With the recent lockdown being implemented and many people losing their jobs or struggling with income, some have turned to making and selling food for extra money. A home catering business can be extremely lucrative if you have the right catering equipment and an exciting menu. If you are not sure where to start, however, it can be difficult to achieve success. 

Start by investing in professional catering equipment to provide a stable base for your business. You will also need to apply for and pay for all necessary permits and licenses, as well as ensure that your home kitchen meets the health and safety regulations set out by various ruling bodies.  If you would like to start your own small catering business from home, below we give some top tips. 


Consider The Catering Equipment


The first step to starting a successful catering business is to think about the catering equipment you will need. You will likely need a larger refrigerator and freezer to hold the ingredients you need for your menu, and you will need to think about investing in a gas griller or fryer to save money on electricity bills. 

You will also likely need equipment such as a chafing dish to keep food warm while serving and transporting it. If you will be selling baked goods to your customers, you will need to purchase catering equipment such as cake mixers and dough mixers. You should also look at having food display warmers available to keep your baked goods warm and fresh for clients. 


Notice Your Niche


In order for a from-home catering business to flourish, you need to find a niche. As a smaller catering business, you might not be able to cater for an entire wedding, but you could offer your services to hen parties and wedding showers. You could also sell a specific type of food, such as homemade pies and pastries, or healthy salads for office workers. 

You should perform some market research into the catering menus that restaurants are offering and base your menus on this, or you could create your own unique menu based on your skills. The pricing can be a little difficult for home-based catering businesses, but you should create a price list determined by where you live, the cost of ingredients and use of catering equipment, the time the dishes take to prepare, and the profits you plan on making. 


Develop A Business Plan


After finding your niche, you will need to move on to developing a business plan, which should include a list of catering equipment you will need to function, all the permits and licenses you will need, where your business will be situated, and any additional costs you might incur. This plan will be shared with your bank or lender to show how you will make money to repay them. 

Having a sound business plan will also help to guide you along the path to success, and will ensure that you follow each step accordingly. Be sure to update it as your needs change so that your bank knows of any further finances you might need. When creating your business plan, you should create a name as well as branding and marketing plans. 


Build Relationships With Vendors


Starting a small catering business involves so much more than simply cooking delicious food. Often you will be expected to supply linens, tables, utensils, and packaging for food that is being taken home. Building relationships with other vendors who offer these services can help you to improve the services you offer to customers, boosting your reputation. 

Not only will these vendors be useful for when you are catering for events, but for those times when you need to sell takeaways during a quieter season. Vendors who sell customised packaging for takeaways will help you to establish your brand and continue operations to drive sales. These vendors might also have events lined up which could use your services. 


Make The Most Of Marketing


A small, home-based catering business needs a large amount of marketing, and social media can help drastically with this. You can take photographs of how your catering equipment is used and cleaned each day to showcase your stringent hygiene standards, and of course, share photographs of your food and menu to encourage people to use your services. 

You can also list your business on free directories and create a website allowing people to order online. Be sure to post regularly on social media to improve your online presence, as small businesses flourish using these platforms. Starting with the right catering equipment and a sound business plan will ensure that you are on your way to success with your home catering business. 

If you would like to start your own small catering business from home, contact CaterWize today to find out how we can help you.