The idea of starting a home catering business is simply alluring. It is a great source of income but it also comes with a lot of challenges.
There are many advantages of starting a home catering business. One of them is that you will save money on renting kitchen space. You will be able to work in a space you are comfortable with without having to pay rent for it. Like many other home businesses, a home based catering business comes with its own challenges. For instance, you may struggle with meeting health codes especially if you own pets. Another challenge you might face is competing with other caterers who have commercial kitchens. Below are some of the ways that you can start and make your business successful.
How To Start A Home Catering Business
How To Scale Your Business
Since you are a startup, it’s probably best if you start small. Take gradual steps to expand your business and take it to the next level one step at a time rather than investing all your capital into a large scale business and see it fail. Not only will you lose a large sum of money when you invest big and fail, but you will also have nothing to show for all your hard work.
You can start as a part-time caterer from your home. It takes roughly $1, 000- $10, 000 to start a home based catering business but this depends on how much capital you have.
Running a home catering business has several tax advantages. Your personal expenses should be separate from your business expenses. For instance, your business utility bills should not be mixed with your home utility bills. These bills can be written off as a deduction. You should consult a trusted and credible accountant who can help you understand the tax advantages you stand to gain.
How To Meet Health And Safety Codes
To avoid facing penalties, you have to ensure that your home catering business meets health and safety codes. Since health and safety codes differ from one city to another, you have to check with your local health department to determine what you should and shouldn’t do.
First, you should contact your local zoning office to ensure that you are allowed to operate a home based catering business. They will likely send someone to come and inspect your premises to determine if it’s safe to operate your business from there.
You won’t receive approval if you plan to operate your catering business from your home kitchen; you have to build a separate commercial kitchen. This kitchen should not be used to prepare family meals.
You need a food service operating license before you can start your business. You can get one from your local health authority.
Your commercial kitchen has to meet the necessary Fire Marshall requirements which include emergency exits and proper ventilation.
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How To Create Your Commercial Kitchen
Formulate a solid plan to create a commercial kitchen that is separate from your home. You can speak to interior designers who specifically design commercial kitchens so that they can help you arrange your commercial kitchen equipment properly.
You don’t have to erect a whole new structure to use as your kitchen. You can use your guest house if you have one or your garage. Just make sure that it has access to gas, water, ventilation and electricity so as to make it a fully operational kitchen.
How To Get Equipment And Supplies
The type of supplies and equipment you need largely depends on the type of operation you plan to start. You will need these basic pieces of equipment to kick start your home catering business:
- Commercial fridge
- Steam table pans
- Food carriers
- Kitchen worktables
- Commercial dishwasher
- Disposable catering supplies
Considering that you are a startup and you probably don’t have a lot of disposable capital to purchase all your pieces of equipment at once, you need to find a practical solution to acquire your equipment.
Leasing is a popular method of acquiring equipment because it does not require a lot of money to get started. It also has the following benefits:
- Tax advantages
- Free equipment upgrades
- Maintenance and repair
- Access to state-of-the-art equipment.
For more information on leasing commercial kitchen equipment for your home catering business, simply CLICK HERE.