Catering is a fun and exciting industry to be in just like any other sector within the hospitality industry. It’s an industry that is full of growth, but also a lot of misunderstanding.
There have been many myths regarding the catering industry. We debunked a few of the most common myths below:
Myth 1: Adding Catering Services Could Cost Your Business Too Much Money
This is a huge one for businesses that offer other services besides catering. One important business is restaurants. Since the restaurant industry is so cutthroat, many restaurant owners feel they will end up spreading themselves too thin if they add catering to their list of services. That can be further from the truth. According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurants are now generating four times more catering revenue than retailers. That’s huge! When you think about it, it’s not hard to imagine why. People find a place they enjoy eating at, and want it to be served at events they host.
Myth 2: Preparation and Setup Only Takes A Few Minutes
There are a lot of things caterers must take into consideration when it comes to the preparing and setting up for an event. They need to know how much space they will have to work with and how many guests will be attending the event. It’s all about the logistics. Then if the catering company is preparing the food off-site, they will need to figure in how long it will take for everything to be brought in including props and necessary equipment. If they are preparing food on site, they will then need to consider prep time before any of the guests arrive.
Myth 3: As Long As You Serve Amazing Food, Your Catering Business Will Be Successful
Serving amazing food is only half the equation when it comes to running a successful catering operation. What about your costs? Exquisite food can run extremely expensive if you don’t balance your budgets or charge your customers the right amount. Is there a way to cook amazing food on a budget? Of course! However, it can be very time consuming. Do you have the right chef who can handle such constraints? What about the necessary equipment to pull off a successful presentation? Food presentation is a part of taste and managing everything that comes along with it.
Myth 4: Caterers Can Manage Everything With Pen and Paper
These days, a catering business doesn’t survive without a management software. Pen and paper just don’t cut it when it comes to managing multiple events daily. Pen and paper just don’t cut it when it comes to managing everything that a caterer does daily. Not all management softwares are created equal. Some have very minimal features, while others can be overpriced. A successful catering business uses one that has the capabilities to grow with their business.
Myth 5: Catering Jobs Are Temporary and Don’t Lead Anywhere
Catering should be looked at just like any other business or industry and it is what you make of it. If you go in with the mindset that this is your side business for weekends or holidays while you manage your full-time business during the week, then that is what it will be. However, if you go into it with the mindset that you will make it into your full-time job, then it is easy to become that. It is true that catering can have its odd hours, but today, when the idea of the typical “9-5” job is dwindling out, catering events constantly at night and having your mornings off, is a pretty consistent income flow.
Myth 6: Catering Workers Are Not Well Paid
This statement is only half true. It’s dependent on your position, your experience, the catering company you work for, and more. It’s just like any business you work for; you get what you put into it. As a temporary catering server who works maybe 2-3 events/week probably doesn’t mean very much at all to live off. Where the average catering manager probably makes a decent living, especially if he or she is working for one of the top catering businesses in the area.
Myth 7: Catering Staff Don’t Know What They Are Doing
This one is easy to debunk. You would think that because many caterers hire temporary staff or how catering operations are perceived in movies that any catering staff needs hardcore management. That can be farther from the truth. When catering businesses have good management, the rest of the staff will fall in line. A good manager creates successful procedures that tell things like where each server should be during an event and what time each course needs to come out.
Myth 8: Catering Jobs Are for The Uneducated
A catering business is made for all levels of skills. You have the owner who has to have experience or education in order to start a catering business. Then there is a manager, and catering business owners usually don’t hire managers unless they have experience. Next is the chef and the servers, and it’s usually the servers are the only ones who may come in without experience, but those are the ones who come in at the bottom and rise to other positions.