How to make the most of your catering business

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

When you start a catering company, you do it for the love of food and the love of being involved in an event no one will ever forget. And you know that in order to do that, it’s going to take a lot of hard work, skilled staff and long hours. You may even want to put your own spin on a classic catering company and add a certain flair that clients wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

But first, of course, you’re going to need to know the basics of how to make your company a success. And that relies entirely on how you handle each event. So, to help you out, here is some advice on how to make the most of your catering business.

How to make the most of your catering business

Get to work as soon as you get the job

The moment you receive confirmation of a booking, you need to start working. Sure, the job may be in three or four months’ time, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to procrastinate. You need to make sure that when the day comes, you have absolutely everything you need. You should call up your catering suppliers and ensure they’re ready with all the stock that you could possibly need. Leaving supplier orders to the last minute could leave you without specific food or beverage options that your client is expecting.

So, get on the phone and start ordering everything from the ingredients for the meals you plan to make to booking the bartenders you need to make the specialised cocktails your client has requested. Each and every event you cater for needs to be perfect and it won’t be perfect if you have missing ingredients or aren’t able to deliver on what the client has asked for.  

Request all the information you could possibly need

After you’ve been given the job, compile a list of all the questions you may have about the event, the guests and the clients. What kind of event is it? Is it a sweet 16th? A small and intimate wedding? Or a large corporate event? You’ll need to know the number of guests and whether there will be children in attendance. If there are going to be little ones, you may need a separate menu for them. And, most importantly, you need to know whether any guests have special dietary and nutritional requirements. You don’t want to serve someone a plate of food that could end them up in the hospital. Or put a steak in front of a vegan. You need to prepare in advance to make separate meals for these people so that they can also enjoy the event as much as everyone else.  

Ensure your staff are professional and know what they’re doing

If you’ve been in the business for a long period of time, then you most likely have staff you regularly use. You know you can count on these people and that they follow instructions and are always professional. However, if you’re just starting out or your catering company tends to hire different people for each event, then you need to be extra careful and very strict. Don’t just hire your best friend’s brother because you know he could really use the money.

You need to interview every person who will be waiting on tables and serving drinks at this event. You have to test them before you can possibly let them work at your event. What if they can’t carry multiple plates at a time and have to make 23 trips to the kitchen? Or what if they have terrible balance and spill something on a guest? You don’t want that.  

Leave them with a good taste in their mouth

Remember that the end of the evening is just as important as the beginning of the event. Yes, your staff is tired, but so are the guests. And dessert is also likely to make your guests look forward to relaxing in bed with full stomachs. So, don’t forget the importance of delicious coffee from your Alegria coffee machine! Be a good boss and make sure your staff have a cup as well.