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How To Manage & Run A Catering Business

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In this article, we’ll start by discussing the key day-to-day operational tasks you must perform to run a successful catering business. Then we will go through ways to make your business run more efficiently.


Day-to-Day Operational Tasks for a Catering Business 

No matter the type of catering business you have, there are some basic operational tasks that you will need to complete on a regular basis. These tasks include:

  1. Ordering supplies: In order to maintain a consistent level of quality in your food, you will need to order fresh ingredients on a regular basis. You will also need to restock non-perishable items, such as paper goods and cleaning supplies.
  2. Scheduling staff: Catering businesses are often busiest during lunch and dinner hours. As such, you will need to make sure that you have enough staff scheduled to meet customer demand.
  3. Cooking food: This is a key task for any catering business. Food must be cooked fresh to ensure that it meets the highest standards of quality.
  4. Serving food: Once the food is cooked, it needs to be served promptly to customers. This task often falls to the catering staff, though in some cases customers may serve themselves.
  5. Cleaning up: After the event is over, it is important to clean up the serving area and kitchen. This will help ensure that your business is ready for the next event.


Receiving and Processing Payments

Another important aspect of running your business is getting paid on time and in full. There are a few different ways to receive and process payments, but the most common are invoicing and credit cards. 


Managing Client Relationships

The key to any successful business is good client relationships. Managing client relationships is especially important as you want to make sure that they are happy and satisfied with your offerings. This will make them more likely to refer your company to others and to come back to you in the future. There are a few different ways to manage client relationships, but the most common is to keep in touch with them regularly and send them updates via their preferred communication method.


Improve Your Catering Company Inefficiencies

Use the following tips and strategies to make your catering business more efficient:

Invest in a good point of sale system: A good point of sale system can save you time and money by streamlining the ordering and payments process. Payment processing materials abound, and the industry keeps coming up with alternative ways to process payments for you.

Hire reliable staff: Hiring reliable and trustworthy staff is crucial to the success of your business. Make sure to take the time to find employees who  fit well with your company culture and that you can trust to do their job well.

Create a schedule: Having a set schedule for your business will help you to plan ahead and make sure that you are always prepared for events.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to running a successful catering business.


Systems & Processes

One of the best ways to make your catering business more efficient is to develop and/or automate as many systems and processes as possible. By doing this, you can save time and money.

The following catering business processes can be systematized: 

  • Ordering supplies
  • Scheduling staff
  • Cooking food/Serving food
  • Cleaning up
  • Receiving and processing payments

Developing systems and processes for these tasks will help to make your business run more smoothly and efficiently. In turn, this will lead to increased profits and happier customers.


Delegate & Outsource

Another way to make your catering business more efficient is to delegate and/or outsource tasks.

There are a number of different tasks you can delegate or outsource, including:

  • Administrative tasks
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Customer service
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Web development

By delegating and outsourcing these tasks, you will free up time to focus on driving sales, which is key to growing your catering company.

You can find professionals to perform these tasks and more on websites like Upwork and Fiverr. Test workers on those sites with small projects before hiring them for bigger ones.


Time Management

When it comes to running a successful catering business, one of the most important things is time management.

There are a number of different ways to manage your time effectively, including:

  • Create task lists/to-do list
  • Time blocking (blocking out time of your schedule to focus on critical tasks)
  • Prioritization (prioritizing business building projects over day-to-day operational tasks)

In order to be successful, you need to learn how to balance the important tasks with the less important ones. You also need to learn how to say no to certain tasks in order to focus on the ones that are most important.

The key to time management in the catering business is to be organized and focused. By using the techniques mentioned above, you can effectively manage your time and grow your business.


Catering Company Tools, Technology & Resources

There are a number of different tools, technologies, and resources that can help catering businesses improve their efficiencies, including:

  • Marketing automation tools (email marketing, etc.)
  • Accounting software/automated billing and invoicing
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software

Consider using these tools if they can help your business. Also, creating custom software could possibly allow you to perform even better and give you competitive advantage. If a customized piece of software could benefit your catering business, consult with an IT professional or software developer.


Set & Track Goals

One of the best ways to make your catering business more successful is to set and track goals. Without business goals, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to measure your progress or know what you need to do to improve your business.

There are a number of different ways to set and track goals, including:

  • SMART goals (SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound)
  • Progress tracking charts (creating graphs that show your progress made towards specific goals)
  • Creating a business plan

By using one or more of these methods, you can set and track realistic goals for your business. This will help you stay on track and achieve your desired results.


In order to maximize your success, consider networking with other professionals both inside and outside the catering business. By doing this, you can learn from their experiences, get advice, and make connections that can help your business.

There are a number of different ways to network with other professionals, including:

  • Attending industry events
  • Networking events
  • Online networking
  • Professional associations
  • Trade shows


Pricing Your Offerings

One of the most important things to consider when pricing your catering offerings is how much you need to charge in order to make a profit. You also need to consider how much your competitors are charging for similar offerings.

Another thing to consider when pricing your services is how much value your offerings provide. By understanding the value of your offerings, you can justify charging more for them.

Finally, you need to find the right balance between price and demand. If you charge too much, you may lose potential clients. However, if you charge too little, you may not be able to cover the costs of running your catering business.


Targeting the Right Clients

In order to be successful in the catering business, you need to target the right clients. By targeting the right clients, you can increase your chances of making a sale and ideally serve clients who value your offerings more and/or are easier to serve.

There are a number of different ways to target the right clients, including:

  • Segmenting your market.
  • Understanding your ideal client.
  • Developing a positioning statement.
  • Creating a buyer persona.



By using the tips mentioned in this article, you can increase your chances of catering success. Utilize tools and technologies to improve your efficiency, set and track realistic goals, and network with other professionals. Additionally, price your offerings correctly and target the right clients to maximize your profits.

With the right tools, processes, resources, and incoming clients, you can successfully run a catering business.

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