How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business, 4th

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Are you passionate about parties? Do you live to cook? Now you can realize your dream of working from home at something you enjoy - a home-based catering business. Author Denise Vivaldo shares her experiences and advice on every aspect of setting up and running a thriving home-based catering business, from estimating your start-up costs and finding clients to outfitting your kitchen and staying profitable. She even offers tips on the latest high-tech help, including CD-ROM recipe books, culinary Web sites, and ...

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Overview

Are you passionate about parties? Do you live to cook? Now you can realize your dream of working from home at something you enjoy - a home-based catering business. Author Denise Vivaldo shares her experiences and advice on every aspect of setting up and running a thriving home-based catering business, from estimating your start-up costs and finding clients to outfitting your kitchen and staying profitable. She even offers tips on the latest high-tech help, including CD-ROM recipe books, culinary Web sites, and computer software designed especially for chefs and caterers.Whether you want to plan parties, cater corporate events, or specialize in beautiful weddings, this guide can help you experience the satisfaction of building your own home-based business. (7 1/4 x 9 1/4, 256 pages, profit-and-loss worksheet, equipment checklist, master party checklist, sample catering contracts, sample menu themes, budget worksheet, business deductions)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762724802
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2002
  • Series: Home-Based Business Series
  • Edition description: 4TH
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Denise Vivaldo is an experienced chef de cuisine with extensive experience teaching and consulting in the hospitality industry. She is a resident and the founder of Food Fanatics in Los Angeles, California.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Chapter 1 So You Think You Want to Be a Caterer? 1
Do You Have What It Takes? 2
Opportunities in Catering 3
Hotels 3
Airlines 3
Private Parties 4
Local Markets and Stores 4
Special Events 4
Does It Pay to Go to Cooking School? 5
Apprenticeships: Learning by Doing 6
Learning from the Mistakes of Others 6
Learning from Your Own Mistakes 7
Getting Organized 8
Leaving the Security of a Job 9
How This Book Is Organized 10
Chapter 2 Working Out of Your Home 11
Setting Up an Office 13
Training Family and Friends to Take You Seriously 16
Employing Family Members 17
Complying with City Ordinances 18
Working with Your Local Health Department 19
Sharing a Kitchen 20
Renting a Kitchen on a Per-Day Basis 22
Outfitting Your Kitchen 22
Smallwares and Utensils 24
Finding Used Equipment 24
What to Look for in a Good Knife 24
Setting Up Your Pantry 25
Transportation 25
Establishing Relationships with Wholesale Purveyors 26
Your Next Step 27
Chapter 3 Writing a Business Plan 29
How to Structure Your Business 30
Writing a Business Plan 32
Step 1 Writing the Summary Statement 33
Step 2 Defining Your Niche 34
Step 3 Drawing Your Organizational Chart 35
Step 4 Describing Company Management and Operation 37
Step 5 Your Marketing Plan 40
Step 6 Creating a Menu 41
Step 7 Crunching the Numbers 44
Step 8 Projections for the Future 46
Business Books, Software, Videos, and On-line Resources 48
Chapter 4 The Legal Aspects of Your Catering Business 51
Why You Need a Good Attorney 51
Insurance: Can't Live with the Premiums, Can't Live with the Risk 52
Start-Up Coverage 53
Product Liability Insurance 53
Public Liability Insurance 53
Workers' Compensation Insurance 54
Written Agreements and Contracts 54
Working with Subcontractors or Suppliers 56
Employees 56
Hiring Versus Leasing Employees 57
Employees Versus Independent Contractors 64
Labor Practices 64
Applications/Job Interviews 65
Job Descriptions/Policy Manuals 66
Becoming a Great Manager Booklist 70
Chapter 5 Setting Prices, Estimating Quantities, and Writing Proposals 71
How to Price Your First Menus 71
Calculating Your Kitchen Labor 80
How to Estimate the Right Food Quantities 80
The Age-Group of the Guests 81
The Guests' Lifestyle 81
The Style of the Party 81
The Time of the Party 81
The Nature of the Party 82
Clients' Concern about Running Out of Food 82
Quoting Other Party Costs 83
Estimating Wait Staff 83
Disposables 83
Floral, Decor, and Subcontractors' Services 85
The Art of Bidding and Writing a Proposal 85
How to Stay Profitable When You're Working with a Fixed Price 90
Closing the Deal 90
From Computer Software to the Internet: High-Tech Help for Caterers 97
Chapter 6 Sales and Marketing 99
Sell, Sell, Sell 100
Defining Your Niche 101
Social Catering 101
Corporate Catering 103
Community Affairs 103
Choosing a Name and Logo 104
Designing Promotional Pieces 106
Making Your Menus Part of Your Marketing Program 108
Standing Out from the Crowd 110
Keeping a Portfolio 111
Putting Together a Promotional Kit 113
Drumming Up Business 116
Twenty-five Do-It-Yourself Marketing and Sales Tips 117
Getting Referrals and Repeat Business 118
Advertising 119
Tracking Your Success 120
Inexpensive Pamphlets from the Small Business Administration 121
Chapter 7 Crunching the Numbers 123
Making Good Use of Your Accountant 124
Accounting Systems 129
Buying Computers and Software 131
Invoicing 132
The Artist Versus the Businessperson: Why So Many Caterers Fail 133
Chapter 8 Setting the Stage for a Successful Party 135
Before the Party 135
Organizing Your Time and the Party Setup 137
The Menu and Start-up 139
Scheduling Staff and Assistants 143
Arranging Transportation and Packing Out Your Party 145
Getting Down to the Wire 151
Chapter 9 Pulling It Off with Ease 153
The Day of the Party 153
Getting to the Party 156
Arriving at the Party Site 157
Winding Down: Why Your Party Has to End on Time 159
Report Cards from Staff and Clients 159
How a Staff Report Works 161
The Day After 164
Two Days Later 166
Three Days Later 167
Two Weeks Later 168
Chapter 10 Solving Problems 171
Chapter 11 Catering Menus and Quantity Recipes 183
Catering Menus 184
Baby Shower Buffet Lunch Recipes 186
Business Lunch Recipes 191
Traditional Holiday Dinner Recipes 199
Hors d'Oeuvres Cocktail Party Recipes 206
Elegant Garden Wedding Recipes 211
Appendix 217
Culinary Schooling/Education 217
Recommended Reading 220
Trade Shows 224
Professional Organizations 226
Suggested Seminars 228
Index 231
About the Author 241
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2004

    Excellent look into the catering business

    I definitely enjoyed reading this book. I was interested in seeing what I could expect in doing catering and this book definitely start getting me thinking about having my own business catering for others or even as a side job. I found this very informative, especially for those who may just be curious to the occupation. It gives you plenty of insight in a clear, concise manner without getting into petty details. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to make a home-based career out of cooking or even for those looking to hire a caterer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2003

    Excellent Starter into the Catering Biz

    This book was great about walking you through all the aspects of Catering that ou need to know, especially things like Taxes, pricing of the menu and lots of great usefule checklists

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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