Home Entrepreneurship What It Takes To Start A Catering Business In Nigeria

What It Takes To Start A Catering Business In Nigeria

Unlike decades ago, catering is now a big business whichever way you look at it. Virtually, every full time housewife is switching attention towards it. You really don’t have to be a super cook to make a success of catering business. All you need is to engage the services of local cooks otherwise known as ‘Olopo’ in Yoruba dialect. 
From my experience as a waiter, many caterers prefer Togolese cooks for their expertise and exceptional skills in food management. 
That said, you should also be able to know one or two things about cooking to be able to direct their course. Above all, you need to also decide if your catering business is for special engagements like

parties, events or products launch etc or for commercial purpose. If it is for the latter, you need to also map out how you will go about it. For instance, if you are close to a medical complex or business park, you might target this market and provide pre-ordered lunches or cater business meetings. Be sure that the market you settle for is large enough to generate your sales goals and allow for growth over time.

However, if you are attempting something more elaborate or exotic, such as international dishes, you may need special cooking equipment and ingredients not found at your local supermarket. Be sure you thoroughly investigate everything you’ll need to provide food services before you take your first order. 
All said and done, you also need connection (or ‘you must get leg’ as often teased in Nigerian pidgin parlance) if you really want to make it big in the catering world. Most caterers you see today managing food for major events, product launch, companies annual general meeting either got the job through the help of their husbands, relatives or close friends or are employee (or former employees) of the organisers. 
You need to equally define your menu. It is often a good idea when starting a small catering business to focus your menu on a specific market; focusing on only a few, well prepared offerings so that quality is ensured and you can achieve cost economies by buying supplies in bulk. Your menu should have three to seven items or meals that are the most popular within your market. This strategy also simplifies the ordering process for the customer, and the planning and preparation process for you.
Formalize your business concept by selecting a business name, writing a business plan, cooking utensils, dishes, cutleries, wine and glass cups, chafing dishes, coolers, burners, menus, brochures, business cards, contact of big wigs (people that can connect or get you such contracts and fliers.
Likely Capital: 
N150,000 for small commercial purpose (selling to the public) while catering contract for major events depend on the spending power of the celebrants and how many guests will be catered for. However, a minimum of N500,000 could get you the necessary plates, cutleries, glasses and chafing dishes. The joy of the job is that caterers are often paid all or 70% of the payment before the D-Day of the event.

Culled from: Money Spinning Businesses To Start With N300,000 & Above


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Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis is a communicator, Journalist, blogger, business coach and, of course, a prolific writer. He has Dip (Journalism) and B.A. (History & International Relations) from the Lagos State University (LASU). The self-effacing young man has worked for national, regional and local newspapers. He had worked with THISDAY covered community news for ISLAND NEWS and corresponded with P.M. NEWS (evening tabloid). Presently, he is the editor of CITYPULSE MEDIA and senior correspondent of PHARMANEWS, West Africa foremost health and pharmaceutical journal.