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Catering License in California

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Have you ever wanted to start a catering business? We'll here are 6 tips to get you started in the right direction.

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So let's get it started with our podcast. I'm going to get into the seven, seven things that are super important when it comes to, um, getting a catering business up and running. And of course getting your, your initial catering event, um, as far as the quotes concerned and marketing your skills and getting with the client on exactly what they're looking for and how do you deliver that? And then what exactly would you need to do as far as giving them a price quote and how does all that work? So if you're looking to start a catering business, which I highly recommend you do, if that is something that you are looking to do, uh, delve into it, listen to as many podcasts as you can look online for as much information, watch as many YouTube videos from successful caterers and read books, whatever you can get your hands on as far as information do that.

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Um, so you can be well-informed before you take the big dive into doing it. But the reason why I say to do it is that, uh, when I operated our Italian bakery, um, when we catered events, I can tell you firsthand that it is very lucrative. Um, the margins are fantastic, and when it's well executed and it's, um, uh, handled professionally, you can get a lot of word of mouth. And the business grows with very minimal amount of marketing, as far as time and money invested in marketing. Word of mouth is a great thing, especially when you're in the catering business, even in this day and age, when you've got a lot of social media sites and you've got a lot of marketing capabilities online, there's nothing like a traditional good old fashioned word of mouth recommendation. And the great thing is, is that you got to think of it this way is when you do an event, when you cater an event, um, you know, potentially you maybe have dozens of people, or you could have a few hundred or even a couple of thousand, um, those are all potential clients of yours.

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And that's one way that you need to look at it before you even get a, give a quote to the potential client is, you know, you find out that there's going to be, let's say 2000 people there. Those are 2000 potential customers. So it is a big deal and super important getting that word of mouth. So let me, let me get into it really quick. And let's see, um, the, the number one thing that you need to get started, um, in regards to getting the catered event up and running. Um, if you have an established history, maybe you've just started. Um, but definitely I recommend that you provide a relevant information about like the history of events that you've done. Okay. Um, that could be inform of letting the client know that, you know what I've handled this, this type of event before I've done a dozen of these events with a thousand people or more, you know, I specialize in weddings.

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I do only just corporate events, let your client know the history of, of your company itself. Okay. Now I would highly recommend one other aspect. That's really important is letters with like references, reference letters, as they're known, uh, when you can get clients, uh, to make a simple, um, a letter, if it's typed or even handwritten, it doesn't really matter, but having them on paper and then building a, a portfolio, if you will, of references can be worth its weight in gold, especially when you're looking to get new clients. If you're sitting down with a new client and you've got this, this huge binder full of just handwritten accolades and awards and reference letters that are just gushing with positivity and everyone enjoyed their, their, uh, events, et cetera, et cetera, that can sell a client almost instantly. Okay. Of course, there's a lot of factors involved when your client sits down with you.

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Uh, when you start a catering business that, you know, as far as price is concerned, um, uh, how, how well are you at, um, using your imagination to come up with new ideas that you can let the client know about, uh, being creative, um, having letters of reference, um, and so on. And so on, all of that of course are aspects, but really when they were, they see this overwhelming amount of positive reviews and people who have loved your loved, your work and working with you, their client, your potential client will just definitely fall for your product. So the next thing up is, is what's known as a writeup. Um, and this is actually something, um, if you're in a newspaper or possibly even a magazine, that's done a featured article about your business. Um, those are valuable tools to selling your service when it comes to, um, getting new clients.

 

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And when you've been featured like that, um, specifically more so being online on a website being featured, or if you're in a, on a news show, that's one thing, but it's better. If you've got something like a magazine article or something, you can clip out that you can, again, flip through a binder and your client can see, um, where you've been featured. So, so the next thing up is going to be additional services. Now, if you, if you're in a catering business and you're specifically, do you handle the food aspects of it, but you, you work with you subcontract, or maybe you contract out with like a florist or maybe, um, a certain type of service maybe for dancing. Do you have a crew that comes in and teaches a dance lesson or different services above and beyond the food that you're preparing, if you want to work with other companies and help promote them, and then offering that through your, uh, catering business, uh, of course you were doing the food aspect of it, but working with other businesses is a big plus, okay.

Offering those services can increase the overall. Uh, decision-making really, uh, when it comes to your client looking for additional services. So next up, it's going to be, um, explaining kind of spelling out for your client. What are the services that you're going to provide with your food business? Okay. Uh, more or less a description of the services. Okay. Let them know exactly what, um, you are going to bring to the table. Okay. And if they're looking at the, client's looking for something particular, then you know, you're, and you have the capabilities to deliver on that, spell that out for them, let them know, you know what I'm doing, this, this, and this or X, Y, and Z. We can definitely take care of that. That's something that we've done before. Or if you, you know, you're D you're discussing this with a client and you realize that, you know what, this is just this particular thing in particular, the service, this is not something that we do, but we do this.

And then you explain that being upfront with the client and letting them know what you can and cannot do is definitely, always a plus. Okay. So now when you give the proposal to the client, I'm giving the cost estimates, make sure that you've really thoroughly searched this out. You've researched it and you know, your costs. Okay. You need to know them like the back of your hand, because you don't want any unexpected expenses to come into play. That ends up eating into your bottom line. Okay. Um, make sure that your, if the specific event that you're going to cater, um, that you've kind of spelled out, you know what, this is what it's going to cost me. This is what it's going to run. You know, if you're renting something, you gotta know, what's the rental per hour. Maybe you're renting equipment. You need to know exactly what it's costing you.

So you can equate that and add that into your quote that you're going to give your client, make sure that you're aware of that too. And then the last thing it's actually known in the catering business as a term of validity, okay. This is kind of like an expiration date. If you will, for your quotes, if you're going to do an event for someone and the, client's not sure of the date. Okay. And you're giving them a quote, and then a year later, they get back to you and say, you know what, uh, I'm just going to be, uh, doing the event in the next couple of weeks, but it's over a year or even, you know, it could even happen that you are doing it eight months down the road. Well, your, your costs could be changing between now and then, you know, a year from now, I can tell you, uh, in the candy business, there's a lot of, a lot of ingredients that we use sugar and corn syrups and things, you know, they fluctuate in price.

That's no different when it comes to a catering business. And you got to kind of be aware of that, that ingredients change a rental rental of your equipment changes. There's a lot of factors that come into play that could change between now and a year from now. Okay. So when you give them that quote, you need to say, look, you know, this is good for the next six months. I'm locked in. I've got these rates. This is fine. Okay. If your client says, you know what, I'm not sure. I won't be sure for the next nine or 10 months say, look, put it in writing of course, as well, but you give them a quote and you say, look, this is good up until, you know, September or the end of the end of the year, or what have you. Um, if it goes beyond that, I can requote you.

Okay? Because you don't want to be stuck renting some, um, uh, utensils or equipment, uh, food prep, prep equipment, or even some, uh, equipment that you're using for your presentation. And it's costing you double. And by the time your client makes a decision, you know, it's going to eat into your bottom line. So make sure that it's got in a sense, kind of an expiration date on the, on the quote and tell them, look, this is good up until this period of time. Um, if you want to go pass it, that's perfectly fine, but I'll re quote you, okay, can you, because you don't want that to happen. You don't want that to be an issue. And then, um, you know, a week or two before the event, now you're trying to scramble to find out what's going on with the prices because your prices have gone up.

Okay. So kind of again, spell out for your customer, what it is you want, what you're gonna bring to the table, tell them what you can do. Um, let them see what you've already done. Okay. Um, show them some writeups. If you've got them, let them see references and kind of let them, let them know who you are and what you're going to do. And then where have you been? What have you done? And then what you can do for them, and by spelling all this out, it's gonna make the process a lot less stressful. I can tell you, catering events can sometimes be, um, kind of walking on eggshells type of thing because of the fast pace of it. If it happens to be that way or the last minute changes or just things that pop up and that's kind of just that's life in general, of course, it's just things happen.

So try to spell out as much as you can get it on paper and you should be good to go. So, so there's seven tips really quick. Um, the podcast I'll keep it short and sweet as always. And to the point, um, I hope this helps you out understanding, um, again, some other aspects of catering business and just keeping these things in mind. Um, you can check us out@marketingfoodonline.com and if you're watching us down on YouTube, um, I hope that you guys have any questions you can let me know down below, let me know in the description, I'll put some information also, uh, for catering references and resources, things that you can take a look at as well. So with that being said, I'll wrap up this podcast and I thank you guys for taking the time to check us out!

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