For some folks going into catering and opening a little cafe is a what they have always dreamed of doing. They see it as a pleasant business to own, with a little home baking to do and talking to the customers. But in reality, it can be a lot of hard work and making it profitable isn’t easy. In fact, many catering businesses fail in the first three years. But what can you do to stop your business going the same way? Read on to find out.
You are unrealistic
One the biggest problems that catering business owners have is that they are unrealistic. This lack of realism can take different forms.
Firstly, they can be unrealistic about the revenue that they are able to make.
This is because smaller business usually only have a few tables, so they are limited to the mount of customer they can have in at any one time.
Or, it can be about the fact that they only have a small kitchen to work in, but are expecting to produce a large volume of hot food without a wait.
Neither of these things is very realistic and can cause a business to fail. This is why it’s essential that you make your projections on realistic numbers of both customers and the meals that you can serve them. Or it can be quite easy for your business to fail.
Your figures don’t add up
The next problem that small catering businesses often come across that can lead to disaster is that they don’t pay enough attention to the costs that they are paying out for. It’s all very well having the best decor, cutlery, and plates but if the cost is too much, this can start eating into your profits.
Also, the cost of the food itself is something that needs to be paid close attention to. As if you don’t know the cost of each meal is, how can you ensure that you are selling it for the right price, that is covering your costs and making a profit? It’s not good enough to pull figures out of the air because you could be losing money on what you are selling.
Ignoring the little things
In addition, don’t forget to pay attention to the smaller details of your business as these can make all of the difference. Remember a kitchen is like a well-oiled machine and will only work well if all of the parts in that machine work too.
That means you have to pay attention to things no one else would notice like ensuring that the pressure in the water pipes is good with an ultrasonic flow meter for water. Having the right hand wash and paper towels. Or making sure that the kitchen shelves are tidied up regularly, so you know exactly where to find everything.
Without doing these little things the kitchen staff can be delayed, then the customers are delayed. Which can seriously affect your business’s reputation.
You are spreading yourself too thin
Lastly a huge, but unfortunately common, mistake that a lot of catering business make is that they spread themselves too thin in term of their menu.
Extensive menus with numerous options not only delay the order process because the customers will take longer to decide. But they also make it harder for the kitchen as there are more ingredients and processes involved. That is why it’s better to start small and change things regularly.