Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Catering Business in the United Kingdom
If your cooking is your passion and has an entrepreneurial streak, and you want a change of career, then starting a catering business might be the best fit for you.
It could become a lucrative move, and the sector of catering services is a market of £1 billion. That is because no one company dominates it. Aside from that, you should have everything you need in your kitchen if you want to start this kind of home kitchen business. Your operation can start right away with a very small upfront cost. Read more about United Kingdom company registration here.
What Is a Catering Business?
Catering consists of a culinary chef and their team to do the preparation, cooking, and food service. However, there’s more to it because a catering service prepares, creates, delivers, and takes care of food presentations for clients. If you have been to a wedding reception, bridal shower, or birthday party that has food that is delightfully prepared and presented, there is a chance that they hired a catering service.
Other responsibilities of a catering service include the rental, setting up of the place, and decorations clean-up. Tables, chairs, lighting, and music are also being taken care of by the caterer. Want to know more? A corporate service provider in the UK like 3E Accounting can help you with everything you need.
Catering Business Registration Process
Apply first – If your goal is to market and sell food, you must apply for food business registration from the government’s website. There is no charge for this, but you must do it 28 days prior to planning to sell food. You could end up in prison for two years if you do not have one, and you get caught. Therefore, you should register many times.
Set up as a limited company – If you run a solo operation, you would have to register as a sole trader. If you have employees, you must be incorporated as a limited company, which can be done on the government’s website. The cost of this is normally £12, and you normally complete it in 24 hours.
Talk to the environmental health officers in your area – To make sure you abide by the laws of safety, you must talk to your local environmental health offices. This is done so that you can tell them to check your kitchen. They will advise you to upgrade whatever you need on your premises so you can comply with laws about food safety. Normally, they will check out if your walls and countertops are in perfect condition and can easily be cleaned. These people will also assess your chance to keep a hygienic environment.
Licenses and Permits You Need
Before you start your catering business, there are licenses that you need to obtain first. Here are the licenses and permits you need for United Kingdom company incorporation.
Licenses for the premises – If you are planning to serve alcohol or give any kind of licensed activity, you will need a premises license. The license also covers you if you serve hot food and drinks from standard hours and if there is live music.
Personal license – Each team member must have a personal license if they want to sell alcohol. That means every sale gets authorization under the one who has the personal license. You must apply for this license through the local council.
You Need Insurance
There is no specific insurance for this, but you have to make sure that you have public liability insurance. It covers the compensation and legal costs in case a public member injures themselves or becomes ill after they eat your food. You must also be liable for the liability insurance of the employer, which covers you if your staff member is ill or injured.
Why Start a Catering Business?
You Have a Clearer Career Path
There are many choices in the hospitality industry depends on the career you want to go for. One of the best things about being in the hospitality industry is the great potential, even if there is no higher education. If you are working in catering and hospitality, you will have a better understanding of what you must grow in the business. In case you want to be in the management, to become the executive chef, or maybe even have your own catering business, there will always be a clear path here. They are also attainable as long as you work hard.
Catering is important in different countries, events, and locations for events. Regardless if you want to work in the city or just within the area, or in another country, there are endless opportunities for you. Some job roles are not offering this opportunity so that it will be a unique journey for you.
Easier to Find Staff
Some people who want to cook and be hospitable are busy with their job or completing other studies. Therefore, a full-time job is not ideal for them because they cannot handle the schedule. If you have a catering business, you might need extra hands over the weekend or for a certain event. Casual employment is also a big bonus. You could find it easier to look for people who are in the industry that want to work during casual hours. Hiring staff might be easier than if you need them for a restaurant setting.
You Will Learn to Multi-task
Similar to a lot of businesses, being well-organized and multi-tasking are important. You could have a couple of events lined up. You also need to make sure that everything is complete, even the staff. It is also not unusual to get last-minute requests.
Ready to start your catering business? Do contact us and we are ready to help you register your catering business in the UK.