Setting up a catering business - documents

Setting up a catering business – to do list

Now that the doubt is dealt with and the decisions have been made, I am moving on to the logistics.

Between me now and me the professional caterer, there are many steps and things to consider. To make them into a more manageable action plan I’ve put together a list. There is nothing more satisfying than a good to do list!

  1. Premises
    • Where will I prepare the food?
    • Are there any requirements regarding the premises?
    • Do they need to get inspected / approved?
  2. The Legal and other boring stuff:
    • Should I register a company with HMRC?
    • Registering the business with Food Safety
    • Insurance and Liability
    • Licence – when do I need one?
  3. Training
    • Do I need any specific qualification?
  4. Food, Health and Safety:
    • What are the risks?
    • What processes to put in place to ensure food hygiene and minimise risks?
  5. Equipment:
    • What will I need?
    • Where can I get it from?
  6. All the bits to figure out:
    • What type of catering company do I want to run?
    • What will be my unique angle?
    • How will I stand out from competitors?
    • Will I deliver or offer collection only?
    • What is my target market?
  7. The suppliers:
    • What products will I need?
    • How best to find the suppliers?
  8. The menu:
    • What foods do I want to offer?
    • What about the pricing?
  9. The profits:
    • How do I manage my costs?
    • How to ensure that I make a profit?
  10. The marketing:
    • What will I need? ( business cards, menus, posters and other bits)?
    • How will I get to my target market?

Over the coming months I will be (slowly!) working my way through this list and write about it as I go.  I most likely won’t keep to the exact order of the list, but I’ll try to make it as clear as I can.

Exciting times ahead.

The doubt – can I actually do this..??

It’s been with me since I can remember. Accompanying every major decision I ever made, from choosing university, getting married, to deciding if I’m ready for a baby. The doubt. Am I ready? Can I do this? Is this the right choice or a mistake? Will I fail, and if I do, can I survive the failure? I don’t really mind this doubt. In all honesty, I have learnt to ignore it most of the time. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t have taken the step into any big change in my life. But this coming challenge has given me the biggest doubt to date. I love food. Food shopping, food cooking, food eating. And I love entertaining.  Nothing gets me as excited as planning a dinner party. For years now I’ve been wondering if there is any chance I could make a living from combining these passions.  But life took me on a different journey. I studied tourism, got a summer job at a marketing company, moved to London and joined a big media agency, which turned into a 6 years career in online marketing. Then I became a mum, and everything I knew about myself shifted.  I no longer cared about promotions, recognition, the next project. But at the same time I didn’t want my life to be all about nappies and baby talk. I have huge admiration for full time mums, but I felt that I was drowning under the ever growing nappy pile. And I realised that what I really want my son to have, is a fulfilled mummy , who didn’t compromise on her dreams. And the dream was to put food to work. I am also extremely lucky to have a husband who gives me not only moral support, in all my endeavours, but also, since  I went on maternity leave, financial support . And when time came for my maternity leave to finish, and for decisions to be made regarding my job situation, D encouraged me to do the unthinkable, leave the comfortable career in media, and try my strength in professional catering. So here I am. About to embark on one of the biggest journeys to date. A journey to start my own catering business, from the security of my kitchen. I’m as always filled with doubt and fear. Will I be good enough? Will people like my food? Will I get orders and deliver to expectations? But I am also filled with  amazing excitement and anticipation. I am finally doing this! I am making food my work. I might fail, but ohh, how I can’t wait to give it a go!

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