Opening a catering business is the most common choice for people who want to do culinary business. Apart from having flexibility in terms of time and capital, catering is also suitable for those who want a side business. How to start a catering business is also fairly easy.
This business is said to be easy to run because new production is carried out when there is an order. Owners easily measure how much capital to spend.
Interested in pursuing this business? Don’t miss this discussion, which thoroughly reviews the catering business.
Preparing to Open a Catering Business
Many people who run a catering business jump right in without making any prior planning. Generally, they think when they have cooking skills, it is enough to open a catering business. Even though it is small, a business still requires careful planning.
This planning is important so that the owner can assess the needs and internal capabilities.
For example, someone who runs a small-scale home catering, especially if he doesn’t have employees yet, certainly won’t be able to take too many orders. Why? The reason is because of the lack of manpower to work on the production process.
In contrast to the medium to large scale catering business, which is supported by more complex workforce, equipment, and management. Of course the owner can take more orders because of its greater production capability. Well, this is the importance of planning.
At the beginning, you should immediately determine what kind of catering you want to take. Whether it’s catering for office events, social events (gathering, social gathering, weddings, birthdays, etc.), or daily catering.
There are many forms of this business actually. A person can work on many segments if the resources and production capacity are adequate.
So, planning and identifying the type of catering is important at the beginning. This will serve as a benchmark for many things.
For example, procurement of raw materials, storage of raw materials, duration of the production process, and how much energy is spent to complete orders. Working capital really depends on how many orders come in.
How to Start a Catering Business
At the beginning, it was said that the first preparation to open a catering business was to plan and identify. The goal is to measure internal capabilities plus prepare a marketing strategy as well. Then, how do you start a good catering business?
Here are the steps you can follow:
1. Choosing a Catering Business
This step is placed in the first order not without reason, but to guide it to be more focused. There are many forms of this catering business in their respective scales. By studying each type, it will give a clearer picture of what will be carried out later.
Some forms of catering business are for example for celebration events (buffet/rice box), office events (rice box/buffet), healthy menu catering, or even home catering. There is also a catering business that sells kilos of side dishes. Focusing on one type first in the early stages can actually be the key to success.
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2. Doing Market and Price Research
Not everything that is cheap will be liked by people and bring profit. Prices are very dependent on costs, the market price for the same product, the price of raw materials, then also to whom the product is sold. All of this must be analyzed and known so that the products sold are not too expensive and not too cheap.
Catering business is very dependent on the prices of raw materials. For this reason, it is necessary to find suppliers who can provide good products at competitive prices.
Market research is needed to identify who is the target market. Knowledge of the target market is also useful as a reference when determining the selling price later.
3. Preparing Capital and Equipment
The advantage of running a catering business is the flexibility to manage capital and equipment. Order capacity can be adjusted to the existing capital. For example, if only enough funds are available to produce 50 boxes of rice packages, the maximum order is 50.
What if the order that comes in is more than that?
It is okay to increase capital either from loans or inject additional funds from personal savings, but with careful calculations. Don’t speculate if you’re not good at it. Procurement of equipment must be adjusted to production capacity.
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4. Promotion and Marketing Activities
There is no business that does not require a marketing and promotion strategy. How to start a catering business must also start with these two things. The marketing strategy is prepared based on existing data, namely who the target market is, what kind of product, how to communicate it, and what promotions will be made.
Take advantage of all channels both conventional and digital. Don’t forget the role of social media, OK?
The effect of social media is very large for the continuity of the catering business. A large exposure makes branding activities smoother. Even with the presence of e-commerce. Currently, many catering entrepreneurs are also marketing their business on this platform.
5. Preparing SOPs
Catering business is a type of business that has a production flow as one of its activities. SOPs need to be compiled so that there is no overlapping work for each employee.
Also so that production activities run smoothly and safely. This SOP starts from the purchase of raw materials, the storage process, cleaning, cooking preparation, cooking process, serving/packing, to delivery.
This SOP is also important to monitor the availability of raw materials and regulate the flow of their use. The FIFO (first in first out) system is the most suitable or commonly used in the catering business.
Then, SOPs can also be used to monitor the orderly smoothness of each job. That everyone does the job in the right way according to business needs.
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Setting up the Production Site
Home catering is generally done from the kitchen of each house. If the business is run from home or on a home scale, then some adjustments need to be made. This adjustment is needed to support the production process. Because there will be additional space for storage and production areas.
In order not to interfere with the internal activities of the household, adjustments need to be made. No need to completely remodel the kitchen location, but just adjust it so that the space for movement becomes more comfortable. Moreover, if the workforce is still from internal family members, there is no need to add too much space.
However, if the production capacity increases as the number of orders continues to increase, it is necessary to consider creating a separate production location from the house.
If there is still an area in the house or near the house that can be used then this can be chosen. But if there is no more space, of course it is necessary to rent a place that can be used as a kitchen for the production process.
An example of a successful catering business operating from a large kitchen is Berrykitchen.
Carrying an online ordering system for each menu, Berrykitchen has succeeded in becoming the first lunchbox startup in Indonesia. The profit achievement even reached 1.25 million US Dollars in 2015. Well, this concept can be imitated and developed, you know.
That was the discussion about how to start a catering business and how to prepare a production location. Because the core activity of this business is how to produce food, package it, ensure the portion is accurate, then send it.
Hope it is useful!