Guide 1

How to start a catering business


This is a very brief guide on where to start if you’re thinking about starting a catering business. We advise that before you set up your business that you are well informed of the pros and cons of becoming a business owner. Below are just a few things you need to be thinking about when generating a business idea. Lastly, have fun with it, be creative, and enjoy it!


Create a plan

Maybe you’re tired of the same old 9 to 5 and looking to find something that excites you and you simply love to cook.

The first thing you need to determine in what type of catering business you’ll want to create. There are numerous avenues to go down when it comes to starting a business, from a café to a restaurant or a street food vendor but research is the key when it comes to deciding which avenue to go down.


Market Research

An important part of creating a business is doing your research. You’ll need to find out what your unique selling point is, who is your target audience, their buying habits, any potential competitors what they charge and is the market saturated.

Once you’ve determined these factors, you’ll be able to begin to outline your business plan.

So, you’ve determined your market research and you’ve begun your first steps to creating a business.


Determine budget

Figuring out your financial options plays a big part in your business. If you don’t have much financial backing from the outset knowing what’s out there is important.

  • Startups

Research different banks that are advertising start up loans, make sure you look at repayment structures and the length of term of the loans.


  • Business Grants

The government is looking to help business start-ups from £500-£25,000, along with ongoing support and guidance the government offers up an unsecured business loan with a repayment term of 1 to 5 years with an interest rate of 6%.


  • Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is done using small donations from individuals, charities and small business who will back you to create your start up funds. Crowdfunding these days can be done on the internet using funding platforms such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter or Indiegogo. One downside to these websites is that they may take a percentage of funds.


  • Angel Investments


Angel Investors are individuals who can invest in your business by offering start up funds in exchange for a percentage of the business or ownership of the business. Think Dragon’s Den.


Products and Services


Have a hunger for a customer facing role? Looking to cook up some old family recipe you know would be a hit with the public?





Location is so important when it comes to setting up a food business, especially if you’re betting on potential footfall traffic. If you’re planning on opening a café or restaurant you should be looking at populated areas but with populated areas could potentially come a higher price tag. If you’re thinking of setting up a mobile catering unit then location is isn’t as important as you can simply move with the crowds!


Operations & Logistics


Figuring out operations and logistics is critical for the smooth running of a business. Make sure you plan food preparation, opening hours, number of employees and the usual day to day running of the shop, restaurant or food truck.



Whatever catering business you decide to set up, make sure you’re prepared! Find the useful tools and resources out there to get your food business up and running. Have fun with this new life change, engage with customers and suppliers and serve up some great food and drink that people will return to enjoy time and time again.