Startup Business

Complete Details on Starting Food Catering Business

Food Catering Business Plan: A detailed information

If you are good at cooking, love to serve your food to others, passionate to try something new in cooking style then you have all qualities to be a chef and if you are ready to start working independently then perhaps now is the ideal time to begin your own catering business. Starting a cooking business in India is effective and successful because it doesn’t need huge initial investment, particularly for homemakers. In India, the cooking business is supposed to develop at a 25-30% per year.

Anybody can begin a small catering business for different sizes of parties. You can start with a small investment then after the client and market response you can develop your business for large scale. A food caterer is required for any occasion, whether it is an office function, a party, a festival, or any event. Now this business is on high demand. In this blog we will discuss all details about the catering business, requirement, investment, profit, market research and how to start food catering business ? So, let’s start to read the blog to know more about this business.

How to Start Catering Business in India ?

Read Also: Complete details of Papad Making Business.

How to Start Food Catering Business ?

If you are planning to start your own food catering business then follow the step by step process. The steps are given below-

  • Make a proper business plan where all required points must be included. You must consider all things like- types of business full time or part time, place, menu, cost, marketing, customers choice, equipment etc. Without a proper business plan you unable to proceed.
  • Choose an ideal place to set up your business where storage space, a proper kitchen area required. You can use your own house or can rent a place for your business. The place must be clean and hygienic where the clients like to come for order. The size space depending upon the size of your business.
  • The next step in investment of the business. You have to invest in rent, buying equipment, staff’s salary, staff’s uniform, licenses and permits, decoration, promotional work etc. You can take loan from bank or any micro finance company. You have to be very conscious about cost of the business.
  • Purchase the necessary equipment like- Ovens, Refrigerator, Mixer Grinder, Working Table, Gas Stoves, Knife Sets, Large Containers, Serving Containers, Serving Containers etc. At first you need to search and compare the rate of the equipment then purchase.
  • You need to talk to local vendors for raw material supplies. The raw materials like good grains, flour, vegetables, non-veg items, spices, oil and so on. Start growing the network of farmers, suppliers and vendors for the best products at the best price.
  • Before starting your food catering business you need to complete the documentation process like permission and license. The list of the document is given in this blog. It is very necessary to take clearance from respective department for food catering business.
  • Decide the menu of your catering business. In India there are so many festivals and events celebrated. Different occasions need different menu, so you have to decide the menu for every function. Every caterer has their own specialty so decide and create some unique menu which people never forget the taste after eating them.
  • Now it is time to hire the staffs. You have to hire one head chef, other cooks, helper, food serving staffs and delivery persons. A dedicated team is the key to success so; train them properly to handle large number of people.
  • Next step is after all these you need to start marketing of your business. Apply traditional as well as digital marketing. Distribute your business card and leaflets to your local market, start posting banners, videos in the social media and what’s app to reach new peoples.
  • It is very necessary to do smart work. Make catering business software to manage the stocks, bill system etc. You need to make an ideal website for your catering business where your service details are mentioned. These technologies will help you a lot and reduce your stress.

Types of Food Catering Business:

  1. Corporate Catering

Here, the caterer serves the organization’s workers in any business meet, official party, get together etc. Most companies often host all such gatherings where workers can discuss business related issues, any product launch, in service training etc. There are limited numbers of peoples present during corporate gatherings. The caterer can serve the guest their favorite food and refreshments.

  1. Wedding Catering

Wedding caterers are booked for the wedding and reception as well as for other wedding-related occasions like the engagement, haldi, sangeet etc. Weddings are one of the main event in everyone’s lives. Thus, food caterers really focus on the whole situation so the guests can have the special wedding dinner  in that day and the host of the family can engage in other work and free from the food and service.

  1. Social Event Catering

Social events or get-together like retirement, birthday, rice ceremony, pre-wedding parties etc. Such occasions, specifically, require customized food service and more redid food administration. At such occasions, some special menus can be decided and offered to the guests. Here the party can be theme based so, the color, appearance and food will be decided.

  1. Concession Catering

In concession Catering service caterer provides service for public events, significant sports events, and huge music concerts. Here the caterer has to manage and provides food to huge gatherings of people. In such events caterer selected the most well-liked items for the people. It is difficult to satisfy everyone’s unique food preferences so some common preferable food items are offered. In such events caterer cook fast prepared food items which are easy to serve.

How to Start Catering Business in India ?

Read Also: How to Start Restaurant Business in India ?

Conduct Market Research for Food Catering Business:

Nowadays people of India become more health conscious. People prefer tasty as well as healthy food. Between 2017 -2022, the food catering market in India has grown very fast. For starting own business catering service is a good choice. Hotels, event management organizations, and any person who has lack of time and manpower are the main customers of catering services in India.

The market also provides various opportunities for food catering such as mobile catering, catering service through app etc. An individual person can start his business from in-house kitchen or a rented place and offer the catering service in universities, institutions, and corporate offices. People also readily accept these services.

Food catering companies are now got permission to serve food to schools, colleges, and universities. They are also involved in the development of mobile apps or any third party food delivery service providers like Zomato, Swiggy and so on. Now caterers provide different types food through various mediums to meet the needs of every person.

Location for the Food Catering Business:

Location plays a vital role in the catering business. The caterer needs a suitable business location and storage area. Setting up a kitchen in a hygienic and clean place is the first thing that requires in any food business.  Many factors should be considered while choosing a suitable location, such as rent, area and locality. The rent varies as per the type and size of location.

When a person is planning to start a full-time catering business, it requires a permanent cooking facility and storage space. It needs to be very clear that in a rented area must have permission to run mixer in all the day when needed, can use large deep freezer. A person can start their by using their own space or he/she may rent kitchen space for business.

Machines and Equipment Required:

If you are thinking about starting a catering business in India then it is a very good business but there are a few things you will need to get started. At first you need some appliances and equipment, they are as follows-

EquipmentApprox. Price in Rupees
OvenRs. 15,000
Mixer GrinderRs. 10,000-12,000
Working TableRs.8000- 10,000
Gas Stove With 2 BurnersRs. 3000- 5000
Knife SetsRs. 2000-3000
Large Containers/PieceRs.3000-6000
Serving Containers /PieceRs.500-1000
Various UtensilsRs. 15000- 20,000

In addition, you’ll need a storage space and a large vehicle which is enough to transport your equipment and food.

Documents & License Required for Catering Business:

When a person plan to start food catering business he/she must have the following documents-

Staffs Required for Food Catering Business:

Any new business needs full of dedication and hard work for its success. In food catering business sufficient and dedicated staff is required. In the initial stages, you can search in your own network for hiring cooks, helpers and servers. If the business set up properly then you can hire permanent staffs when you have enough funds.

Maintain a uniform for all the staffs, the staffs should be properly trained to handle large scale of people. For any medium sized catering business you need 10-12 people including a head cook, other cooks, helper, food serving people and delivery people.

Investment Required to Start Food Catering Business:

You can start the catering business with a small and medium scale. An average budget to start a catering business in India is around 20 lakh rupees. This cost includes an initial few months of business expenses, essential equipment purchasing, kitchen rent, transportation, licenses and permits. This cost may vary according to your preferences. The smaller costs involved like that of table decoration, workers uniform etc.

For fund you can take a bank loan. You need to convince them with your business plan and revenue generation model from this catering business. There are many such schemes in various banks and micro finance companies that help you get a loan without any hassle.

Profit Margin of the Food Catering Business:

The success of the food catering business is depending upon various factors like the quality of food, service, location, presentation and marketing. We are giving an approximate data about the profit and margin of any catering business in India. In a small scale catering business the owner could earn a profit 1 lakh-4 lakh per month. In a large scale the profit could be 10 lakh – 15 lakhs per month. Generally a catering business earns 10-12 % profit margin of the sales.

Marketing Activities for Your Food Catering Business:

When you set up your business the most important thing is to get continue orders. A work flow required to maintain the business. You should do strong marketing for your business. Here some marketing strategies are given below-

Catering Business marketing strategy

  • Word of mouth/verbal promotion

Like other business verbal publicity is always goods initially. You can first target your natural market and tell them about your business. You can make cold calls to generate leads. It is an easy way of marketing of a business.

  • Use FB, Instagram and What’s App

In present days social media sites have become the most powerful platform. If you can use it properly or hire a digital Marketing expert then you can reach to your target customers easily. If your products and service are good then you can convert the leads into your loyal customers.

  • Make an effective website and work on SEO

Make an attractive and user friendly website where all your services will be maintained. A good website is your portfolio and start Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to drag more visitors to your website. This web visitor can turn into your customers.

  • Increase your network

It is a highly competitive market so always try to make new network and increase them. You can contact event planners, hotels, bakers and different types of companies and give them your business card and leaflet. So, when they organize any party they surely talk to you.

  • Distribute the leaflets

It is a traditional but very effective marketing technique. You can distribute your leaflet through newspapers, in any event organizer’s office and in your local market. So, the people will know about your business. A good technique brings good result.

Read Also: Complete Guide on starting a Bakery Business.

Risk of Food Catering Business:

Before starting any business you should know all aspects. In case of food catering business there are some risk factors which are faced by the caterer. So some vital risk factors are enlisted here-

Business Property Damage – Whether you run your catering business from other than home and in a large scale it is risky to protect from many things. Your property can misplace, damaged by fire, weather, carelessness of peoples etc. so it is advisable to get insurance of your business.

Equipment Breakdown – Breakdown of catering equipment are common risk. In every event some crockery, utensils get damaged. All the equipment are very costly so you need to take safeguard against power fluctuation, mechanical failure, and different harms that result in unable to provide service. You need to protect your property through insurance; at least it covers the risk.

Contamination of Food – In any function the food you are serving is not kept at the right temperature or cooked improper way can result food contamination. It will be very risky just before the party or can harm the guest’s health after having the food. All the liability and risk will point out to the caterer. In such case the caterer could be responsible to pay a claim to the customer. So, all the food preparation must be going under high supervision.

Food and Supplies Transportation – If you are utilizing transportation vans or any company provides vehicles for conveyance and the driver is not sincere or careless then the caterer could be in risk. The driver will not reach the venue on time or any misfortune could happen on road is another risk factor. So be careful while choosing the transportation medium and staffs.


A caterer could offer their service for various events like marriage, corporate parties; get together, social events etc. These functions could occur in an individual’s home, banquet, or a public space. Depending upon the requirements people hires caterer who offers their services for small, medium and large gathering. Basically a caterer could be booked to provide food and for the guest and the guest becomes relaxed on that day. It is a good segment for starting a business and we have tried to provide all necessary information about the catering business in this blog. Hope you have liked this blog.

FAQ(Frequently Asked Question):

Q. What is a food catering business ?

Ans: A food catering business provides prepared meals and services for events, parties, and other occasions, either on-site or delivered to the location.

Q. How do I start a food catering business ?

Ans: To start a food catering business, you’ll need to create a business plan, obtain necessary licenses and permits, decide the type of catering business you start, purchase equipment, create a menu, and establish marketing and operational strategies.

Q. How much cost of the food catering business requires starting a small set up?

Ans: For starting a small set up you need 10-15 lakh approx. to start the business.

Q. Is the online catering business profitable?

Ans: It is really profitable even many catering company offer varieties of food through online portal.

Q. How can I find clients for my catering business ?

Ans: There are several ways to find clients for your catering business. You can network with event planners, wedding venues, corporate clients, and local businesses. Additionally, you can advertise through online platforms, social media, your website, and local directories.

Q. How do I price my catering services ?

Ans: Pricing your catering services requires considering factors such as food cost, overhead expenses, labor, and profit margins. Conduct market research to understand your competitors’ pricing and ensure your prices are competitive while covering your costs and generating a profit.

Q. How much does a caterer earn ?

Ans: In a small scale catering business the owner could earn a profit 1 lakh-4 lakh per month. In a large scale the profit could be 10 lakh – 15 lakhs per month.

Q. What are the successful tips of the catering business ?

Ans: Some successful catering business tips are-

  • Tasty food
  • On time service
  • Treat the customer as a king
  • Plan your pricing
  • Know the market need
  • Promotion and marketing

Q. What is the payback period of a food catering business ?

Ans: The payback period of a food catering business is 1-2 years.

We hope that you would have liked reading this blog post on how to start food catering business in India. For more such informative articles, keep visiting YMW Solution.

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