If you’re thinking about expanding your café business to offer catering services for events then you could be opening up a huge profit avenue. However, you’ll need to check that you have enough equipment, resources, and staff to offer food on this scale. Look through this checklist to see that you’ve covered all bases.
You will need extra staff to prepare, transport and possibly serve food at the other end. Ask your current staff if they have any friends who are looking for casual hours as you won’t be able to guarantee work.
Costings work very differently when it comes to catering rather than day to day café activity. Research how to cost for a catering event before you set prices.
You might need to invest in extra equipment including a new commercial fridge freezer and extra storage. Any food made in advance will need to be stored in addition to the café’s normal food stock. An extra fridge solely reserved for the catering stock will help keep the two activities separate.
You may need to invest in a vehicle to transport food. If this isn’t something you already have for your business it will need to comply with food hygiene advice and regulations.
Don’t start a catering service without checking out the market first. How many other cafes in your vicinity offer such a service? Do you have plenty of customers who make decisions about catering to their own company? Will you focus on personal events such as birthdays and weddings or corporate catering? Make sure your social media channels are up and running with a good following so you have an audience ready when you start.
You may need extra finance to get the venture started. If you haven’t already got a business loan you could consider this. Alternatively, you could seek out an investor and run the catering side of things under a different trading arm.
With a bit of careful planning, there’s no reason why adding event catering services onto your café business won’t be a great profit spinner. Do plenty of market research first and make sure you are fully equipped to go ahead.