Making catering your business might seem incredibly daunting but there’s lots of people out there doing it! If it is done right it can be very rewarding and profitable. We’ve teamed up with First Choice who specialise in commercial catering spares to put together a bit of a list of what we think are some crucial pieces of equipment you should look at investing in.
Having the right equipment in place can make or break a business. Promise a big order that you can’t deliver as you don’t have enough capacity or cooking equipment can be a nightmare. If you’re going to be smaller scale selling at fairs or markets on a part time basis it might be better to start small and see what demand is like. If you sell out you can close up for the day. But if you’re taking orders then you need to make sure you can deliver on those promises.
Work out how much oven space you’ll need to cook. How many units/items can you cook in one batch. For example, you’ll be able to cook more cupcakes in one batch in the oven than cakes due to their size. If you think you’ll be producing quite a few cakes a day then you may need several ovens or larger ones. You can find our fool-proof cupcake and Victoria sponge recipes here too if you need them. They’re a great basis for any cakes you might want to sell as part of your business.
You’ll need big enough fridges to not only store your raw ingredients (and safely!) but also any prepared goods which need refrigerating after they’re prepared, like fresh cream tarts etc. It is always good practice to have enough fridge space to be able to store these completely separately. Not only is it safer but it will help you stay more organised.
This is one which can easily be forgotten. Do you have enough space to assemble the goods in which you are to sell. Building and decorating cakes, cupcakes or biscuits takes space. Items which don’t get refrigerated also need space to be stored or sit until ready for sale/transport.
If you’re baking you will know of the necessity of mixers. If you’re making cupcakes of any substantial amount you’ll need more than one mixer. Consider one mixer for the cupcake batter and one for the buttercream frosting. Or one for each flavour of cupcake batter itself. It is a production line and often many bits of equipment are running at the same time to keep the production line moving.
Yep humans, do you have enough hands to do the work. Can you do it all yourself or are you going to need some help. Whether is it from family or friends until you can work out the number of man hours it takes to make XX number of cakes/cupcakes etc. Don’t invest in hiring staff until you’ve made the calculations. All businesses start from somewhere and that place is usually hard work.
Starting your own business can be daunting but it can also be hugely rewarding. I found that baking was incredibly rewarding when people told you how tasty or delicious your food was.