Expanding your F&B outlet is an excellent business opportunity, and it can entail everything including setting up another branch, diversifying to mobile food trucks, and of course, stepping into the catering business. But first, read on to equip yourself beforehand with the right and relevant knowledge in the industry.
It is a common mistake to assume catering works the same way as foodservice, but in fact there are numerous factors that differentiate it from the operations of a brick-and-mortar establishment. Catering can be roughly defined as providing foodservice at a remote location. The most basic type of catering would be “drop-off” catering, where the establishment prepares the food in-house to be delivered on-site or picked up by the customer. On a larger scale, the service may be extended to include utensils and manpower to serve and clean-up the serving area.
Is catering suitable for your business?
Before you start kicking things into gear, these questions will help yield further insight into the suitability of catering for your business. The most obvious one would be evaluating the size of your kitchen – will it be possible to churn up bulk orders while still running your business as usual? The aspect of storage space is often overlooked as well, especially for food items that require constant refrigeration.
Calculate your resources well and make sure that the time and money spent on the catering venture is a worthy investment. Although it’s a great option to turn to during slow business hours, this should remain a supplementary source of income. Customers these days are keen on hiring a one-stop solution for their catering needs, so do look into the range of services you’re willing to offer – from party planning to supplies. Otherwise, you may want to consider partnering up with an external vendor if you’re lacking resources for these additional services.
How do you stand out from the competition?
Now that you’ve considered all the factors and have decided to go ahead with this new venture, how exactly do you make your brand memorable amidst the saturated market? Determine your strengths (whether it’s offering authentic Malay cuisine or BBQ-specialty dishes) and work from there. Perhaps you might want to consider adopting a specific theme for the presentation of food, from the choice of silverware to printed napkins.
Otherwise, you may also want to implement a more interactive display for the guests. For instance, if your brand specialises in burgers, consider setting up a condiment station with a server on standby to attend to personal preferences of sauces, vegetables and ingredient add-ons.