So you’ve decided to blend your passion for events and food by starting a catering business — the perfect career for those who love fast-paced, dynamic, and exciting work environments. Starting a catering company involves getting many pieces in place: obtaining insurance and licenses, finding a suitable kitchen space, creating a menu, finding clients, hiring staff, and securing equipment.
Let’s focus on two essential steps to starting and building a catering business: finding culinary incubators and obtaining restaurant equipment.
Starting any business — especially a food business — involves a sizeable upfront investment into space, storage, and equipment. Culinary incubators are available for rent at an hourly or monthly rate and are a smart option for specialty foods entrepreneurs not ready to sign a monthly lease for their own commercial kitchen.
Many culinary incubators offer educational programs teaching entrepreneurs how to use commercial kitchen equipment. Their supportive environments are designed to help food entrepreneurs get on their feet and run a profitable business. Many food startups have started in culinary incubators and grown into multimillion-dollar companies.
The majority of culinary incubators are located in urban areas and are ideal for reaching large populations. Some culinary incubators, like New York City-based Food-X, are actually accelerators and offer capital to startup businesses in exchange for future equity in the company.
Check out this article by Eater to learn more about culinary incubators.
When you’re ready to make the jump to obtaining your own restaurant space, you’ll need to think about what equipment you’ll need and where to get it. The first question you’ll need to answer is, “Should you rent or buy?” The answer will depend on how much catering you expect to do in one year and if you can afford to pay for equipment storage and maintenance. Renting equipment can be worthwhile if you expect profits to outweigh the long-term costs of renting.
You can lower the cost of purchasing equipment by considering used equipment. Kohn-Megibow sells both new and used equipment and can provide equipment for buffets, table settings, coffee and beverage stations, refrigeration, food preparation, heating, cleaning, and storage.
Choosing between brands and deciding what equipment you absolutely need and what can wait can be a daunting process. We’re happy to hear about your specific catering needs and work within your budget. Give us a call at (714) 666-8166 to get started!