One of the most lucrative businesses out there is that of catering. It is a business that, once it’s off the ground, can help you fully realize your culinary vision as well as your knack for business. But this is not an easy job, even if it is the ideal one for you. Being a caterer requires a lot of hard work, skill and determination since outshining the competition is important. You may have the cooking skills but catering is about a lot more than being able to make the perfect foie gras.
These are the 7 signs of a good caterer.
Cooking and food safety
At the most basic level, catering is about food. It is what the business revolves around. No matter how beautiful the venue, if your food isn’t good you won’t retain any of your clients. With good taste comes beautiful presentation of it and cleanliness. If your food is making people sick, you could even get into trouble for it. Keep yourself and your staff up to date with the latest food safety laws set by the Food and Drug Administration.
Keeping your customers happy is what really matters so work on your people skills. You might need to convince your client to change a dish. If you are courteous and tactful, they will be more receptive to your ideas and this will make your work a lot easier. Your client repertoire is what will prompt the client to recommend your business to other people.
Team of professionals
This doesn’t necessarily mean professional cooks. A professional behavior is just as important as the cooking skills of your employee. It is important for the team to work together like a well-oiled machine. This is where your leadership skills come in.
As a leader, keeping your team together is extremely important. You will have a team of cooks, servers, cleaners and more. It is your job, as a leader, to ensure they know their schedules and the rules. Have a firm hand but do not belittle them in anyway. A good leader is also able to plan financially so the business can weather slow times.
You may have the dream team and the food may be delicious, but if people don’t know you, your business won’t work. Get a good network of contacts that will work with you and get you more clients such as event planners and florists.
Flexibility & Creativity
You will need to make changes according to client preferences and a good caterer can adapt to these changes with ease. Keep up the creativity with the required changes so your quality of work is maintained.
Keep the Backup Ready
Despite your best efforts, something always goes wrong. A good caterer will know how to deal with these last minute problems without panicking. Have backup food and some backup team members so you don’t mess up.
It takes time and effort to build your reputation as a caterer so don’t give up if things get hard and focus on these seven tips.