Starting A Catering Business On A Budget
It can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000 to start a catering business. While that sounds like a lot of money, there are several things that you can do to cut your costs. Check out these tips to learn how you can start a catering business on a budget.
Operate from Home
You don't need a massive kitchen and office space when you first start your business. Instead, operate your business from your home to get it off the ground. You can rent kitchen space for event-day cooking as needed. Once you're making enough money, you can find a permanent location for your business and fill it with the latest restaurant equipment supplies.
Purchase Supplies in Bulk
You'll get a better deal on things, such as dishes, silverware, and glasses, if you purchase them in bulk from the manufacturer or a discount store. Start by purchasing white place settings — the color works well with pretty much any event theme. Then, slowly add to your collection as you make more money. Also, visit your local restaurant equipment and supplies store to purchase serving dishes and food warmers. You may be able to negotiate a better deal if you purchase all of your serving supplies at once.
Take Advantage of Sales
Grocery stores run sales every week, and you need to take advantage of them as much as possible. Watch closely for sales on meat and any other foods that you can freeze to use at later events. If possible, pair your sale items with coupons to make your money stretch even further.
Limit Your Menu
When you're first starting, you don't want to have to worry about making a large variety of dishes. It gives you too much to think about and limits the amount of food you can buy in bulk. So make a menu that has a couple of main dishes, up to four side dishes, and a few dessert options. Let your clients choose the options they prefer and go from there. This way, you don't end up buying bulk amounts of chicken only to discover all of your clients want steak. When you stock up on the ingredients needed for your menu items, you know they'll be used.
The key to starting a catering business on a budget is starting small. As your business grows, expand your menu, find a permanent location, and purchase all of the restaurant equipment and supplies you need.