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It’s a common misconception that running a cafe, restaurant or catering company is an easy feat. As with any business, there are extremely rewarding times. However, there are also some huge pitfalls that you are subject to that can make your business go under. Read on to find out how to avoid the 5 biggest catering mistakes.
It’s important for both your customers and your staff that it is well-known that you take cleaning, safety and hygiene seriously. The worst case scenario is that a lack of these things can lead to a pest infestation, food poisoning or an injury.
As a food retailer, catering businesses are going to want to avoid this like the plague.
Therefore, it’s essential that a daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedule for all appropriate tasks is enforced. As well as this, the storage of food has to be safe. Always make sure food is prepared in a healthy and hygienic way, and make sure food is stored in tight, sealed containers (commonly achieved via a vacuum packaging machine).
A modern trend is that the food preparation and cooking area of catering companies has become visible to customers. This has a twofold effect: both encouraging your staff to work as hard as they can, and also providing an entertaining experience for your guests.
However, never fear if the venue isn’t designed for visible preparation.
If this is the case, make sure that the doors to the kitchen are kept closed. This will make a more pleasant experience for your diners, who are unlikely to want to see into the noisy, hot kitchen. It also makes it easier for your staff, who may not be used to being observed by customers in this way.
Menus are one of your catering company’s most useful and rewarding tools.
You absolutely cannot do without them. Your menu should be both selective and incredibly high quality. Customers would much rather see a smaller selection of fantastic meals, then a huge number of average meals. Remember: quality over quantity!
Furthermore, it’s important that you create a bespoke menu tailored to suit the venue or event you are catering for. Both design and substance of the menu matters here. You could even get a custom menu printing company to make up something modern, classic and streamlined.
The management team of your catering company need to be educated not only on the retail prices of your products, but also on the cost of the supplies that you will need to make them. It’s also essential that you estimate production costs, as it’s possible to lose valuable profits because you’re underpricing your products.
Ensure you are adding enough of a margin onto the final price, so you’re not running your business too fat. Get the person that orders the ingredients to sit down with the person that sets the front of house prices, to make sure they correlate correctly.
Although working in hospitality is a rewarding job, it can be physically and mentally draining, and sometimes the wages don’t always reflect this. Therefore, it’s vital that your employees feel both appreciated and valued. Positively reinforce your staff by thanking them and rewarding them where possible, as creating a culture where reasonableness and honesty is paramount. Not only will this create better staff morale, but it will save you money in the long run because it will give you a higher staff retention rate.
A catering business can be a hugely exciting and financially rewarding prospect. Ensure you maximise your company’s success by avoiding these 5 common mistakes!