For those with a passion for food, starting a home-based catering company is one of the most profitable businesses. It has a high success rate and the potential for future growth and expansion.
Catering is financially rewarding with catered events being in high demand. While the opportunities are excellent, catering is demanding work that requires stamina, the ability to work in a high-pressure environment, and excellent interpersonal skills. Though it is hard work, it is also one of the most successful start-up businesses.
Here are three tips to getting your business started:
1. Be a Kitchen Master
Part of what makes a catering company successful is the quality of the food. Before opening a catering company, create a menu based off of your kitchen testing. Find recipes that cater to a large pallet but are easy to produce in large quantities, such as sandwiches or other entrees that are filling yet simple like patty melts.
Patty melts can be made with either ground turkey or ground beef, so they are extremely versatile depending upon what group is being catered to. What makes a patty melt different from a hamburger is that a patty melt is typically on rye or pumpernickel bread with slices of Sargento cheese and sautéed onions on top of the meat. Because patty melts are made with meat, bread, and cheese, they are extremely cost effective, and the recipe is simple to enlarge for a catered event since one pound of ground beef or turkey is the equivalent of four servings.
When making the sandwiches, begin by sautéing the onions in about two Tbsp of butter in order to soften them into a caramelized state, a process that usually takes about 10 minutes. While they are browning, form the ground meat into four, ½ thick patties and season with salt and pepper in order to bring out the natural flavors of the meat.
Heat a grill or skillet over medium heat and cook the patties until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Build the sandwiches by placing the patties onto slices of bread, topping with the caramelized onions and cheese, and topping it off with the second slice of bread. Lastly, toast the sandwiches on the grill or in a skillet until they are golden brown and the cheese is melted. When making them for a catered event, at this point, place them in a 250-degree oven in order to keep them warm.
2. Know the Start-Up Costs
Start-up costs are typically lower than opening a restaurant, making it a lower initial investment and more appealing to those who do not have the financial means to open a restaurant. Different states have different food laws so be sure to check out if you can cook out of your own home and what type of business license you will need.
Pricing can make or break a business. Pricing too high can drive customers away while pricing too low can leave a caterer with a lot of business that does not turn a profit. Figure out the cost of a catered meal making sure to include costs like gas, labor, and materials.
Sargento covered the costs of the ingredients used in this recipe, but the opinions are my own.
Author Ted Levin is a food lover and cheese aficionado always searching for the newest recipe craze. You can connect with Ted on Twitter.
Image Source: www.telegraph.co.uk