10 Steps of How to Start a Catering Business from Home

By Rajib Hasan -- Sunday, 07 Aug, 2022
How to start a catering business from home

The catering business is a type of restaurant business that was started around 1820 in the United States of America. After starting its journey, it becomes a profitable and respectable business. The catering industry was unequally African American, and they combined catering services with other restaurants. After the Second World War, the catering service became more popular and became widespread and constantly increasing. Nowadays, it has taken a leading role besides the restaurant business. The catering business is possible from home. Any person can provide catering service from their home. In this case, they should follow some guidance on how to start a catering business from home.

What is catering business?

Catering is a food and beverage service for an event or any organization for food supply. A catering service is a ready-made food delivery service. It is served to the customer from a restaurant or home by a special agreement between the customer and the catering provider. Catering service can be a permanent or temporary food service to any contact address. The small event catering can be ordered from any home or restaurant that offers catering food delivery service. Indeed most home kitchen offers catering for small events on a contract basis. 

It can be a homemade business that can spread over a wide area. There are some areas where catering services are more popular such as corporate industries, commercial, non-commercial, construction firms, and many more. Before starting a catering business, you should know the strategies of how to start a catering business from home.

How to start a catering business from home?

Can you start a catering business from home? Yes, anyone can start a catering business from home. If you would like to start any business, you must require a master plan and clear calculations to get success. The home catering business is a kind of restaurant catering business. All the business is a competitive business platform catering business is one of them due to technological expansion. If you would like to compete with others, you must follow the right way. However, we are showing some best ways to start a catering business or the requirements for starting a catering business from home. So take a look at how to start catering business from your home if you become interested.

  • Decide your catering item.
  • Fixed the financial budget.
  • Target audience.
  • Create a menu with the price based on client intent.
  • Catering space.
  • Hire a food supplier.
  • Buy a vehicle to deliver food.
  • Taste the dishes that you made at your home
  • Set up your kitchen.
  • Get liability insurance.

01. Decide your catering item

Before starting a business you need a catering business plan and implement it in real life. However, the catering business is like some other business, and you must express your opinion on any niche you like most. For this reason, before starting your restaurant business, you should decide which niche and which food item you would like to serve better. Basically, there are some  catering business ideas or steps to selecting your niche, such as

  • Think about your passion and interest.
  • Find your targeted selling point.
  • Find competitors in your target area.
  • Assess your selected niche.

02. Fixed the financial budget

budget for starting catering bussiness

Pricing is always a major concern. Whatever you want to do a business, you must require finance to invest in the business. The home-based catering business is not a very low investment business. You you have to count an investment based on the customer and your intention. For example, suppose you would like to provide a catering service only for lunch in 15 corporate offices for 500 people.

In this case, you need to spend money for some required things, such as 500 dishes, food ingredients, delivery staff, vehicles, etc. On the other hand, if you contact five offices and have 100 people, you will need a comparatively low amount. So, investment depends on you, but whatever you do, you must require money. So no one business is possible without money.  

03. Target audience

carering business target audience

Audiences or customers are the main worth of the restaurant business. If you would like to earn profit, then contact more audiences, and build better relationships. Building a relationship with customers is the best catering business idea. First of all, you should target which customer you would like to serve. 

If you want more audience, visit various offices and firms where people need catering. So visit them, contact them, and explain the food menu, quality, pricing, and service. If you can follow this process, you can increase your audience rapidly.  

04. Create menu with price based on client intent

Create menu with price based on client intent

The food menu is the first attractive zone for the audience. In this case, you should create an eye-catching menu list. Most people like vegetarian food instead of meat. So keep vegetarian food on your menu. You should also list some spicy and non-spicy food so that people can easily choose one. The final thing is to try to keep varieties of food items with different tests to get a large number of audiences. The best way is to design a menu with additional objects and present it to the other corporations wherever you go in contact with them. Make a reasonable price with a food quality menu so that people become more interested in getting your catering service.

05. Catering space

Steps to starting a catering business

Space is a common fact in the restaurant business. Catering service can be provided from any restaurant. It can be provided from home. Suppose you want to start a home-based catering service, then you have to think about the space where you want to cook and prepare food.

For this reason, you should choose a room which has ample space. Making a home-based catering system, make sure you have sufficient space to keep a large amount of ingredients and prepare food for almost 500 people. So choose a bigger room in your home that is suitable for preparing food. 

So choose a bigger room in your home that is suitable for preparing food. On the other hand, the catering business can be compared with the ghost kitchen. Ghost kitchens don't have enough space for the table. Most ghost kitchens sell food online. In a ghost kitchen customers make food orders online, and kitchen staff bring food to the customer's address based on client contact information. 

06. Hire food supplier

Hire food supplier for catering business

Food suppliers are those who work to supply food to various locations. Food supplier is hardly needed for the catering service. For example, you have 1000 daily orders for lunch in a different location. It is a bit impossible to meet their demand within a particular time. For this reason, you should hire the food supplier. If you can hire three or four people and make a separate schedule for them, then the supplier can easily bring food for them within a specific time. To ensure better service and time management, you don't have to wait for a long time to bring your home based restaurant to a top place.

07. Buy a vehicle to deliver food

careting business food delivery

The vehicle is correlated with the food supplier. We are clearly explaining the vehicle to deliver food. For example, if you have contacted 20 different corporate offices and have 500 estimated people. You need a vehicle if you would like to provide food on the due time in such areas. If you don't have money, then you can buy an old vehicle. In this case, a general question appears, do I need a vehicle for the catering business?

No, it is not. However, to spread the catering business, you should have a vehicle for quick service. On the other hand, if you think that you can capture catering food by your staff, then it may be the right decision for you. However, you don't need more food suppliers if you have a vehicle. In that case, it may be a good way to reduce staff costs. It is noted that at the beginning stage, if you don't have a vehicle, then there is no problem with it.

08. Taste the Dishes That You Made At Your Home

Suppose you have settled on a new menu and want to prepare it for the people. The best way is to test by yourself or your family member to get a review. If you feel better and get positive feedback from your family members, then you can proceed for the customer. You may change your recipe and some ingredients if they give you negative feedback. So, collect customer feedback and improve food tests according to the customer reviews and lead the catering market. 

09. Set Up Your Kitchen

Set up a kitchen in a superior place where you feel better at your home. Well decoration and starting a catering service is a bit expensive. It is because kitchen decoration is another primary concern. Your equipment and ingredients will depend on how many people you want to serve.

In this case, your budget will ultimately be different. So, create a rough budget chart and think about what you exactly need to run your business efficiently. That’s why decorate the kitchen with the help of a kitchen designer and get the equipment in your hand whenever you need it.

10. Get Liability Insurance

If you take action to cook food at any time for others. In this case, you may face some risk. It is not your fault if someone gets ill after eating your catering food. In this case, you may face liabilities. If this type of undesired situation happens, then liability insurance can protect you and your food-serving business. So, liability insurance is necessary to lead your home catering services in the long run.

Cost of starting a catering business

Are you thinking of how to start a catering business from home? How much does it cost to open a home based catering service? 

Catering service opening cost depends on the service area and some crucial factors. such

  • Location.
  • Catering component.
  • How many people do you want to serve?
  • Food suppliers.
  • Food prepares dishes.

However, we have estimated a home based catering business startup cost is about $10000 to $50000. An average cost may be considered at $30,000. Buying some essential cooking equipment requires $15000. Buying restaurant crucial furniture (restaurant tables, chairs, refrigerators, and others) requires $15000 but this amount can fluctuate according to current pricing.      

You have to consider these when calculating startup catering business pricing. On the other hand, if you start a catering business for a small area and a few people, you need a small expense or low investment. So restaurant business costs depend on the business owner.

Do you need a license to start a catering business?

Yes, licenses needed to start a catering business. A license is an essential valid document to do a business. What licenses are needed to start a catering business? Business license, and food serving license. A business license permits you to conduct the business in any specific location. If you would like to open any business, you must be certified by government authority. Food serving license allows you to serve the food and permits you to serve healthy food. Some businesses vary in place. 

However, you may contact your local health department. You will be given an application form and must fill out this food license application form by providing your information based on the application form requirements.

If you become eligible to do the catering business, then you will receive a letter from your local health department to conduct catering business. Catering licenses often include obtaining a health inspection. In this case, the health inspector will inspect your kitchen to ensure that you have followed all the food preparation requirements. If you can ensure that you are meeting all the health standards to prepare food, then they will provide you a license to prepare food for the customers.

Can you work in a catering business without license?

get a license for start catering business

Validation is an essential thing for every sphere. If you would like to do business, you should follow the legal way. We understand if you would like to get the license, you have to pay to manage some papers. It is a legal process to do business. For example, suppose you have a small catering business, and you don't have any certified paper. In this case, who will take these responsibilities if someone suffers with a health disease? 

If you become identified as a victim, then you may be exiled to jail, or you must compensate for it. It is noted that if you don't have a catering business license and the investigation team finds that you are doing business illegally, you have a great chance of getting penalized. To avoid this unexpected or horrible situation, you just need a food and catering business license if you have home-based catering and also that you need a food and business license.  

Equipment needed to start a catering business

Restaurant businesses require different types of equipment. All the equipment is necessary to serve the people. The catering business is a type of restaurant business. That's why the catering business must have more equipment. It is a typical case. It is noted that home-based catering businesses need a comparatively low amount of equipment than restaurant equipment. However, there are many types of equipment in the food-making kitchen, but we have given few of them.

  • Stove
  • Cooking oven
  • Spoon
  • Beverage Station
  • Tin foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Garbage bins
  • Food storage container
  • Food preparing dishes
  • Refrigerator for frozen food

Comparison Between: Catering Vs Restaurant

Catering is a food service business. It is a type of restaurant business. After that there are some comparisons between catering and restaurants. So, let’s see how to discriminate against them.

Catering business

Restaurant business

Catering service is provided at any specific location, such as offices, industries, events, etc.

A restaurant is a dining establishment serving food at any location, such as a casual restaurant, fine dining, coffee shop, and others.

The catering service menu can be customized based on the customer's requirements for an event.

In a restaurant, menus are fixed as well. But sometimes they offer different menus depending on customer requests.

Catering interactions are more personalized and catering is often involved with consultations and coordination for events.

The restaurant provides direct interactions with customers in a dining setting where restaurant staff plays a crucial role in customer service.

Catering services need efficient logistics support, such as transportation, kitchen setup, kitchen, and food supply equipment.

The restaurant focuses on food maintaining quality and food service standards depending on the fluctuating customer volumes.

Catering businesses require comparatively small places where there is no sitting zone.

Restaurants have big space compared to Catering. Because a restaurant has a customer seating area.

Is the catering business profitable?

Catering service is a part of the restaurant, and this service is directly related to people. For this reason, this business has many chances to get more revenue. The catering business has a high-profit margin. But if you have a better idea and efficient road map, then you have a chance to get more profit. Basically, the profit is considered 7% to 10% for a successful business.

If a catering business owner follows and proceeds through the right business strategies, you may have around a 15% profit margin. Home-based catering businesses require low kitchen staff and no chance to waste food. On the other hand, the running cost of home-based catering is comparatively low. That's why a business owner may easily count more profit. So we can say the catering business is more profitable than your investment.  

Do You Need a License to Cater Food from Home?

It depends on location. It means in which areas you are serving food. In most cases, a food-serving license is required. It is noted that if you have a perishable food service business then you must require a food license. Besides that, a business license is also required to serve food in a wide area.


The catering business is one of the most familiar businesses around the world. It is a type of online food delivery system. It is a profitable business with low investment but needs to follow business strategies. However, we have discussed how to start a catering business from home, and we have referred to some crucial steps of how to start a food catering business from home. We hope the above information can be the key to starting your catering business, and we wish you a successful business.