How to start a home-based catering business

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By RandyYoumans

Here are the steps for starting a home-based catering company if you’re ready.

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Choose the type of catering that you would like to offer

To find out what permits are required and the laws that you must follow, contact your state’s occupational licensing or health department.

Your business structure should be set up. A limited liability company is a way to protect your personal assets and the business. If you are working with another person, consider forming a partnership.

For liability insurance, contact your county or city to cover your business in the event of a sick employee.

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Prepare a business plan.

  • Marketing plan and marketing materials
  • Make your own menu. A set of items that clients can mix and match can simplify your job.
  • Professional cookware, dishware and other food-preparation tools are available.
  • Get wholesale orders from vendors for your food and other supplies. Send them flyers to promote your business to other vendors.
  • Create a system to collect and respond to referrals and testimonials
  • Offer discounts to referrers

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How to Start a Catering Service Home-Based Business

You should make a few decisions before you dive into the catering industry.

What will you be focusing on? You might be more interested in cocktail parties, for example.

Do you prefer to cook at the client’s home or deliver the food? This could require special equipment to preserve the food during transport.

Is it legal in your state to operate a home-based catering business? If so, what permits or inspections are required? To be approved for a home-based catering company, contact your state’s occupational licensing office or health department.

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Once you have determined these things, gather the equipment and supplies you need. There are strict rules regarding food handling in most states that allow home-based catering. You may have to purchase a set of cooking tools, pots, and pans that can be used only for business purposes. This may also apply to food ingredients. You might need a separate kitchen in some cases.