Most successful caterers are successful because they truly love what they are doing. Because they are so passionate about what they are doing, they do not mind spending long hours in the night in their kitchen preparing for last-minute deadlines, part and parcel of being a self-made entrepreneur. Those who have not yet come this far in life ought to test the cooking waters and see if their cooking joy at home can be turned into a successful work from home business. What, really, have you got to lose?
You gain the invaluable experience that comes with being a full-fledged caterer. But new self-made or independent work from home entrepreneurs venturing into the catering business for the first time and cooking and providing food commercially for the first time, need to be warned in advance. They need to have realistic expectations of what to expect, going forward. They need to be reminded that there is a huge difference between pleasurable domestic cooking experiences at home, usually being inspired with a bit of background music, and the extremely busy, time-driven, and often noisy, environment of the commercial catering kitchen.
Those who are venturing towards full time independent work already have an advantage if they were previously employed in the food and hospitality industries. They already know what to expect. They have also enjoyed the experience that domestic cooks who have only had work experience in other fields, have not. They are also in a good position to particularize on areas of specialty, based on their known strengths. The only thing missing right now for both experienced kitchen hands and novices is the full-fledged entrepreneurial experience of being their own boss and being entirely responsible for all aspects of the business.
Those new to commercial aspects of the catering and restaurant trade, not even with experience of waiting tables as a college student, should seriously consider doing full or part-time stints in different areas of the business before proceeding with their entrepreneurial career full steam ahead. It will help invaluably. Good knowledge and expertise can be built up over a solid period, lasting anything from one to two years. The lengthy period is recommended. It allows future entrepreneurs the opportunity to acquire the attributes of patience and resilience.
It allows new workers the opportunity to build on their thick skins because in this environment there is likely to always be pressure, even when the business is doing well. Also consider spending time in different specialties, for instance; confectionaries, cordon bleu, Eastern style or Italian (cultural or genre-specific themes), event management and even office administration. Office administration is useful for those who have never worked in the office environment before. This way they also learn how to put into place best administrative practices, essential for a successful catering business.
A bookkeeping and/or financial management course will also help. We mentioned above the need to spend time in different areas of the hospitality business. Domestic chefs already have their passions or specialties at home, however, it is also essential to learn if they have talents elsewhere and can then learn how to utilize these over a longer period of time by serving an apprenticeship. Quite literally, the world is your oyster. The more passionate, enthusiastic and serious you are about this line of entrepreneurial work; always allows a window of opportunity waiting for you to open. We hope we have inspired you sufficiently to take up the reigns and get to work. It is hard work but if you are already experiencing joy in the kitchen, then you have nothing to fear, going forward.