Starting a home catering business

Written by julie boehlke
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Starting a home catering business
eat (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Starting a home catering business involves creating a plan that will establish how to properly launch and maintain the business. Substantial capital, supplies, advertising and transportation are essential in getting the business up and running. Once these tools are in place the catering business can have a successful start.


The significance of starting a home catering business would be to effectively serve customers their food and drinks while maintaining the highest level of customer service. Initially, having a solid business plan that outlines both short-term and long-term goals will be able to create a focus for the owner to see where the strengths and weaknesses of the business are. A business plan should include what the business will involve, how long it is expected before a profit will be turned and where money received from clients and services will be disbursed. Having substantial capital to start the business will ensure that kitchen equipment, food storage and preparation tools, and delivery tools and trucks can be purchased. Hiring a business manager to help keep track of financials and ordering supplies is essential, as is a good cook and serving staff who are personable and work well under pressure.

Starting a home catering business
business plan (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)


Starting a home catering business lets a person create, cook and prepare food from her home kitchen. Making money and managing a business from home are benefits. Giving an experienced or aspiring chef the chance to showcase speciality foods and homemade recipes for clients, a home-based catering business allows her to get her name recognised in public. Offering a specialised group of entrées and appetizers will also help boost the clientele and increase revenue. Running the catering business from home also offers the convenience of being able to prepare the food there and have all supplies, as well as the administrative office, in the same location.

Starting a home catering business
chef (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)


Running a home catering business easily fulfils the tasks of taking and delivering large food orders. Initially, a client will call the owner of the catering business to request what is needed for the event—this will address how many guests to cook for, what types of food are desired, location and time. It is up to the owner or manger of the business to get a team gathered to plan the prices and food items. Food will be made at home, packed up and delivered to the event location, where it will be reheated and then served. Events may be buffet-style, in which guests help themselves, or the meals can be served to by a wait staff.

Starting a home catering business
food (Jupiterimages/ Images)


An owner should have the financial means to start and maintain the business, therefore a cost analysis should be completed first. Kitchen equipment, including large and small appliances, pans and dishes, generally cost between £3,250 and £16,250. Catering trucks that are equipped with refrigeration service and proper storage for tables as well as dishes and supplies can run between £22,750 and £32,500 each, brand new. Serving equipment such as trays, buffet servers, dishes, utensils, coffee supplies and other small appliances can be expected to cost upward of £4,550. General office supplies, advertising, licensing and inspection fees can be expected in the £3,250 range. These costs can be reduced if used equipment or discounted items are purchased. Additional staff can run anywhere between £6 to £13 per hour for the length of the catering event, including preparation and cleanup. The owner needs to obtain a commercial food service business license and be prepared to have routine health inspections.

Starting a home catering business
appliances (Jupiterimages/ Images)


Home catering business have the potential to be profitable, with successful events and steady business. Building a successful clientele is important when starting and as the business grows—this will ensure that it remains busy throughout slow seasons such as the midwinter months. Hiring additional staff during the busy spring, summer and holiday seasons will allow the business owner to take on more jobs and eventually make more money.

Starting a home catering business
serve (Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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