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How To Start a Restaurant-Based Catering Business

How To Start a Restaurant-Based Catering Business

Starting a catering business is a great way to expand your restaurant and increase your revenue. Not only does this bring in additional income, but it also helps you gain more exposure outside of your typical dining-in customers. However, starting a catering business requires some planning and effort. Keep reading to get a look at the steps for how to start a restaurant-based catering business.

Define Your Catering Niche

The first step to starting a catering business is to define your niche. This means identifying the type of catering services you want to offer and the target market you want to serve. You can choose to offer catering services for corporate events, weddings, or private parties. Once you have identified your niche, you can then tailor your marketing efforts to attract the right clients. For example, if you decide to focus on corporate events, you can promote your services to businesses in the area.

Develop Your Catering Menu

Your catering menu should be different from your regular restaurant menu. You want to offer a unique selection of dishes that are suitable for catering events. Consider creating a menu that offers a range of options, including vegetarian dishes, gluten-free options, and kid-friendly meals. Your menu should be easy to read, with clear pricing and portion sizes. Once you have developed your menu, you can start marketing your catering services to potential clients.

Purchase the Right Equipment

Starting a catering business will require some additional equipment beyond what you have in your restaurant kitchen. You will need to invest in containers, chafing dishes, serving utensils, and transport containers to make deliveries. These are especially important when you’re keeping food warm during cold winter months, serving at a formal event, or hoping to entice potential customers. Having the right equipment shows that you’re prepared and trustworthy.

Establish Your Catering Brand

Your catering business should have its own identity and brand that is separate from your restaurant, just like your menu and equipment. You will need to create a logo, website, and marketing materials that speak to your target market. Consider hiring a graphic designer to help you create a cohesive brand identity that will attract the right clients. You should also create a marketing plan that includes social media, email marketing, and collaborations with event planners. The more exposure you have, the more success you’ll enjoy.

Hire the Right Staff

Starting a catering business will require additional staff beyond your restaurant employees. You will need to hire catering staff who are experienced in delivering food, setting up events, and providing excellent customer service. You may also need to hire a specialized chef to manage your catering kitchen or a salesperson to promote your services.

Starting a restaurant-based catering business is a new adventure for many professionals in the food industry, but the risk is often worth it. You can increase the revenue and visibility of your restaurant while serving more customers and expanding your brand.

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