All of us have enjoyed food in marriages, and a few of us even have an idea about the worth of a whole marriage's catering order. Yes, it can be highly profitable. Now, as this business doesn't require very heavy investment, there's great competition in this market, and making a way through can be challenging without the right planning.
In truth, catering is much more than just cooking. If you want to satisfy your clients and maintain strong relationships to get orders from them, you also need to be perfect throughout your job. To get your catering business through the initial phase, you need 12-50 people to accept orders. You can also invest a big capital if you want to start on a large scale and also if you're confident enough that your business will be a successful one.
Are you wondering how to start a catering business in India? We're here to guide you through every step of the way.
Did You Know?
The Indian catering industry is worth ₹15,000-20,000 crores, and the approximate annual growth is 25-30%
How to Start a Catering Business?
Develop a Proper Business Plan and Finalise Your Niche
Your catering business model should be based on your availability to pick up orders, space to set up your kitchen and storage facility for your equipment and groceries. Once you have identified your potential clients, your niche and analysed the market, it is time to consider the other aspects. If you are considering a full-time catering service, then you'll require a kitchen and storage space. It's also necessary to get a separate spot near or in front of your shop to set up tables and chairs for your customers in case they want to sample the food.
If you're just planning to begin an occasional catering business, it is essential to consider a plan which allows you to rent the kitchen daily for other caterers. This allows you to cut costs and work during weekends or a few days per month, and also it will bring additional income as well.
Also Read: Explore The Profitable Food Business Ideas
Understand How Much Kitchen Space You Want and Its Rent
The minimum kitchen space that one will require, even in the case of a small-scale catering business with fewer employees, is 80-100 square Feet. Any order that serves more than 25 persons will require an area of more than 100 square feet. The kitchen you set up could bring in more customers because of the efficiency and hygiene of food preparation. The cost of these kitchens will vary for each location. However, the average rent for a 100 square feat kitchen area could be anywhere from about ₹8000 to ₹10,000, with the location being an important aspect in deciding the rent.
Determine Your Financial Sources
The next step must be identifying your financial resources and the best way to use them. You must plan for on-site equipment rentals, rental costs, licences and other expenditures. Use your research skills to find the best sources of capital that are available to start your business. It could come from other investors, your own money, or the bank's loan.
A typical budget for starting a catering business in India should be around ₹20 lakhs. This covers the initial costs, kitchen rent, transportation, licences and permits needed. The budget can be adjusted depending on your personal preferences. It is also important to keep track of the smaller expenses such as the cost for table decorations, napkins purchased, tableware, etc.
You can get help from a bank if in case you need a loan. You have to present them with your business strategy and revenue generation plan. There are numerous such schemes provided by various banks to allow you to get an easy loan.
List the Most Important Equipment First and Purchase Them
When you've got enough money, it is time to put it into your business. Refrigerators, storage cabinets, fryers, stoves, pre-painter stainless steel tables and two-compartment sinks are the main needs for a basic kitchen. Beyond these, the following are the kitchen equipment you'll need:
- Cambro, food insert pan
- Serving equipment
- Cooking oven
- Coffee/beverage making machines
- Plastic wraps for keeping the cooked food safe
- Tinfoil papers
- Containers that can be disposed of for storage
- Garbage Bins
Choose the Best Foods to Offer to Your Customers
Your food offerings are more than just nourishment. It will become your brand. Consider what you enjoy eating and cooking, and cherish each possibility to add better and better taste to them. Then, take a look at the costs of both the ingredients and labour. The cost of vegetables is lower than that of meat. However, vegan food may require more time to prepare. Ideally, your food ingredients should be affordable to generate profit from mass-cooking.
Try the food! Involve your family and friends who are ideally from the area to which you're hoping to sell. Offer them samples and ask questions about flavour, rice, appearance, etc. You can also ask if they had better kinds of food from any other caterer in the local area than yours. Also, government loan schemes in India can help you to invest in proper food if your budget is low.
Make a Proper Menu
After you've chosen the kind of foods you are planning to offer to your customers, the next step is to prepare a proper menu. This is a critical part of your business. If you can, offer your customers a number of varieties to pick from. The majority of caterers offer tiered pricing structures that vary in food varieties and offer discounts on bulk orders.
Network With Other Caterers
Follow businesses on social media who you believe would consider your service, particularly if there is potential to bring in repeat customers. Take business cards to any events you attend. If you receive an inquiry regarding your catering services, share the details, ask for support and also invest money in social media advertising, if you can.
Some More Vital Tips
Always dress professionally and do not dress in clothing that is stained by food. While working, always take an extra shirt or apron to avoid the possibility of spills. Concentrate on providing a small menu of exceptional food instead of a wide selection of food items. Of course, if your customer is requesting something specific, try to meet the request.
Some Key Points Related to Your Business
Contact your insurance company whenever you have a doubt with regards to your company insurance coverage. If you use your home as a location for business and your car to conduct business purposes, your insurance coverage might change. Find out whether you require liability insurance in case of an accident or any other loan that can cover you better during crisis situations.
Catering isn't an easy business, but if you're confident with your responsibilities and planning, you may attain success in less time. Most importantly, you don't need to push too hard in getting initial clients. If you cook tasty food, maintain good business ethics, and most importantly, show generosity with the pricing, you can get your catering business reaching heights in no time.
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