Q: I am considering launching a catering business and would like a list of resources and how-tos to get started.
A: Catering is a rapidly growing industry that is ideal for fledgling entrepreneurs because it doesn’t require years of training or heavy-duty start-up costs. You can also launch your business from home and work at it part-time on evenings and weekends. To be successful in this highly competitive profession, however, requires experience in cooking and entertaining for others, people and networking skills, organizational skills and great marketing ability, according to Paul and Sarah Edwards, authors of The Best Home Businesses for the 21st Century (Putnam, $17.95).
Check out these resources to help you get started: International Association of Culinary Professionals, 304 W. Liberty St., Suite 301, Louisville, KY 40202; 502-583-3783, or http://iacp-online.org; The National Restaurant Association, 1200 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036; 800-424-5156; Food Arts: The Magazine for Professionals (Food Arts Publishing Inc.) 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016; 212-684-4224. Also, read these books:
- Catering Like a Pro: From Planning to Profit by Francine Halvorsen (John Wiley & Sons; $19.95)
- How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business (3rd Edition) by Denise Vivaldo (Globe Pequot Press, $17.95)
- How to Become a Caterer: Everything You Need To Know From Finding Clients to the Final Bill (Learning Series) by Susan Wright (Citadel Press)