Click to collapse section Community Description ▼ Click to expand section Community Description ▶ Community Description
Starting up a catering or food-related business can require a large number of boxes to be ticked. Anything from food quality, to buying a food processor, to staff training and financial security can affect how your business operates in the long run. When it comes to setting up the business, it seems that the majority of business owners require advice on what to do. If you look through forums and FAQ pages, you’ll see that there are numerous websites and discussions flooded with questions related to restaurants, take aways and cafés, and what is required to start one up as a business.
Registering as a restaurant is quite obviously one of the first steps you need to go through. This can be a fairly simple process, and is known by the government as registering a business for food operations. What many people don’t know is that any stalls, vans or mobile premises must be registered too, as well as the fact that if your business handles any meat, fish, egg or dairy produce, then an inspection and approval by the local council is mandatory. However, this doesn’t apply if food makes up less than 25% of your trade, but registration must be completed at least 28 days before commencing with business in the UK.
Aside from registration, the questions asked surround the insurance industry, as many business owners don’t seem 100% sure on what cover they need exactly. Many companies provide specialist Commercial Insurance that is tailored to such a business in terms of liability, buildings and contents cover. However though, when it isn’t an option with the company you’re speaking to, then always go for Commercial Insurance. It is very customisable and gives you the opportunity to ask about each aspect of your company, making sure that you have all the necessary cover in place.
Usually, you can obtain cover immediately over the phone, once payment is made of course. This can help new business get started as soon as possible, by allowing proprietors to focus on everything else, and not worry about the insurance. The added bonus is that it covers pretty much all sectors of the business at once, thus not taking up a lot more time and money.
Other things that could be implemented into your restaurant, take away or café business, include online ordering and delivery. These sort of options can bring in a huge range of customers, as they are undoubtedly two of the most contributing factors to a customer base. These sort of features have become almost expected of a takeaway or restaurant, so trying to organise a sophisticated system in relation to them can benefit you massively in terms of popularity.
When it comes to business equipment used for cooking and furniture and furnishings for your customers, you need to pick wisely between what you could possibly obtain second hand and what you should buy brand new. This is due to the different impact that these certain items can have on your business, and the problems that can be caused if anything were to go wrong. Obviously the costs implied when starting up such a business can be rather daunting, but you need to think about how much the necessary purchases will help you in the long run.
One question that did cause me to do a double take at first, was regarding employment of family or friends when starting up a business. This does seem like a good idea at first when it comes to team-work, trust, and understanding of each other’s working pattern, however, should anything turn sour within those family or friend relationships, then the business environment may be jeopardised. This could just be temporary or have a permanent effect, but in some cases it’s not even worth risking in the first place. It can be very destructive when the situation of dismissing your friends or family from a job comes about, so choose wisely.
Clearly there are many different things to consider when starting up a catering or food-based business. Trying to tie them all in together so they work in harmony where necessary is the key to setting up the business, not correctly, but efficiently. What you have to think about from a business owner’s point of view is the future - what will help you succeed and be worth investing in now to make things easier in the long run?