Starting a catering business from your own home can be a real money spinner and is also ideal for those that need flexible working hours and have a passion for cooking. If you’re thinking about starting a small catering business but not sure what the first steps are, then read on for our guide to getting started.
Registering your business
As well as setting yourself up as a sole trader and registering yourself as self-employed with HMRC, you’ll also need to register yourself with your local council as part of the Food Safety Act. Once registered this means your premises can be inspected at any time.
Food hygiene in practice
It is imperative that you are trained in food hygiene and safety and if you aren’t, you need to get at least a Level 1 Food Hygiene Certificate. Ideally, you should also look to get Levels 2 and 3. You’ll learn that good food hygiene isn’t just about checking your chicken is in date, it’s about having easy clean surfaces, understanding labelling and much more. Once you have brushed up your food hygiene skills and put them into action, you need to have a food hygiene management plan that ensures you stay on top of it. More information on good food hygiene practice can be found at the Food Standards Agency – https://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry.
Getting your kitchen ready
Your home kitchen may be small, in which case it would be a good idea to buy an additional kitchen island which can be used solely for your catering work and will add storage. You should ideally have a separate fridge that isn’t used by the rest of your family. Having separate cooking utensils, baking trays and pans is also good practice. You can buy dedicated commercial kitchen items for less from online catering suppliers such as https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/.
Before you get started, take some time to do costings and work out how much you need to earn to stay afloat. This includes understanding how much you need to pay out for food in the first place and what sort of wastage you may have to deal with.
A small catering business can be a great way to earn extra money for your household. Before you start, look through the above checklist to make sure you’re ready.