Should Your Restaurant Break Into Catering?
Growing Your Restaurant Through Event Catering.
You’ve already launched your restaurant and built a following of customers. Now what? Many restaurant owners turn to opening a catering business as one of the next steps in their career. However, catering isn’t for every business owner or restaurant menu. Before you get started, consider the following to ensure that you want to take the leap into catering.
Consider the Pain Points of Catering
Just like any business, catering comes with its own set of battles. One of the biggest struggles, is one that you’ve already fought against- kind of. Consider this: catering is like opening a new business every night. Every night you have to come prepared with new contracts, new staff, portable supplies, fresh ingredients, and a dazzling menu. Can you start your restaurant fresh at every event? Do you want to?
Of course, you’ve already opened a new business and have worked hard to make it a success. However, is that same battle one that you’d want to relive every night, with every event you cater? For some restaurateurs, this question may be easily answered as “yes.” For others, depending on your experience opening your current business, this question can quickly change your mind. Take some time to consider if you’re willing to relive opening a business for entirely new clientele on a regular basis.
Look Into the Rules and Regulations
When you started your restaurant you had to jump through a lot of legal hoops. Unfortunately, all of the legwork you did for your current restaurant won’t cross over into your catering business. You will have to purchase a new food license and ensure all your new employees have completed food safety classes. In addition, depending on what you run your catering business out of (food trucks, new venues, etc.) you will be required to obtain additional permitting. If you’re committed to catering, don’t worry about these steps. You’ve navigated the legal side of business ownership before, just ensure that you look into the specific catering laws and regulations in your area.
Develop a Business Plan for Catering
While your catering business is an offshoot of your restaurant business, it’s not the same and therefore requires a separate business plan. Before you fully commit to catering, develop a menu, set costs, and derive menu costs. Consider the specific menu items you will include and ensure that they are feasible for catering. Will the return on investment for each menu item be worthwhile? Will the menu price be prohibitive to customers? And can each menu item be made in a flexible location? Make sure to include the cost of additional equipment and labor when determining the final cost.
Ensure you Have Customer Loyalty to Support Catering
The best advertising is word of mouth. Before launching your catering business make sure that you have loyal customers who will mention you to their connections and hire you for their own events. Without customer loyalty, you will be forced to start your catering company from scratch, instead of using the name and reputation of your already successful restaurant.
Centralize your Restaurant and Catering Business with a Point of Sale (POS) System
While your restaurant business and your catering business are separate, for ease and cost effectiveness, it’s best to manage them from one central unit. The best way to do this it to use the same POS to manage them. A POS will cross-manage inventory, report on profit, and help advertise and market. Better yet, your POS can be logged into from any location, so whether you’re in your restaurant, at a catering event, or in transit, you can check on your businesses.
Does your POS offer your business the support you need? Are you ready to simplify your business with the use of a new POS? SilverEdge can help. If you are ready to talk with a SilverEdge representative about the right choice for your business, contact 970-800-2890 or email email@example.com today.