7 Great Ways Your Catering Business Can Save Money
The catering industry is constantly growing. With customers demanding more choice, variety, and transparency when it comes to food, catering is one of the most exciting services industries but can also be challenging.
Keeping costs down is usually one of the primary concerns of a catering business. Business owners want to achieve the best results for their customers at the fairest possible price.
Below, we take a look at some of the best ways that you can save money in your catering business. Whether you are looking at small simple changes that will have an immediate impact, or something longer term we have a solution for you.
1: More Frequent Budget Checks
Every catering business has a budget, and it is important to ensure that it is working effectively for you. One of the most common problems that business owners face is not checking in often enough with their budget.
Having a budget in place is a great first step. But what’s even more important is to check that you are staying on top of it.
That way, you can make small but significant adjustments along the way that keep you in control.
2: Buy Refurbished Equipment
Your catering equipment is a vital part of your business. It ensures that products are cooked and preparing effectively, and also helps reduce waste — such as by avoiding spoilage in refrigerators and freezers.
Buying brand new catering equipment can be extremely expensive, and isn’t always necessary. Here at Caterquip, for example, we provide the highest quality refurbished catering equipment, all restored to a professional standard. Purchasing second hand high quality equipment helps to keep costs down, and ensure your kitchen continues running smoothly.
However, if you are not one for purchasing second-hand goods and simply must have everything brand spanking new, you’ll be happy to know that there are still ways to save money when buying catering equipment. For example, companies like KÖBACH provide new catering equipment direct from their manufacturer, offering you the chance to make substantial savings on the usual rates.
3: Reduce Portion Sizes
Many catering businesses serve larger portions than necessary to their customers, and this can lead to unnecessary waste as well as a strain on the budget.
If you are noticing that plates are coming back unfinished, or else that your portion sizes may be larger than necessary, consider reducing them. You can start small and reduce more greatly if necessary.
This can help to ensure that ingredients are not going to waste, and thus that you are keeping a tighter handle on your budget. Offering a range of smaller, cheaper options can be great for groups and is popular with younger customers.
4: Consider ‘Going Mobile’
This may be a larger change if your catering business is already established in a premises, or it can be a great option to consider if you are just getting started: consider making your catering business ‘mobile’.
A number of restaurants and eateries are now switching to operating out of vans, stalls or other more mobile arrangements. This can significantly cut the cost of renting premises and properties.
It can also make it possible to sell at bustling events, festivals, or in busy and crowded areas. This can be especially helpful if these areas would normally be prohibitively expensive to rent a property.
If your style of cuisine suits this arrangement — such as the increasingly popular “street food” or takeaways — then going mobile can be a great way forward.
5: Make Changes to Your Menu
Many catering companies find they can save a large amount of money simply by reviewing their menu.
Often there may be expensive cuts of meat that could easily be replaced with cheaper cuts, for example, or ingredients that could double up across several dishes.
Regularly review your menu for the most cost-effective options, and consider making more of what is selling well.
6: Reduce Waste
Aiming to reduce — or even eliminate — waste is at the forefront of a number of a businesses. Your catering company can save money by aiming to reduce as much waste as possible, and it’s better for the environment too.
Ensure that you are on top of your inventory and using ingredients before they go off and must be disposed off. Also consider increasing your recyclable options and use of leftovers.
Other areas of waste reduction can include water and electricity use.
Consider switching to eco-friendly light bulbs, for example, and always ensure that your equipment is functioning well so that you are not wasting water or electricity, or risking spoilage.
If old or faulty equipment needs to be replaced, a refurbished high quality second hand item is a cheap and environmentally friendly option.
7: Switch from Buffet to Plated
Finally, for catering businesses that have a buffet style, consider switching to plated options. Buffet businesses used to be considered a cheap catering alternatives, but this can quickly lead to waste and over-purchasing.
If this applies to you, consider making the switch to plated for a more manageable and cost-effective alternative.