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Starting a Catering Business

One of the key benefits of starting a catering business is that, unlike a restaurant, it does not tie up a lot of your capital in a fixed location for service. In fact, if you take the right steps, you can create a catering business plan that is not only well positioned to scale up when sales call for it, but prepared to scale down to a minimal level of cost when sales dry up.

Kitchen Space

Like a restaurant, caterers have a need for kitchen space. However, at least at the outset, it may be best to rent the minimum kitchen space you need. In this scenario, you should look for restaurants, other caterers, hotels, or any other business who sometimes have idle, but legal, kitchen facilities. Partner with then to use their kitchen space on a per hour or per day basis when you need it, if available. If you have enough options, you can be reasonably assured of your ability to handle large orders or multiple orders on the same day during your busiest times.

Expanding Your Space

Choose to expand your own kitchen space only when you absolutely need to. For example, if you no longer are using your partners' space during just peak times, but find it is needed 75% of the time, you are ready to rent more space. If you plan ahead, you may be able to rent more space in the same building, either on the same floor or another. If you cannot do this, look for a new space in a strategic location, perhaps closer to where your new orders are coming from than your first space.


So much of the value of catering work is in hiring a company that takes over the hassle of responsibility for the food, drinks and flow of an event. It should not matter to a customer that your company is not an expert in every cuisine, baked goods, cakes, and more. As long as you are clear on your specialty and always control its quality, you can cut down on the equipment you need to launch by subcontracting certain types of work, like the baking, to another area business. Depending on your expected volume, you may find it makes sense to have just one van and to rent additional vans as needed, for example.

The first step to starting a catering business is to develop your catering business plan. Growthink provides products and services to help you develop a professional business plan and turn your dream into reality.

Finish Your Plan Today With Our Quick & Easy Template!

If you want to create your own business plan quickly and easily, we now offer a business plan template that allows you to develop a professional business plan in hours or days, not weeks or months.

Visit this link to learn more:

OR, We Can Develop Your Plan For You

Our professional business plan consultants can create your entire business plan for you. We will make sure your business plan is sound and ready for investors so you can continue to focus on running your business. Over the past decade, we have created business plans for hundreds of catering businesses.

To speak with a Growthink business plan consultant, call 800-506-5728 or complete the form below.


Growthink helped birth my company. They got to know both me and my vision. They helped ‘smack me upside the head’ to help make sure I was realistic, about meeting expectations. As a result, they helped craft, draft and construct the right written presentation. As a result, I got my funding.

Jeffrey Ullman
Founder & CEO
Great Expectations

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