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Starting up a catering business.

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Jack Park, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. Jack Park

    Jack Park UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    Hello everyone, I am looking at the viability of a catering business I am hoping to setup within a golf club which my uncle is the managing director of.

    The golf club is struggling to operate the kitchen and are closing it this year. They are looking for someone to take over the kitchen and provide food to the members but they do not want to be responsible for the day to day operations or financial obligations. As he is family my uncle has offered me the kitchen on the basis that I pay for the utilities I use. The kitchen already has all the equipment I would need, so it would just be a case of buying food and cooking it for the customers.

    I have no experience in catering and was hoping for some advice from people on the forum. I would be serving hot and cold rolls, toasties, baguettes, chips - that sort of thing.
    Posted: Jul 27, 2020 By: Jack Park Member since: Jul 27, 2020
  2. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,285 837
    Why was the previous operation suffering. How are you planning to correct these issues (with no experience of the industry). Are you planning to hire someone who does have experience?

    The F&B industry is notoriously difficult to succeed in if you do have experience, let alone if you don't.
    Posted: Jul 27, 2020 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
  3. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,240 3,436
    Posted: Jul 27, 2020 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
  4. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    23,485 2,835
    If the golf club with presumably experienced staff cannot run it - in what way can you do better?

    You'd need food hygiene.

    If you are going to run it as a business then you are aware that minimum wage doesn't apply to you? If you work for free even then its not anyone else's problem.
    Posted: Jul 27, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  5. ecommerce84

    ecommerce84 UKBF Regular Free Member

    799 263
    If you’re serious, the first thing to do is get yourself your Level 2 in food hygiene - I always recommend the NCASS course here and this is what we used for our staff:

    As well as how to store and prep food, prevent contamination, allergens, pest control and waste management, it’ll give you the basics on getting your paperwork up together and creating a food management plan (have a look at the Safer Food Better Business pack as it’s straightforward to use).

    Give the Environmental Health department at your district level council a call and inform them of what you are doing. Normally you have to register with them 28 days before you can start trading, they may be flexible with this if it’s replacing a very recently closed operation but this is at the discretion of the Environmental Health officer.

    Don’t forget you’ll need your own insurance - your uncles won’t cover you.

    Look at going Ltd for extra liability cover.

    Food and Beverage can be life consuming if you’re going to be open 7 days serving breakfast and lunch.

    It does however, seem like a reasonably good opportunity in that you don’t have to invest in a kitchen kit out and it’s seemingly rent free.
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 at 12:40 PM By: ecommerce84 Member since: Feb 24, 2007
  6. getsetgonline

    getsetgonline UKBF Regular Full Member

    384 14
    Obtain the required qualifications then begin building from there.

    This could lend itself quite well to some stand along social marketing. Build a catchy name and brand, develop some signature food lines and engage regularly. Encourage feedback and build from there.
    Depending upon when you start, focus on Christmas events - can the kitchen be diversified into more of a venue?
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 at 3:14 PM By: getsetgonline Member since: Oct 10, 2006
  7. James_RawlinsInsurance

    James_RawlinsInsurance UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 0
    You will also need your own Insurance being a seperate entity from the golf club so factor this in also.
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 at 4:52 PM By: James_RawlinsInsurance Member since: Jul 24, 2020
  8. consultant

    consultant Your Business Community Staff Member

    5,601 778
    Whilst this could be a great opportunity
    would lead me to recommend don't do it.... at least until you have some experience.
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 at 7:40 PM By: consultant Member since: Jan 21, 2008
  9. LanceUk

    LanceUk UKBF Contributor Free Member

    79 26
    I would agree with @consultant, and as I have absolutely no catering or golf experience, take what I have to say based on that..

    My first question to your uncle is a) How many people are members, how many people do you get through the gates, etc.. Try and work out how big your potential market is. This will be members + guests/comp players.

    Second, send a mailshot to the members and ask them a simple open-ended question - what is it they didn't like about the previous cafe and what would they like to see to whet their appetite, ignite a thirst.. I wouldn't try and go any more than that, but I would take the time to read all their answers and understand what they really like or would tempt them in rather than the fact they want beluga caviar at the price of garden peas.

    Then look at the other things.. number of covers, likelihood of them having a tipple after the game (as opposed to the lime and soda as they have to drive home), the aesthetics - is there a vista to the course or is it a dark/dingy basement room? Is it convenient from the pro-shop/reception or however they enter/exit the course, or is it a faff that no one would bother with because across the road is a nice cafe which is easier to get to... Does it need a major refurb or a lick of paint? And son-on and so forth. You get the idea.

    If you are inexperienced, just think it through.. Just because the previous operator failed doesn't mean you will.. Why did they fail.. did they offer poop food.. was it too expeinsive for what it was.. was it not fast enough? Was there not enough table space? Could customers not get their favorite brown sauce? Or were their suppliers ripping them off or providing them with poor quality (I know someone who had a sandwhich shop and regularly had to reject food from new delivery drivers of her suppliers because they tried to pawn the scraps to her).

    Also, the previous operators may not have been experienced, anyway.. And even if they were, were they experienced at that type of catering or were they too stuck in their ways from some other form of catering? A school caterer or fancy dancy caterer may not do so well if they don't adjust. Go in with your eyes wide open, ask youself if it were someone else runnign the cafe and you were a golfer there, would you be eating/drinking there and if so, find three reasons why not? Andif not, find the reasons that would make you eat there. In business, experienced or not, mistakes will be made.. the trick is to think things through and be able to recover from them and when starting out, have enough in the tank to see you through those mistakes and the startup period.

    So, being inexperienced should not stop you going for it.. But you have to apply a business brains and be prepared/have the capacity to make mistakes.. Business nornally is a longer term thing
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 9:49 PM By: LanceUk Member since: Jan 8, 2018