If you love to cook and you are looking for a lucrative business idea, catering business is a clever means of combining the two and making money.

The catering industry is a booming industry. No matter how hard the recession is or how bad the economy is, people simply cannot resist having weddings, baby showers, burials and things like these. The average cost of rendering catering services at a wedding runs into thousands of dollars.

What is more, there are no corporate bodies that hold a majority share in the business, unlike other businesses. It is a “free for all” kind of business and is highly fragmented. As long as you have the skill, as long as you have the passion and as long as you can hustle, the catering business is big enough for everyone.

Since this industry is an attractive one, how can you start and run a lucrative catering business? This article contains tips and advice that can be helpful to you.

GUIDE: Personal Chef Business Plan

Here is a business plan for a catering shop.

You might be one of those people who likes to arrange dinners and parties for family and friends, or, you have been a regular recipient of compliments about your cooking. If so, catering business is right up your alley.

However, it requires a lot of time effort and expense dedicated towards it, something that most people fail to realize.

To get ahead in this business you must have a passion for it.

Being a caterer, you are responsible for planning menus, cooking up the menu, delivering it to the location or event, serving the food at the event and cleaning up afterward. As a caterer, you are a vendor at events such as weddings, birthdays, company picnics, etc. You must have a niche. Ask, yourself: what exactly can I offer that will attract clients to me?

  • How can you identify your niche?

You need to know what you are good at. Is there a certain kind of food you are good at? What trait do you consider to be your most defining business trait? Do you want to target specific events and markets, for example, weddings, funerals or fundraisers?

Once you have identified your niche, the next thing is to determine whether your niche is lucrative or not. This means you have to conduct market research. Find out your competition.

Are there other catering companies that do what you do? How many are there? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How can you incorporate their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses in your own catering business?

The benefit of doing this is that you will know if there are already too many people doing the same thing you want to do. It is better to be safe now, than sorry later.

Step 1: Draft a Catering Business Plan

Write a catering business plan. This is an important aspect you must do. A business plan helps you map out the kind of catering business you want to do.

The effectiveness of your business plan can go a long way in determining if your catering business will be successful or not. It ensures that you think deeply concerning every aspect of the business and make the right decisions when challenges arise. It contains your financial, projection, and organizational structure. The next step in building a lucrative catering business is determining your price range.

Are you going to cater to the upper class, the middle class or the lower class? Your answer will determine what your price-point will be, either high end or affordable to the middle class. You must determine which end of the spectrum you will fall.

Now that the basic foundations have been laid, you move to the next important step:

Step 2: Location and Logistics

What does this involve? Unlike many other businesses, the physical location of your business is not very important.

Rather, what matters is the kind of tools you have to work with, a lot of storage space and space for preparation.

Transportation is key to running a lucrative catering business. A serious business owner must have a quick, reliable source (or sources) of transportation. Nothing drives away business as failing to show up for appointments.

Step 3: Advertise and Market your Business

It does not matter if your food tastes like heaven if people do not know about it. Thus you need to put yourself out there.

How? Get a website and use other forms of online social media. In the world we live in, this is now the most effective way of getting people informed about your business. Gone are the days of flyers and brochures.

Using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, helps you track and monitor the response of people to your product and services, something no flyer can do.

Step 4: Liaison with other Event Vendors or Planners

Networking, in the catering business, is key. Build great, positive relationships with other vendors and event planners to keep your business strong.

A catering business is a very lucrative one, as long as you have the passion and you know what you are doing. Use the tips in this article to build for yourself a lucrative catering business.

READ: BBQ Catering Service Business Plan


– The Executive Summary
– Our Objectives
– Mission Statement
– Keys to Success
– Ownership
– Our Services
– Market Analysis in Summary
– Our Target Market
– Competitive Advantage
– Pricing Strategy
– Payment Options
– Publicity and Advert Strategy
– Sustainability and Expansion Strategy


Darcy’s Catering is a new sole proprietorship catering service provider that is fully registered and will follow all regulatory procedures and guidelines in the catering services industry.

Providing these services to the Michigan market, it has plans of growing to spread nationwide within 10 years of its operations. This will be powered by service excellence, as the total satisfaction of our clients will be our major goal.


Our objective at Darcy’s Catering is to develop a sound business model that will influence growth in our clientele base, see a rise in revenue, satisfaction of our clients and growth in the number of outlets spread within the Michigan area, and eventually having our outlets in all states within the United States.


At Darcy’s Catering, our mission is the provision of the finest catering services that will exceed customer expectations. Our activities in all the sectors of catering will all be tailored to clients’ needs to build client trust in our capacity to deliver the very best of services.


Our key to success has already been discovered to include the provision of unparalleled catering services to our esteemed clients through the availability of a diverse and attractive menu, that will include creative meals never tried before, but that will be a delight at first try.

In addition to the normal menu, we would be involved in the constant development of meals never tried out before that will be a pleasing first for our clients. Also, at inception, we will have the capacity to provide catering for events having between 200 to 300 guests.


This is a sole proprietorship owned by Darcy Stevens and will be enlisting the services of professional hands in managing and running the catering business.


Our services are diverse and include a vast array of dishes, drinks of assorted types all geared at creating the ultimate experience for our highly esteemed clients.

Also, all our services will be backed by innovation. Apart from serving dishes and snacks familiar to the people, we will be experimenting on new dishes and will get feedback from our clients if they would like a repeat of such.


With several other businesses offering similar catering services, it has been noted that attention to detail in the preparation of certain dishes has been little or absent. We at Darcy’s Catering will be taking advantage of this area to improve our services, thereby, creating a tradition of excellence in all areas of our operations.

READ: Steps to Securing Catering Contracts


At Darcy’s Catering, we will be targeting the middle class and upper-class clients as these will form the bulk of our client base. And it is believed that with the provision of premium services, client loyalty will naturally follow, making way for more clients by way of referrals.


There is stiff competition in the catering industry, with so many caterers providing varied services. However, we at Darcy’s recognize this and are willing to provide distinct catering services that will separate us from the competition.

In the area of pricing, we will have a competitive pricing regime where our charges will be pocket-friendly while at the same time providing premium services. This is unlike what is obtainable elsewhere, where mediocre services are overpriced.


Within our first year of commencing business, we intend to start with incredibly low services that will attract a new client following/loyalty. These services will be highly professional and innovative, hence providing the highest service at the cheapest cost.

Our charges will be much lower than those offered by our competitors. But as time goes on, and having won client loyalty, we intend to stabilize our pricing to what is obtainable in the industry.


Our payment options at Darcy’s Catering are varied to accommodate different client payment preferences. The options available include POS channels, cheque, mobile money, online bank transfer in addition to any other payment option that may be preferred by our esteemed clients.


We intend to publicize our services to a wide segment of the society and especially, our target market through the use of channels such as billboards, the use of local radio and TV stations, the printing and distribution of flyers and banners, the internet and social media such as Facebook and other social media platforms. We will be building a website that will advertise our broad range of services.

We will strive to sustain and expand our services through unique strategies that will ensure that our growth does not slow down. This is through the training of our employees in the area of provision of exceptional services.

On sustainability, Mrs. Darcy Stevens will be grooming her son who will be sent on training to fully acquaint him with the know-how on the smooth running of the catering business.


The above is what a catering business plan sample looks like, with all the necessary components ensuring that basic operating procedures are adequately covered. It is hoped that this will help you in writing your unique catering business plan. 

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