How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business

If you love to cook and are considered a master chef by your family and friends, you may think about turning that hobby of yours into something more serious.

A catering service straight from the warmth of your home – sounds good, doesn’t it?

If you decide to go for it, here are a few tips that will make that process easier.

Small Beginnings

Be careful about the amount of work you want to take in the first days. Don’t bite more than you can chew!

You should begin with providing catering for small events. Be sure that you can manage the catering service for a certain event by yourself or with two or three assistants.

It’s also very important that you focus on one type of food so you wouldn’t get lost in the process. For example, if your specialities are cakes, then you should concentrate on celebrations like birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.

Obtaining Licenses

Before you dive in the catering waters, don’t forget to check out the state requirements for selling food from your home, i.e. if you can actually do your business.

If you can, the next step is to check what kind of permits and licenses you need and what laws you have to abide by.

You also have to get a business license and liability insurance for the protection of your home-based business, and therefore, you should contact your city or county.


While checking the legal part of your business, you should also ask what kind of rules apply for food handling. That way, you will find out whether you need to buy the dishes that are used only for business or you can use the ones from your personal kitchen. In some countries, there are specific rules for food ingredients as well.

No matter how organized you get, you must remember that you will spend a lot of time behind a stove, cooking. However, it isn’t charming at all if, at the end of the day, you smell of fried onions, fish or beans.

That’s why you should consider getting a potent range hood that will suck in all those strong odors – not to mention provide you with a direct light on your food during the cooking process.


You don’t have to be a marketing expert to be able to promote your catering service. We live in the 21st century, an era of smartphones and social media networks, so the fastest way for the audience to find out about your delicious meals is via social media!

Open a Facebook page for your catering service and don’t forget to set up an Instagram account as well. You can delight the viewers every single day by posting photos of all those meals you made.

Very soon, you will start to get orders in your inbox and all those positive comments and reviews under the photos are an amazing (and free-of-charge) way to attract more customers!

Test Your Meals

All catering-beginners must represent their food and services to the public before they can expect any orders. Show people what you can do with food. Organize a small party where everybody will be able to taste those perfect little cupcakes of yours. Make your products available at the local market.

Once people taste those delicious morsels you make, they will quickly recommend you to their family and friends.

What more could you ask for?


When starting up any kind of a home-based business, it’s of utmost importance that you have an appropriate budget for it.

You must remember that you will have more expenses at the beginning than the incomes. If you can’t afford it with the money you already have on hand, then you may have to consider getting a credit card or applying for a small business loan.

However, it would be wise to create a business plan so you can refer to it whenever you are not sure about the next business steps.

The best thing about this is that you are your own boss. You can work at the time that suits you, whether it’s a weekend or a few hours during the day. Once the number of customers grows, you can consider full-time working hours.

If you follow the tips written above and continue to make delicious meals, your home-based catering business is bound to become a huge success.

About Lillian Connors

As a senior business strategist, Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for a much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.