If you love food and love people, running your own catering business is a great way to combine the two and make money. There are tens of food related business ideas that you may be interested in, but mobile catering is increasingly becoming popular, especially in the urban culture.
It can either be a full fledged food truck with a mini kitchen or even a small vehicle that sells prepared food. Earlier the mobile catering concept was specific to the event venues, but now you can see food trucks, trailers, carts and food stands almost anywhere in the big cities.
So, if you plan to start a mobile catering business, because it sounds such a lucrative opportunity, you should also know what it takes to make it a success.
This article will detail four key questions you should be able to answer in order to start and run a profitable mobile catering business.
1- What Will You Sell?
As well as catering for social functions and business meetings many mobile caterers provide on-the-go lunch service to office staff. Many people are so busy these days they don’t have the time or inclination to go to the local deli every day.
That’s why selling premade baguettes and sandwiches may prove to be very popular. Consider what will be the most profitable and focus on one area in the first instance. You can always branch out into other avenues once your business is established.
2- What Transport Will You Use?
If you are delivering food on the go, you will need a decent amount of secure storage space so a van is a great mode of transport. Consider vehicles which are cheaper to run as well as better for the environment.
HVO fuel, for example, is a biofuel that provides a cleaner-burning alternative for use in diesel engines. Several car manufacturers are making their vehicles compatible resulting in a growing number of HVO fuel suppliers. This also makes these greener modes of transport more readily available to consumers.
A van is also a great way to advertise your company. Having your logo and contact details emblazoned on the side will ensure that your business is being advertised whilst you are on the move.
3- How to Maintain Health and Safety Standards?
As with any business involving food, you must ensure that you are compliant with Health and Safety guidelines at all times. Regardless of whether you intend making the food in your home or on separate premises, you will need to contact your local council to register.
They will ask you to complete some paperwork and will inspect your premises to ensure they meet the necessary safety standards. In terms of packaged food, all ingredients must be clearly labelled and any food or allergy warnings shown.
4- What Advertising & Marketing Mediums to Use?
Distributing flyers is a good idea when running a mobile catering business. Having sample menus printed with pricing guides and contact details provides potential customers with all the information they require. You may even want to consider including a small discount voucher. If you are targeting offices, try speaking to the office manager and ask if you can send some samples for them to try.
If you can secure the lunchtime trade, it could lead to facilitating the rest of their catering requirements too. Many companies host business lunch meetings every single day which could prove to be very profitable for you. One of the most important things is to ensure that you are delivering fresh, quality produce to your customers. If the food is good and the service is second to none, there is no reason why your business can’t be a huge success.
The Bottom Line:
Starting a mobile catering business can be a highly lucrative opportunity, however, it requires parallel planning and a good deal of targeted effort to deliver success. Start with the above four points and you should be able to come up with a proper business plan for your mobile catering business.
About Author: Rachel Johns
I am business grad with majors in Marketing and New Media, and I work as an independent marketing strategist. Writing is my passion as it gives me an opportunity to express myself. I love traveling and exploring the world, but most importantly, how the world is evolving.