How to Start a Food Catering Business
Setting up a food catering business in Singapore seems like a lucrative plan, but there are a lot of factors you need to consider besides setting up a menu. First, you need to understand the type of customers you want to offer your services to and the type of events you want to cater food to before you can set up a kitchen.
Planning with a kitchen designer and kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore will help you save more money during your first few months as a caterer.
What Food Catering Services Means
Food catering refers to a specialized type of food service that is tailored to the specific needs of a customer. A caterer therefore, is a culinary chef who specializes in specific events that need food, such as weddings, social events, concessions, corporate meetings, private events, and mobile catering.
As a caterer, you are expected to arrange the delivery and prepare and present the food for your client anywhere in Singapore. This means that you are not only responsible for the food, but for the commercial kitchen equipment, tables and chairs, decorations, and even lighting, music, and entertainment. You will be working closely with your client and other parties such as the event planner, designers, entertainers, reception managers, etc., to create a successful event.
When setting up a food catering services in Singapore, you will need to identify yourself with a specific type of caterer so that the customers can easily look for you. This will also make the business planning much easier, because it will be easier to set up a kitchen or a restaurant that will serve as your place of operations, buy the commercial kitchen equipment you need from your kitchen equipment supplier, and to budget your finances while you’re still new to the industry. Later, it will be easier to expand and to cater to more types of events and customers.
What Your Customers Expect from You
While your kitchen unit will need the same training and expertise like all kitchen staff from other food business, there are specific demands from clientele when it comes to food catering services. Other than a good kitchen equipment supplier from Singapore, Caterers will also need to think about business matters outside the kitchen such as marketing, accounting, and maintaining good business relations.
What sets caterers apart from restaurants?
1. Excellent Customer Service. Your staff will be working with the clients closely to design a menu for the event, that is why it’s important to have good communication skills to maintain a good relationship. Satisfied customers will recommend you to their friends and colleagues who will need food catering services in the future.
2. Marketing. You need to have a network contacts and a good strategy for marketing, so that you will be noticed. You might also need to be affiliated with other types of related services such as event organizers, florists, entertainers, etc.
3. Flexibility and Details. Your menu will be subject to changes, so your staff must be creative and flexible when it comes to food. Clients might disagree or ask you to change some of the ingredients because of allergies or religious dietary requirements.
4. Cooking. Being able to adapt to the demands of clients doesn’t mean the quality of the food should be compromised. Your catering business should be able to deliver consistently good food and a variety of recipes.
5. Food Safety. Your catering service should adhere to food safety laws, because unlike other types of food businesses, you will be asked to transport the goods and commercial kitchen equipment to different locations in Singapore.
Types of Catering Services
Your kitchen design will be based on the type of food and services you want to offer to specific clients, that is why you need to specialize in events when you’re still new to the industry, so that the customers can easily identify you.
These are the types services you might want to consider when setting up a food catering services in Singapore.
1. Wedding Catering. This type of event demands a lot of energy and attention, because good food can impact the outcome of the celebration. You would not want to be remembered for ruining the newlyweds’ special day.
2. Social Event Catering. Other events such as birthdays, anniversaries, and retirement are just as demanding, because you will need to be familiar with a wide range of food.
3. Corporate Catering. This type of service delivers food to office trainings, meetings, and other events. You might be required to serve more than one meal and the event could last for a couple of days as well.
4. Concession Catering. These events are seasonal and involve larger groups than corporate events.
How to Pick Your Kitchen and Catering Equipment
When you have decided the type of clients you want to cater to, you can now design your kitchen or your restaurant as your base of operations. You will be working closely with the kitchen designer and kitchen equipment supplier to make the work fast, clean, safe, and efficient.
These are the categories for the basic commercial kitchen equipment that a food catering business needs.
- • Serving trays
• Water pitchers or jugs
- • Chafing dishes and fuel cells
• Cutting board and knives
• Serving spoons
• Spatulas and tongs
• Heat lamps
• Carving station
• Food transporters
• Insulated beverage containers
• Beverage and ice equipment
- • Tables and chairs
• Assortment of plates
• Assortment of glasses
• Linen or napkins
• Condiment holders
• Table centerpieces
- • Range
• Refrigerator, freezer, and cooler
• Deep fryer
• Baking pans and other baking tools
• Assortment of pans and pots
• Pizza-making tools
• Steam table
• Chef’s knives
• Tongs, spatulas, ladles, whisks
• Assortment of plates, bowls, glasses, and silverware
• Food Processors
• Metal shelving
• Prep tables and counters
• Towable or outdoor cooking equipment
• Cleaning equipment
• Safety equipment