Before launching into the arena of catering, entrepreneurs should decide on what type of catering they feel comfortable with. If the catering team thrive in cheerful, sociable atmospheres than it may be an excellent idea to specialize in special events. Most special events are include everything from 5 to 12-course meals, dinnerware, table cloths, etc. Plus, be there to assist and work with whoever is in charge of the decorations, florists, and musicians.
Differences Between Catering Types
If considering embarking on the operation of a catering company that deals primarily with weddings, lavish parties, receptions, etc, the entrepreneur must have the finances and patience. Building up a good reputation in this line of work can be exhausting without proper dedication and perseverance.
When operating a special events catering company, each event must be handled with the utmost care. Every single item on the checklist must be checked off as completed and successful. The menus must have the desired dishes, with no errors, coordinated with the perfect colors, patterns, and textures, and that is just the menus! A good number of small special event catering companies fail due to the lack of financing and not having an eye for perfection.
The average person only gets married once or twice in a lifetime. So just imagine the stress that will be put on the catering company to make that day as special as possible.
Business events are a little less stressed, but then again it depends on whether the CEO or the vice president of the company will be attending. The owner will need to look forward to large corporate parties, perhaps during the holidays. Smaller business meetings perhaps are the bulk of their services.
When companies have hired a large number of people and are in the middle of training them, the organization typically will arrange to feed them. So there is a huge market in this area. With this type of catering, an eye for perfection may not be as much as a need, but on the other hand, the occasion is not as jolly. The people that will be served will be more serious and alert, especially if the meeting objective consists of some type of business merger.
Styles of Catering
If the entrepreneur is new to the catering industry, starting out with industrial or mobile catering may be the best thing. With mobile catering serving in locations such as fairs would be the norm. Schools, factories and hospitals are considered industrial catering. Taking the food to the institution than leaving it for the guests to serve themselves is normal practice.
There are a few different styles of catering, listed below are a few styles of service:
- Butlered Hors d’ Oeuvres
Reception style service generally serves finger food. The food will be seen as laying the buffet style on the table. With this style, guests will serve themselves by standing over the dish. Butlered Hors d’ Oeuvres service requires servers to deliver the food to the guests.
The food served is finger food, which is placed on small trays. The server circulates throughout the room, when her/his tray is empty they return back into the kitchen for more. Most people are quite familiar with buffet service. The food is laid out on tables and the guests help themselves. And then there is the hand service. With this style, there is one server for every two people and the server places a dish in front of the seated guest.
Prior to opening a catering business, there are a few licenses that the inspiring entrepreneur will need. Regardless, of the state that the business will be opened in there are rules in that state that the entrepreneur must adhere to. If the name of the business is called Austin Catering or Catering by the Seaside, regardless, it will need different licenses.
Food establishment and alcohol licenses will be needed in order to operate the business. If the company will not be dealing with alcohol then obviously the alcohol license will not be needed. Next, the facility will need to purchase a grease trap permit. And lastly, if the company plans on advertising via billboards, a signage license will be required, along with a zoning license and a building permit.