So You Want to Own a Catering Business?

catering business
Fish and chips shop

The catering business has long been a popular and thriving industry, but what types of catering businesses are available? Catering businesses span a wide range and do not specifically relate to your typical restaurants.

In fact, catering businesses include everything from local fish and chip shops to restaurants, hotels and beyond. Each type of catering business requires different considerations, and it is vital that a good business agency is consulted in order to gain inspiration and advice.

Chip Shop

The local chip shop has become an endemic part of British society, and as such is frequented by droves of people throughout the year. Chip shops will of course require careful handling, as will any business within the food industry. The first consideration that should be made is over location and premises.

Firstly, you should consider whether to compete in thriving areas – such as coastal regions and seafronts – or whether to offer a more localised, urban establishment. The former of these is likely to see heavy trade over peak holiday seasons, while the latter could allow a more loyal customer base to be created.

The range of food offered should then be given careful thought. A number of chip shops have now diversified to offer other types of food alongside the traditional menu. This is an important consideration to make, as it will define the image of your business.

Coffee Shop

Another popular catering business is the coffee shop. Coffee shops are integral parts of modern society and see huge trade, especially in areas noted for having a large proportion of businesses. Once again location is a key consideration that needs to be made, as is the range of food and beverages available. Iced coffee and tea drinks are popular summer menu additions and many coffee shops now offer juice drinks to provide more alternatives.

Any coffee shop needs to establish the service it is offering, and independently owned ones need to find a way to market themselves against larger chains. This could include anything from using a loyalty system to offering a ‘local’ coffee shop, which only uses locally sourced ingredients.

Sushi Restaurant

Sushi restaurants are another popular choice, but require a certain level of specialist knowledge. Not only do those in charge of food preparation need to be skilled, but as an owner you will need to know how to market your business effectively. Sushi restaurants tend to attract a rather selective clientele, so offering other alternatives is a good way to attract more people. Offering a selection of cooked, but still traditionally Japanese, food is a great way to maintain the identity of your business whilst diversifying.

Tapas Bar

Tapas Bars are another alternative within the catering business. Again, tapas bars are likely to attract a more selective clientele. It is therefore vital that you ensure there is a market for it within your chosen area before starting out. Always consider the type of food that will be offered, and maybe consider offering a “worldwide” selection that includes tapas as one of the many options.


Lastly, another option for the catering business is to own a pub. A large number of pubs offer food alongside their drinks, making pub lunches a common event for many. To own a successful pub business you need to decide what type of food you are going to offer – traditional or modern. Desserts and snack items should also be considered as these are the items likely to prove most popular. Another very popular item which is taking the market by storm is Wagyu beef, such as those produced by Lone Mountain Wagyu, this was banned from importation for many years and has only just returned to the market with chefs falling over themselves to put it on their menu’s. Rare and new foods are always good as they attract plenty of new customers.

Image by Lancastrian / Flickr