu items to meet the same standard of excellence that you would expect in your own home, if not better. A dish created with passion is a dish people will recommend to others. Not only will this encourage them to use your services again, but also it will be great for word-of-mouth advertising.
Also, keep in mind that you can serve a delicious meal, but if it is placed haphazardly on the plate, no one will want to eat it. Therefore, be sure that the presentation of the food reflects the food quality.
Stand Out from the Competition
There are a lot of catering businesses out there, but you can stand out from the rest by adding your own special touches to your menu and the services you provide. As mentioned before, presentation is very important. Get creative and present your dishes in a fun and appealing way that is uniquely yours. Food is art. Don't be afraid to let your creativity flow.
To help you stand out, you can also offer additional services such as event planning, venue decorating, personalized table arrangements, cake making, or costumed catering for themed events.
Top-Notch Customer Service
Although the primary focus of catering is the food itself, a successful caterer must also provide excellent customer service. Your catering business will take you out of the kitchen and into the environment of those you are serving. Let your excitement and passion for what you do shine through. Be courteous, helpful, and friendly. When creating the menu for a client’s event, carefully listen to their ideas and if needed, respectfully offer recommendations and alternatives. Additionally, be sure to use tact when dealing with concerns and complaints from clients or their guests.
Offer a Diverse Menu
The types of food people enjoy are about as diverse as the people themselves. In order to satisfy them all, you should offer a variety of foods from different cultures. Also, consider adding items that will meet the needs of people with food allergies, vegetarian or vegan preferences, and religious dietary restrictions. The more variety you have, the more clients you will attract.
Marketing and Networking
Promote your catering business through social media, word of mouth and online event planning forums. Build your own website or create a blog. With the internet at your fingertips, marketing is not only convenient, but the options are nearly limitless.
It is also helpful to network with other services, such as wedding planners and event coordinators. Doing so may encourage them to recommend your catering business to their clients, and in turn, you can recommend yours to them. Networking is an excellent way to grow and maintain your business.
Are you ready to begin your journey in the catering industry? If you're interested in earning your Bachelor of Science in Food Service Management, why not consider ECPI University's Culinary Institute of Virginia? With accelerated classes and a year-round schedule, you could earn you degree faster and start working towards your own catering company before you would be able to graduate at a traditional school. Contact a friendly admissions advisor today to learn more about how to jump start your future.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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Gainful Employment Information – Food Service Management - Bachelor’s