The “Nitty-Gritty” of a Catering Business
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The “Nitty-Gritty” of a Catering Business

31 July 2014

A catering business is an interesting career with long term growth prospects. As a food service operation it is different from hotel businesses and does not require standard hours of operation or a predictable schedule.

outdoor party catering

The flexibility of a catering business is an attractive highlight. The advantages are:

  • The working hours vary according to the event
  • Concrete guest counts help to plan efficiently and therefore it is more predictable than a restaurant
  • Staff are hired as per the events booked

The Start Up

Before jump starting the business, a level of experience and confidence needs to be acquired. Start with small events like hosting a family reunion or a church picnic. Once awareness is created, it is easy to handle catering for weddings and other larger functions

family reunion outdoor catering ideas

Try the following cycle to mature yourself as a fine caterer

  • Work for a caterer prior to opening your own business
  • Observe the set up and service at various catering events
  • Assist other caterers in planning smaller events such as holiday parties, receptions etc
  • Gain onsite experience by working as a personal chef for smaller events

picnic outdoor catering ideas

Concept and Theme

To enhance the marketability of a catering business work on the basis of a theme and map out the branches  accordingly.

Choose the Focal Area

Understand the following elements where the catering business needs to excel

  • Type of food (gourmet, comfort food, BBQ, ethnic, desserts, locally sourced etc)
  • Target audience
  • Cooking equipment to sustain the theme
  • Pricing strategy
  • Venue
glasses for outdoor catering

Food Trucks

Logistics play a vital role in establishing a catering business. Decide on whether the business will be run from your own location or use the space offered by customers. There should  be additional space to store and transport  products and cooking equipment, a truck maybe  necessary.

Selecting Staff

Operations will run smooth with combined skills of all staff from stewards and servers to managers. Some helpful suggestions:

  • The owner should preferably not be the chef
  • Thoroughly check the competence of  all employees before hiring
outdoor catering dubai staff


To spread information about your business and its unique selling points:

  • Create a logo expressing your theme
  • Create menus, brochures and other material to wow potential clients
  • Create a website and social media accounts
  • Advertise in local event service listings

Once these basics are in place you can start promoting your professional catering services. Upload photos and information about your business on social media channels and websites.

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