The events industry in New Zealand is continually growing and expanding. There are several industry sectors that are showing consistent growth. This has inspired a rise in the number of catering businesses looking for a piece of the action.
Starting a home based catering business is a great low cost way of trying out your business concept before deciding to expand. However, one problem that most home based catering businesses face when they become too big is the need to relocate. There are several steps to relocating a home based catering business, from choosing a suitable venue to getting the right catering equipment and permits.
The first step to relocating a home based catering business is carrying out extensive market exploration and researching your competitors. There are many types of market research that can prove effective in your area. Start by researching what other commercial kitchens around you are doing. You can do this by visiting their premises and checking out their website. By learning how they are set up, you can have a better sense of what is needed and what isn’t.
Write A Business Plan
The next step is creating a detailed business plan. Writing a business plan doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. It can be as simple as you like but should address the following questions:
- What is your catering business concept? Will it be a full service restaurant? A quick service stop? Or a remote catering service?
- What is your budget for projected expenses such as rent, catering equipment & supplies, labor and utilities?
- What are your expected earnings? What’s the profit margin for each dish on your menu?
- What is your niche? What’s your unique selling point?
- What is your business structure, management type, duties, number of employees etc?
The answers to these questions will help you construct a practical business plan that will guide you through the early stages of relocating your home based catering business.
Find The Perfect Location
This sounds obvious but your location can make or break the business. And choosing a location for a catering business may be easier said than done. There are several factors to look out for depending on the type of catering facility but here are some common things to look out for while relocating:
You want somewhere that’s visible with plenty of foot and car traffic. Are there other businesses doing a successful trade in the area? The location should be accessible with enough parking space for customers.
Consider how much space you need as the location should fit your size requirements. Don’t forget to factor in enough room for staff, the amount of patrons you require to make a profit (as determined in your business plan above) and the necessary catering equipment.
It’s important that you consider the flexibility of the terms of the premises when just starting out. Perhaps, it’s better to lease and start with a shorter lease term if you are not confident your business will thrive. That way you avoid unnecessary fees should you have to break the lease. Don’t forget to request a structural report from the landlord or leasing agent!
It’s vital that you obtain the necessary permits, licenses and insurance to run a successful business. Operating a catering business legally and safely in New Zealand requires several licenses and permits that include everything from events and zoning permits to special food licenses. When relocating a home based catering business, it is important that you obtain the required permits and licenses so you can start your business on the right foot. Check your local council’s website for information on the necessary permits, regulations and licenses.
It is also important to protect your new business with the right type of business insurance, such as public liability and worker’s compensation. Contact professional and reputable insurance companies to obtain quotes and requirements.
The next step is getting the right catering equipment and setting up your commercial kitchen. Unlike home kitchen equipment, which is designed for light use, commercial kitchen equipment is designed for high output and won’t let you down even with constant use. Your choice of catering equipment will depend on the catering services you offer and how many people you’ll be catering for.
People in New Zealand spend more than $11 billion at cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs and takeaway outlets each year, so there is a lot of potential for your catering services to expand. It goes without saying that this requires the right catering supplies. The equipment you’ll need depends on the type of food and drink you’ll be serving, but there are some essential pieces of equipment every catering business needs, such as:
- Refrigeration – fridges, freezers, ice machines
- Cooking equipment – microwaves, ovens, fryers
- Cleaning equipment – dishwashers, mops, buckets, chemicals
- Beverage machines – hot water urns, coffee machines
- Kitchenware – utensils, baking trays, pots and pans, food storage
- Tableware – glassware, crockery, cutlery
Relocating a home based catering business and establishing a commercial kitchen requires a lot of work to get started, however it’s wise to get in on the ground floor now in such a booming industry.