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  2. Starting and Running a Catering Business
  3. Introduction

The catering business is a dynamic, growing industry — and there will always be a demand for it. No one has figured out how to efficiently provide delicious food and drink in a festive atmosphere to hundreds — if not thousands — of guests without the old-fashioned hard work of a professional catering team.

Catering is here to stay, and the industry is continually attracting new talent with innovative ways of bringing great food and drink to clients. From new food station concepts to creative food display ideas, the catering business is constantly evolving. Today, celebrity chefs are starting their own catering enterprises because catering is hot! It's a high profile industry, filled with excitement and challenges.

Many people around the country depend on caterers to bring their special events to life. Caterers do it all, from serving the rich and famous in Los Angeles and New York to creating the wedding of a lifetime for a young couple in Atlanta or Milwaukee — and they never miss a beat. As a group, caterers are among the hardest working people in the country, especially during the holiday and wedding season.

All caterers have two things in common: passion and drive. Whether they run a small off-premise catering company in Idaho or a large catering business in Florida, all caterers are in the business because they love it. Few enter the catering business to make money. Making a living is great, but it's not what drives a caterer to wake up at 4 A.M. to prepare for a morning wedding. Seeing the smiling faces of guests enjoying a smoothly run event is what keeps caterers working so hard. Oh, and yes, getting paid for a job well done is very satisfying indeed.

Caterers have to be good at a lot of things — from cooking to selling to precise planning. They must have people skills in spades in order to fulfill their role of buyer, seller, employer, and planner. Catering is an all-encompassing profession. It utilizes all of your abilities — both physical and mental. If you have a passion for food and for making people happy, you may well be suited to running your own catering business.

By reading this guide and by taking stock of your skills and abilities, you'll know by the end of Chapter 20 whether or not you're up to the challenge of the catering industry. By following the steps described in this book, you'll be well on your way to becoming a professional caterer or growing your existing business to the next level.

Only with the dedication, passion, and professionalism of creative food professionals like you will the industry continue to flourish and evolve. The future of the catering industry, dear reader, is up to you. May this guide inspire you, prepare you, and hasten you to launch your catering career. Best of luck!

  1. Home
  2. Starting and Running a Catering Business
  3. Introduction
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