If you’ve been spending a lot of time on Youtube watching your favourite cooking gurus (ehem, Hi Erwan!) then you’ve also probably flirted about the idea of either starting your own cooking show, or better yet, your own food or catering business.
Of course it’s not easy! You have to go through a lot of research, revisit your math skills (money and adulting!) and do a self evaluation if this is something that you can commit to.
Well, I was lucky enough to get some tips from the resident chef of Jet 7 Bistro Catering, Chef Bombay. Allow me to share with you the tricks that they applied to get them where they are now.
1. Psych yourself up to be your own BOSS (hashtag GirlBoss, loves!)
Ok, ok.. hold your horses! I’m not telling you to quit your day job just yet! No need to rush, I’m just giving you a heads up that being your own boss is definitely in order. 😉
When you finally decide to put up your own catering or food business, you can just start small and do it as a “side line”. But when you already have a solid following and pool of clients, then you’d have to decide if you’re financially ready to quit your 8-5 grind and be your own boss. This means longer working hours, even on weekends. Sit back and try to imagine yourself being self-employed, if this appeals to you, then go for it!
2. Draft your menu
Make a list of your specialties. Include items which you enjoy cooking or preparing. Better yet, include items which “Wows” your friends and family the most! This is your time to shine! Highlight an item that might become your best-seller or your “signature” dish.
3. Do your homework, check for competitors
So you’ve drafted your menu, now it’s time to check who else is offering the same dish and how much they’re selling it for. You want to price your items competitively and reasonably. This is also your time to decide if you will expand or narrow down your menu list based on your research.
4. The name game
What’s a business without a brand, right? This is your make or break moment! A catchy name should be in order. Don’t fret, you can always ask your friends and relatives for suggestions! Think of something witty, unique and easy to remember. It’s a plus if you have a business logo, too! Tap your friends with the most creative juices, I’m sure one of them would be glad to send a design on pro bono! (PS: Don’t name your business with a word that’s hard to spell, it would be a struggle for your customers to tag or hashtag you in the future! hahaha)
5. Make things legal
Aside from your homework in number 3, you also have to ensure that no one can question you or hinder you from succeeding because you forgot to secure the necessary permits to run a food business (ie: Food Handler’s permit, Liquor permit, etc. ). If you want your business to grow, be an adult and do the necessary paper work!
6. Find your “business partners”
As your business grow, you’d need people to support you. This can be a business partner, for financial reasons, or food handlers/ staff. At any rate, find people whom you can trust. They should be well organised and goal oriented. This business is your baby and anyone who gets involved should be worthy to be inside your little circle of trust!
7. Tools of the trade
Work with what you have, make a list of what you need and invest. Check your kitchen thoroughly and only buy what you really need. When you already have a rolling pin and you see a prettier version online, try to avoid that “aww this is way cuter, I’m totally buying this!” attitude. You need to budget your funds wisely, else, you’ll be hurting your bank account in no time. Invest on quality equipment, they will be your best buddies. Stay away from small trivial things that are just plain cute but serves no real purpose.
8. Online presence for marketing success
If you can, invest on a website. This gives a strong and professional vibe for your business. Here you can showcase photos of your specialties and past events, post your menu list, establish connection by publishing your contact information, etc.
If you find that building a website or hiring someone to build it for you’s a bit costly, there’s always Instagram and Facebook. Create a Facebook Page for your business and encourage past customers to write reviews, too. Encourage family, friends and customers to post photos during your catering events and give them a hashtag that they can use when posting photos. Exert effort to make your catering business shine online.
Now that you have these tips and tricks, it’s time to put on your apron and start cooking! 😎 Let me know how it goes and invite me on your first event! LOL 🙂
I hope that you found this post helpful. 😀
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, message me here or on Facebook!
For catering inquiries, please contact Jet 7 Bistro at +639173568824