Running a catering van business is a lot of work. It helps when you know the things you should do even before you hit the road.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most important things you should do to run your catering van business smoothly. Check them out!
Secure Permits and Documents
Comply with the most applicable laws in your area for food and beverage distribution. Learn about relevant regulations before investing in any equipment.
You want to be compliant with all regulations to avoid hefty fines that can ruin your reputation before you even start the business.
The following are the most common things you want to secure:
- Hygiene certification
- Alcohol license (if you sell alcohol)
Buy a Van and Get Insured
When buying a catering van, you want to have an efficient layout. Make it eye-catching. Consider the condition of the vehicle and its health and safety features.
Condition of the Van
You can buy either a used or a new van. New ones are flexible and are generally in excellent condition, while used ones can be checked for issues. It may need some refurbishment to meet the required design and health and safety standards.
Health and Safety Features
Health and safety features should be a top priority. For instance, the van must have proper ventilation to let smoke escape when cooking. A fire blanket is also a must, along with a fire extinguisher. Doors, windows, panels, and others should be disinfected and cleaned.
It’s also wise to buy insurance for the van. QuoteRadar catering van insurance lets you check out some great choices and compare your options.
Hire Responsible Staff
After completing the required permits, licenses, and vehicle features, find people who will work with you.
Determine the number of people you need and the correct wages. Work out all the national insurance permits you need concerning employee pay.
The contributions often come out of employee wages. Follow all employment law on rights, hours, minimum wages, and opportunities.
To find great employees, you may post job ads on social media or other online job boards. You can also hire locally, or find people you trust.
Create a Business Plan to Find Investors
Even if scaling up isn’t on your short-term goals yet, you must create and maintain a business plan. It’s the first concrete step you take when you want a catering van business.
Your business plan should include the following:
- Executive summary – the introduction to your business that provides an overview of your plan. It should be concise. The details come afterward.
- Company description – this describes who you are and what your business is. Describe your niche and why your customers should love your brand instead of competitors.
- Market analysis – discuss your target audience, their needs, their demographics, and why they will choose your business.
- Organization and management – discuss how your business is organized (sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, etc). List the owners if there are more than one and other important people.
- Service or product line – your primary product is food and beverages. Describe the menu and how you’ll attract new customers.
- Marketing and sales – discuss your marketing strategy in detail. Describe how you’ll get the word out and what marketing platforms you’ll use.
- Funding request – here you’ll specify how much money you need and discuss how every penny will be used for your business.
- Financial projections – forecast how much money you’ll make over the next three to five years.
Market Your Business
Marketing your business means finding the right people, platform, and strategies to let more people know about your products.
You should use social media and online platforms wisely. Make friends with the right people, and follow up personally with customers — thank them and ask them whether they’re satisfied with the food.