Running a mobile catering business can be the perfect job for those with an interest in food. Picking your own hours, working in a different location every week, and enjoying the profits are all benefits of running your own mobile catering business. If you’re considering starting or running one, how do you do it? Read on to find out.
Pick the Type of Events You Want to Work
Do you want to work festivals, corporate functions, weddings, or all of the above? Each type of event comes with its own specific pros and cons which need to be considered. Festivals will give you a great chance to make serious money, but you’ll have to pay for your pitch on top of your other costs, making them more expensive. Conversely, if you work corporate events you might work for a specific fee, meaning you’ll have to make sure you’re on top of your budget to make money. Most businesses will aim to do both, allowing them to work a range of different events and stay busy during the summer.
Have a Great Website
Word of mouth can only get you so far, and having a well-maintained website is key. Make sure you’ve got plenty of useful information – fees, contact information, what makes you different from other mobile catering businesses – as well as lots of high-quality photos of your business. You should ideally have photos showing both your business and of you serving customers to demonstrate your service and give potential customers an idea of what they could expect.
Know What to Charge
Deciding on a pricing structure can be tricky, especially when considering a flat fee versus selling items individually. This is where your budget comes in. You’ll need to know exactly how much each item costs to make, as well as how much the running costs for the business are and even how much it would cost to get to the venue. Once you know the cost of everything and can calculate your break-even point, then you can start to work out how much you want to charge.
Suppliers or Wholesale?
Any catering business needs to make an important decision – how will you get your ingredients? Using a supplier limits you on price and leaves you open to missed deliveries if they run out of stock, whereas frequent trips to a wholesaler will leave you out of pocket and can eat away at your time. There’s no right or wrong answer, and each business will be different. You might find that a mixture of the two works out the best, as it allows you to both have food delivered and buy fresh on the day.
Licenses and Insurance
As with any business, you’ll need to research what type of licenses and insurance you’ll need. There are also food safety standards to consider. A full guide on the licenses and laws you need to comply with can be found here.
Is It the Right Business for Me?
A mobile catering business can be great fun, but it can also be very hard work. You’ll need to be prepared to work very long hours, usually over several days, often without breaks. The reward for this though is being your own boss, picking your own hours, and being able to take home any profits you make.