In fact, it takes a certain type of person to run a catering business. Find out whether it's for you by asking yourself these 10 questions:
Both you and your staff will be dealing with the public at all hours of the day and night. You may be tired and harassed, and sometimes customers’ demands can be thoroughly irritating.
If your immediate reaction is to clobber anyone who annoys you, then we suggest you give up all thoughts of catering now! However, in our experience most customers are easy to get along with, provided they get good value and service.
Most street food is a 6-7 day a week business, and your day off may well be a Monday.
The hours will be long, unsociable and holidays may not happen for a long while. Some people thrive on being in the heart of busy social activities - the question is, do you?
Be prepared for difficulties, they will come. If you intend to give up at the first hurdle, this job isn’t for you. The work is physically hard, the hours often grueling, and you will be on your feet most of the time.
You will be working on your own, and success will depend mainly on you. There is no boss to turn to or to blame if things go wrong. You will need to be self-motivated and positive in your approach to each job.
Are you self-disciplined enough to get up at 5:00am on a freezing winter morning if the need arises, or arrive with a smile even if you feel down in the dumps?
This is a very dog eat ‘hotdog’ kind of industry, and you will often need your wits about you to stay one step ahead of the competition.
People generally start out in this industry with loads of enthusiasm, but this can wear thin after a while and standards begin to drop. Unless you have the strength to maintain your professionalism, your reputation weakens and your profits will take a nosedive.
Can you cope with the bad times as well as the good? Mobile and outside catering can be a real money-spinner if you can keep the repeat business coming whilst keeping your eyes and ears open for new opportunities should circumstances change.
Cleanliness is definitely next to godliness in a catering environment. There will be plenty of cleaning and washing up, so if that’s a chore to you, then maybe you should think again.
If you are the sort of person who always wants the family to be together, this may not be the ideal industry for you. At some shows there will be an opportunity to take the family along. However the stress and demands on your time running your own business are not always harmonious with a family life, particularly a young family.