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 Equipment

    • Serving trays
    • Water pitchers or jugs
    • Tubs
    • Cambro

Buffet Equipment

    • Chafing dishes and fuel cells
    • Plates
    • Cutting board and knives
    • Serving spoons
    • Spatulas and tongs
    • Heat lamps
    • Carving station
    • Food transporters
    • Insulated beverage containers
    • Beverage and ice equipment

Table Equipment

    • Tables and chairs
    • Tablecloths
    • Assortment of plates
    • Assortment of glasses
    • Silverware
    • Linen or napkins
    • Condiment holders
    • Table centerpieces

Kitchen Equipment

    • Range
    • Refrigerator, freezer, and cooler
    • Grill
    • Oven
    • 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
    • Slicers
    • Mixers
    • Food Processors
    • Metal shelving
    • Prep tables and counters
    • Sinks
    • Towable or outdoor cooking equipment
    • Cleaning equipment
    • Safety equipment

30 Nov 2017

BBQ Catering for your Wedding Banquet

Planning on having a relaxed outdoor wedding? Then a bbq catering is just perfect for the banquet of your special day, because there’s just nothing better than the smell of barbecue on a hot sunny day. So whether you’re thinking of hiring a bbq catering company near your place in Singapore, or have a friend who’s willing to flip your satay and otah meals, here are some tips to make your bbq catering hitch-free.

1. Be realistic with the size of your venue.

One of the important things that you should consider when planning a barbecue banquet is the location of your event. For your wedding banquet, you’d want to make sure that your venue is big enough so that your guests can escape from the smoke given off by the grilling procedure. There are a lot of outdoor venues in Singapore that already have a barbecue area set up, so we suggest that you look for one as they can also advise you on the best possible layout for your reception.

2. Stock up various meat cuts…

The golden rule in having a bbq catering is to make sure that you have enough meat to be barbecued, and a little extra just in case you run a bit short. Stock up on wide range and variety of meat products, including burgers, steaks, sausages, kebabs, and chicken breasts, or you can also be generous and go all out with lamb and hog roasts.

3. But don’t forget your veggies.

Stocking up on meat is good, but don’t forget to serve an ample amount of veggies as well, especially if you have some vegetarians or non-meat eaters on your guest list. Make sure that your barbecue caterer like from Singapore will also serve tasty green salads and vegetable kebabs. Also, ensure that your caterer will use a separate grill and cooking implements if you’ll be catering with some vegetarian guests on mind.

4. Check on the caterer’s barbecue method.

Since you’re going to hire a barbecue caterer, remember to inquire about what method they’ll be using in cooking your barbecue meals. Using gas is a good option if you want your meat to evenly cooked, while going with charcoal can give your barbecue a more authentic smell and flavour. If you want to give your meat a smoky taste, then place some wood chips on the burning charcoal.

5. Serve a good range of drinks.

Although beer might seem like the best accompaniment for a barbecue meal, red wines can also work as an excellent complementary drink for your meal. Rich reds like Shiraz, oaked Merlot and Zindafel tastes wonderful when paired with steaks. If you want a more outdoorsy and refreshing drink, then lemonades and soft drinks will be perfect to wash down the chunks of meat.

6. Allow your guests to cook their own choice of meat.

For a more interactive bbq catering experience, ask your caterer to provide a good selection of marinades and let your guests cook their own steaks. This will not just let your guests to totally enjoy the experience, they’ll also be able to have their steaks well done, rare, or how they want it to be. Bear in mind though, that you’ll have to provide a large grilling area for this activity to work.

7. BBQs are not just done in informal weddings.

Having a barbecue set-up for you wedding banquet doesn’t mean that you can’t have a formal sit down meal. Barbecue meals can actually be presented in a more formal style, and are often preferred by modern Singapore couples. Meat platters can actually be placed in the middle of the tables for guests, or can also be arranged in a buffet style. Just inform your bbq caterer as to which set-up you want to have.

17 Nov 2017

Fascinating Destinations for Wildlife Fanatics

The world is filled with wonders. If you are someone who has a penchant for wildlife and all its glory, you are definitely a wildlife fanatic. Seeing and observing animals in their natural and unadulterated habitat are simply a marvellous sight. You cannot be just satisfied here in Singapore. There is a world out there. Go out and see it.

If you have to travel the world, do it. There are many remarkable wildlife destinations that you can consider. Here are some:

Galapagos Islands
Your first destination should be the ever-famous Galapagos Islands. Many wildlife fanatics enjoyed the island because of its intriguing wildlife creatures. There are many that inhabit the islands and the fact that it is where Charles Darwin came up with Theory of Evolution is something remarkable.

Not all people know about Namibia and for those who know it, are afraid to go there. You have to know that Namibia is the first country to include wildlife protection in its constitution. Here, you will see endangered species like cheetah and black rhino. The country has at least twenty national parks and the numbers have grown since. You will see other animals too like lions, elephants, zebra and springboks.

The Amazon Rainforest
Your wildlife experience will never be complete without going to Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon is in fact home to more than thirty per cent of the world’s wildlife. You have to visit this place at least once in your life. It is home to otters, macaws, pink dolphins, anacondas, frogs, jaguars, anteaters and many more.

Antarctica and the North Pole
If you want to witness the icy wilderness, you have to go to Antarctica. However, some habitats are destroyed because of the melting of the ice. That is truly a heartbreaker. Antarctica and The North Pole is home to many animals like seals, penguins, albatross, whale, reindeers, owls, polar bears, walruses and foxes.

Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is also a good place to get started because it has the largest concentration of wildlife animals in all of the United States. There you will see wolves, grizzly bears, bison, badgers, moose, bighorn sheep, deer and otters among others.

What are you waiting for? Start planning and packing. Remember that climate change is taking a toll on wildlife. It means that sooner their habitats will be naught. Observe while you still can at the same time help to protect it. That is the least thing that you can do.

19 Sep 2017

Online Shopping Tips for the Chinese New Year

There are a lot of reasons why many Singaporeans look forward to Chinese New Year – hearty dinners, reunions, foodies and shopping. You enjoy shopping especially days leading to Chinese New Year because of different deals and promos. It is good to have new things this New Year as a symbolism of good fortune in the coming days.

This year, Chinese New Year will be celebrated on January 28. You need to prepare many things before it arrives. It can be overwhelming that is why sometimes, many people forget about buying new things or shopping. The good news is that you do not need one day to buy everything. Even with just a little time, you can purchase many. Have you tried online shopping?

Many online stores are available these days. With just a touch of your fingers, you can purchase all the things you want in the world minus the queuing. You have to be careful though because it can be addicting. You do not want to start your New Year with an addiction or worse, with debt. To help you minimize it, here are some tips on online shopping:

1. Set your budget and shopping list. The first thing that you should do before actually clicking anything is to set your budget. This will be called your spending budget. This is to determine the ceiling or how much you can afford. It can help if you also make a shopping list so you can just stay focused on those items instead of buying anything that picks your interest.

2. Sign up for an online store’s mailing list. It was mentioned earlier that there are many online stores these days. These stores send mails to their clients for special discounts and flash deals. It is important that you sign up for that store’s mailing list. If you really like the store, sign up for their mailing list immediately.

3. Shop with a friend. If you have friends around or family members, it is better to shop together so you can save on shipping expenses. It may cost you if you buy a little and sometimes there are sites that demand “minimum purchase”.

4. Choose stores with an exchange or return policy: Online items or merchandise can be a disappointment sometimes and as a customer, you should have a right to return and exchange it for a better one. With this, you should make sure that that store you chose has this exchange or return policy. This is your way of being protected against any disappointment.

15 Sep 2017

10 Edible Mushrooms You Need to Try

These edible mushrooms make a great addition to common dishes. Here are some that you need to try.

1. Chanterelle or Girolle
Appearance: Chanterelle is yellow or orange in color and funnel-shaped with ridges and a cap.
Used For/In: Sauteed in oil/butter/cream, included in wine recipes, souffles, soups, cream sauces, dried, flour seasoning, and cooked with meat, cheese and chillies.

2. Enoki or Enokitake
Appearance: Enoki are white, thin and long. They are also called golden needle, lily, winter fungus, velvet foot/stem/shank, winter or seafood mushroom.
Used For/In: Canned or used fresh for salads and soups. Enoki shouldn’t be cooked for more than 2 minutes.

3. King Trumpet
Appearance: Sometimes called French horn, king brown, boletus of the steppes, king oyster, trumpet royale and Ali’I oyster. It has a white stem and a tan-colored cap.
Used For/In: King Trumpet is roasted, used salads or stir-fried. It is also stored because it has a long shelf-life.

4. Maitake/Sheep’s or Ram’s Head
Appearance: Also called signorina or hen of the woods, maitake grows as a cluster of brown or grayish spoon-shaped caps.
Used For/In: Maitake are commonly grilled, sauteed and used as a garnish for pasta. The possibilities are endless however.

5. Oyster/Tree/Abalone Mushroom
Appearance: Most of oyster mushroom’s caps are not attached to stems. The stems (if any) have gills.
Used For/In: Oyster is sauteed, stir-fried and used in a lot of vegetarian diets. They are usually torn up and not sliced.

6. Porcini
Appearance: Also called cep, penny bun or porcino, these are reddish-brown in color with whites on the margins. They are sticky and club-shaped.
Used For/In: Porcini are dried, canned, pickled, frozen or sold fresh. They can be consumed raw, ground, sauteed, and used in soups and salads.

7. Portobello
Appearance: Portobello mushroon is white or brown when immature. The white is also called button, table, champignon and common mushroom. Brown is sometimes called Swiss brown, Roman, Italian, cremini/crimini, chestnut or brown cap mushroom.
Used For/In: Salads, soups, stews and any dish that has liquid.

8. Reishi/Lingzhi
Appearance: Reishi has a red kidney-shaped cap. It’s one of the oldest medicinal mushrooms in history.
Used For/In: Reishi is pulverized or thinly sliced then boiled and simmered to remove its bitter taste. Most are used in soups.

9. Shiitake
Appearance: Shiitake has a brownish cap and white stem. The donk type or the dounggou has a pattern that looks like a flower on the upper part.
Used For/In: Shiitake are prepared fresh or dried and used in soups, vegetable dishes. It can also be simmered, steamed or sauteed.

10. Shimeji
Appearance: Several species are sold under the same name including the hon-shimeji, velvet piopinno, buna-shimeji, bunapi-shimeji, hatake-shimeji and shirotamogidake. Shimeji are native to the East Asian region.
Used For/In: Shimeji can’t be consumed raw. They are used stir-fried and slow-roasted dishes, sauces, stews, soups, and mixed with seafood.

29 Jul 2017

What’s With People and Their Hair?

Every year, a person spends a lot of money to keep a hairstyle. Women spend more on treatments and styling. This article is not going to try to justify people’s obsession with hair but instead will list points on why getting a decent hairstyle is good for your image, health and career.

History of Hairstyles. For centuries, our crowning glory has played a part not just in fashion but even in history and religion. Long hair has symbolized femininity in most cultures, but warriors in some ethnic groups wore long hair to symbolize their status. Cutting of one’s hair is like demoting a warrior. Shaven hair was a symbol of shame for some. Even the Bible mentioned that the hair was a woman’s crowning glory.

Your Hair is You. What the rest of the world sees is often their basis for judging you. The old adage “Don’t judge the book by its cover,” has a nice ring, but it’s difficult to apply when you look like you’ve just woken up and haven’t taken a bath. Not all of us have the time to get to know you, especially your prospective employers.

If your work involves talking face-to-face with people, you’d be more convincing and less suspicious if you look your best. You don’t need to look like Brad Pitt. You need a decent hairstyle to match the image you’re trying to project. It might be the key to a business deal or an employment opportunity.

Health Indicator. A healthy hair is also a sign of good health. When you don’t have dandruff, lice, and scalp diseases it’s a good indicator that you’re clean and healthy. Just like skin and nails reflect your overall health, hair can also show symptoms of diseases. Your attention to hair will reflect how you take care of yourself.

Damaged, thinning, or graying hair can be a blow to one’s self-confidence. If you see changes in your hair, you will need to re-examine your lifestyle or look for medical causes. It could be a side-effect of medications, skin diseases, lack of or the body’s inability to absorb nutrients, or some other disease. Doctors also point out these factors: too much sugar that shrink hair follicles; too little zinc, iron and protein in food (remember that your hair is made of protein); too much or too little glycemic food; too much vitamin A; and too much mercury from seafood that make your hair brittle and thin.

The Best Salons. Ready for a new hairstyle? Here are the best salons in Singapore you should check out.

Chez Vous Hair Salon and Izumi Salon are the most recommended by women.
Kenaris Hair Salon and CLEO Hair & Make @The Central are the most recommended salons by men.
Baby Spa, Junior League, and Scissors Paper Stone are the best children’s salons.

26 Jul 2017

Best Clothing Pieces to Wear With Your Leggings

If you’re creating the perfect clothing pieces for your wardrobe, then you certainly wouldn’t miss owning a pair of leggings. Not only are these pieces comfortable, they’re also very versatile. So if you’re wondering what clothes to pair your leggings with, simply check out our following tips.

1. Oversized Sweaters and Leggings

Pairing it with an oversized sweater is one of the best ways to cover up your booty when wearing this stretchable, tight-fitting pants. Not only are they perfect for the cold weather, they also give your bottoms enough coverage to avoid getting any judgemental looks. Plus, our leggings won’t always be able to protect us from cold, so incorporating a bit of warmth on your top could help in balancing it out.

2. Ponchos and Leggings

Although leggings are commonly used by most women, they are often seen as plain and boring. By pairing it up with a poncho, however, you’ll be able to spice up your get-up and give it a more stylish look. Ponchos also work wonders in terms of enhancing one’s appearance with its asymmetrical hemline, so you’ll get the coverage you want along with some warmth and a little dash of flair.

3. Flats and Leggings

Want to give your leggings a dressier look? Pair it up with your favourite flats. Matching it with heels and pumps might make your ensemble fall a bit short, but that wouldn’t be the case with flats. They’re dressier than your sneakers, but it won’t make you appear like you’re trying too hard.

4. Sneakers and Leggings

Whether you’re headed to the gym or running some errands, the pairing of your leggings and sneakers is something that will never go wrong. Not only do they work wonders on your good old black leggings, they’re also an excellent match even for the colourful ones. So if your closet is filled with coloured leggings, simply opt for neutral-hued sneakers (whites, blacks and greys) to pull your get-up seamlessly.

5. Combat Boots and Leggings

Thinking of pulling off an edgier look using your leggings? Simply pair it with your combat boots. Known as a staple wear during the colder months, you can always choose to either go for the classic combat boots or the 1990’s favourite Doc Martens.

Perhaps you didn’t think that there was a science to wearing leggings, but just like with any other fashion trend, there are some tips and tricks that you can use to make dressing up your good old stretchable pants easier and more fun.

23 May 2017