Starting a small catering business. Comments please?

JmesJmes subscriber Posts: 4
edited February 2009 in Selecting a Business
I came up with this idea after eating yet another tasteless meal in the company I work for
A lot of big firms use big catering services to feed their employees during lunch, but what about the medium/small companies?
How about starting a small catering service... just making home-made foods and maybe pastries, BUT! make it a small shop in an industrial area and offer small and medium businesses to feed their employees for lunch
Does anyone have any thoughts on this matter?
The costs involved?
The market?
I haven`t done any research on the subject, as this is really far from the type of business I`m looking to start... but would like to see people`s comments
Would help me see where my head`s at, and if I`m looking at things the right way
Thanks in advance
Jmes

Comments

  • jwatkinsjwatkins subscriber Posts: 11 Bronze Level Member
    What you`ve found is a perceived need. I don`t personally know of any small businesses that buys lunch for their employees except maybe during the holidays. A sandwich truck usually does well in areas like this.
  • JmesJmes subscriber Posts: 4
    Thanks for your replies.
    As I mentioned in my post, it was just an idea. and not 1 I would follow... I just wanted to see if my first analysis of the situation is a good one
    Your comments sure did help me look at things from different angles though, so thanks
    Jmes
  • mrfranchisemanmrfranchiseman subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Catering...
     
    Why not buy an existing company and then incorporate your ideas into the menu-easier than a Start up. Remember the seasonality, marketing effort, and cash flow cunch in lean times, not to mention companies cutting back on some of these discretionary expenses......
     
    mrfranchiseman.com
  • Nick25Nick25 subscriber Posts: 0

    Catering... Why not buy an existing company and then incorporate your ideas into the menu-easier than a Start up. mrfranchiseman.com

    I agree. Buying an existing catering business is a better idea than starting up from scratch. Much of the groundwork has been done and as the new owner you can focus on improving the business right after the purchase. You are also buying a recognized brand so people`s awareness for your product is already there. What`s more, buying an established business also comes with a ready pool of customers. It`s much easier keeping them than finding new ones. If you`re from the US here`s a list of Catering businesses for sale that you may want to check.
  • dsilveriodsilverio subscriber Posts: 0
    Personally I think you should go for it.  It is alot of work but the rewards will be wonderful.
     
  • TAWIKTAWIK subscriber Posts: 0
    Funny thing that I run accross to your question, I have exact same thing on my mind and currently searching how to start home base catering business to corporate meetings and company special events, and renting a warehouse and convert into catering facilities.  
  • WebJunkyWebJunky subscriber Posts: 8 Member
    what an excellent thread. my mom started doing something similar....she prepared tiffin boxes from home (good for a meal or two) and people came by to pick them up before office time.  in some cases she delivered them. very lucrative, low cost but time intensive. margins can be very high. your idea of high volume catering sounds excellent! its a local market so research your area for suppliers of this service and see if it makes sense to go for it!
  • profits4idiotsprofits4idiots subscriber Posts: 0
    As mentioned by the other posters before me, research is very important. If you think the workers would benefit a lot from the business you intend to put up, then by all means go for it. If you see that they bring their own food, look for another business idea.
  • JmesJmes subscriber Posts: 4
    Indeed
    Though as I previously stated, this is merely an idea.
    I did a bit of a research though, and I found several such businesses in my area, but only 1 in a large office complex not far from where one of my friends live and work. I`m currently looking further into a business there
    Thank you all for your comments
    Jmes
  • WebJunkyWebJunky subscriber Posts: 8 Member
    also think of a way of offering a twist that no one else does. . . .  if your clients know that your services will come with an element of surprise that might help a bit in terms of retaining business.  be different in some way by adding unexpected value is my point
  • shopartistshopartist subscriber Posts: 0
    I agree with the idea of a catering truck that visits the businesses.  I used to work where the truck came around and you should have seen the workers gathered around.  It was just faster and easier for the employees than to run to the nearest fast food place.  After a while fast food starts to get old.
    He carried sandwhiches for breakfast and lunch.  I can`t remember what he all had, but you can probably come up with the basic menu appreciated by hard working people who thinks of this as a change of pace and a little break in the day to day routine.
    Hope this helps
     
  • steerssteers subscriber Posts: 0
    If your passion is about food, no wonder you'll be successful in catering business. Well who doesn't love to eat anyway? But yeah, it's good to start from small and franchising is an ideal one if you already want a business with name already.
  • CostenCosten subscriber Posts: 0
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  • JeremyKJeremyK subscriber Posts: 0
    No matter whether you go for a startup start or purchasing a running business, just make sure you do the homework on your marketing and e-marketing.
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