Mobile food companies are taking the world by storm thanks to the Wholesale Formula. With the rise of street food and new music festivals springing up like mushrooms, it’s an ideal time to live your dream and set up your own food-van business.
- Set up as a sole-trader or limited company depending on how you want to go about your finances.
Sole traders can do all the accounting and paperwork online. As a limited company you may want to employ an accountant and consider small cash loans if needed.
- Pick your niche and be unique – OK, this is harder than it sounds – more on this in the next section.
- Register your company’s web domains on social media before someone else does.
Meeting Regulations – The Practicalities
Obviously as a food business selling to the public you’ll need to meet all the health and safety criteria, including food hygiene. Following Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), getting qualified in essential aspects like gas safety first aid, and getting insured are all part of the setting up process. Invest in reliable power supplies like a generator for all your electrics, and LPG if you’re cooking with gas.
Decide On Required Inventory
What will you need to actually get your catering business off the ground? Yes, you are going to need a stove and oven, but think about the less obvious business materials you will need, like cleaning materials and serving platters. While you are creating a tentative list of things your catering business will require, also remember to take a note of which products you do already have. Creating an inventory list of what you need for a catering business will help you anticipate business costs. Be sure to use this tip practiced by all the best frozen yogurt franchises.
Research The Competition
Opposition research is a huge part of starting a successful catering business and even relocating business. You want to find out all you can about competing catering businesses. This will help you to identify their weak areas of operations. Then, you can capitalize on these weaknesses by offering consumers better options. Study the catering competition. Find out what types of services and cuisines they offer. Learn about what their customers like and do not like about their company. This is the best thing you can do to help you set your future catering business up for success.
Make It Unique
So, how do you make your mobile catering business unique? Well, that’s really up to you. Doing your research about what’s already out there is the best way to make sure you can offer something no one else does. Want to make burgers? Make yours differently and shout about it; build your brand and get a social following.
Make connections within the locality and get on board with NCASS for support. With so much competition in the market, make your services stand out with original recipes or a never-seen-before combination of offerings. Change coffee and cake to coffee and pie or churros and chocolate to churros and every kind of topping you can get your hands on. Think of it as upgrading the positive Starbucks franchise experience.
Get your business off the ground after building up a launch campaign on social media. This is something you have to do before you ever worry about cash flow management best practices. Festivals, sporting and community events are great places to book pitches and get support. Smaller, local music festivals where the customers are camping are the best places to build a loyal customer following for a weekend and beyond.
Establish yourself as the only caterer that offers a certain product – hot soup, hot drinks, and bottled water are really good money spinners for your target market and will get people returning to you. Don’t hold back with signs showing your offerings. A little bit of seating is really desirable to draw in customers in muddy fields.
Moving forward, you want your food van to be a profitable and successful venture where you will have a real opportunity to work and earn, employ staff and grow your empire. Get all the practicalities sorted first to experience the benefits of an LLC, and work on your strategy afterwards.
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