It’s a thriving industry which can be scaled and tailored to whatever best suits your skills and situation.
This article is intended to serve as a step-by-step guide to show you how to get started.
These are things that can give you a better sense of the professional landscape and either confirm or challenge your commitment to moving ahead.
As obvious as it may seem, there is no better way to prepare yourself for the realities of making it on your own.
“It’s a very special area, it’s not like an office job, it’s more like art—you have to really love it.”Jean-Marc believes this passion is necessary because almost everyone who enters the foodservice industry greatly underestimates the amount of time, effort, and expense it requires to be successful.
This is a lesson he has learned personally.“Many years ago when I was in France, my brother (also a chef) and I opened a small restaurant together—30 seats so not a big operation.This means there’s room for everyone who has some skill and hustle.Large companies can leverage their ability to scale to any size event and cover multiple events at the same time; smaller outfits can push their personal touch for a competitive edge.Are you a target-based caterer, meaning you specialize in certain events like weddings, corporate lunches, or social fundraising events?Or are you a cuisine-based company that specializes in vegan and vegetarian dishes, Southeast Asian food, or catering for some of the more common food allergies and restrictions?Warren Dietel also cautions anyone thinking of entering the business against getting swept up in the glamorous portrayal they may have seen on television, as the reality of the industry is altogether different.“Catering is not for the faint of heart, this is a hard business,” he explains.“You can’t get into this thinking this is what you see on the Food Network.I think the cooking networks have done a fabulous job of showcasing the glamorous side of what the foodservice and special event industry is, but at the end of the day, it takes hard work, grit, and determination to be successful.”If you are driven by that burning desire to start a catering business and are prepared for the work and accompanying expenses, the catering industry will offer some distinct advantages over starting a traditional sit-down restaurant.Before you get started, take this quiz to help you think about what it takes to start your own business.When you’re first starting out, you will likely be a very small operation and that makes it especially important to establish your niche in the marketplace.Large corporate events like Jean-Marc’s Urban Source Creative Catering can scale up or down depending on the order.