Going into business is always a risky thing, but it can pay off big if it is something that you love. The food industry is littered with tales of great cooks who loved to make meals for friends but couldn’t quite cut it when it came to opening up a restaurant. Luckily there is a mid-point between the commitment of making a restaurant pay for itself and going back to simply cooking for friends and family.
Catering is a great way to indulge in your love of cooking, make some cash at it, but not get trapped in the costs of rent, equipment and keeping the doors open that a restaurant can entail. But there are some tool of the trades, from vacuum packaging machine to the right pastry knife, that can make a successful catering business easier. Here are three tools we think any decent catering business should be investing in to keep their catering company running smoothly.
Getting It Legal
The first tool you need is probably not one you even considered, and that is a good lawyer. This is because there are many laws concerning food safety and you need to make sure you are up to date on all of them. You may not need them to be on call, you aren’t planning to be the kind of baker who puts files in your cake and sends them to the local prison are you?
But since the food and safety laws differ from city to city, you may need to know quickly what the rules are for serving food at public functions in a nearby city. Clients won’t be able to tell you but the last thing you need to build a good reputation as a caterer is getting shut down by the local law.
Home or Business Kitchen?
Some cities require any type of food that is sold commercially, including from a catering company, to be created in a commercially licensed kitchen. This ensures it has been inspected on a regular basis and is following the rules for the creation of safe food. Your city may not require it, but what if your client is hosting an event in a city that does?
This is why for many companies the professional kitchen is preferred, and that can mean an extra cost. It really does depend on what you are providing. If you simply bake cupcakes for local street fairs, then you may be fine cooking them in your home. But if you plan to upscale at some point, starting with a fully functional and professional kitchen might be a good move from the start.
Getting it There
No matter what kind of catering business you have, you will need decent transportation to get your food to its final destination. This might mean investing in a vehicle that is designed to transport food items. You have to remember that it isn’t just the food, you will likely need to bring with you all sorts of serving trays and other types of equipment for the event. Since breaking down while on your way to an event is a good way to end your business quickly, get a vehicle you know is dependable.