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Catering Business Plan [Sample Template]

Catering Business

Do you want to start a catering company and need to write a business plan? If YES, here is a sample catering business plan template & feasibility report.

You see, planning to cater for guests doesn’t come easy. It is one thing to plan for a party or want to host some guests in the comfort of your home; and it is yet another to have them well catered for. This is where adequate organization and projections come to fore.

This means that if you were planning for a party for instance, you have got to be sure about the number of guests you are expecting, the type of food that appeals to them, as well as how you intend going about the preparation. Indeed having to go through all these steps, might be a bit tasking, however, good news is that there are folks who can take away the burden.

You will need to do plenty of research work, so as to arrive at the best of templates that can help guide you through the type of business that you are into. Below is a sample catering business plan template which you can use to get started with your own business plan.

A Sample Catering Service Business Plan Template

1. Industry Overview

Have you ever wondered how difficult it really gets for people who host parties to cope when they have to cook all the meals that the guests get to eat? Without a doubt, it is quite a difficult task to accomplish this, especially if the number of guests attending the event is much.

As such, if the host attempts to personally cook the meals for her guests; particularly when the number is on the high side, chances are that they may likely breakdown due to fatigue. It is for this reason that caterers are in hot demand.

There is hardly any country in the world where one may not find caterers who are into full – time catering businesses. Professional caterers do not only cater for big organizations, government agencies, institutions and parties, but they can also be contacted to handle home catering services for people who can the luxury.

This means that people who host a huge number of visitors per time in their houses can relax and allow the burden of cooking to be taken off them.

In the united states of America alone, there are well over 10,000 registered catering businesses that employ about 150,000 people (both contract and full time employees), and most of them are thriving pretty well in the business because there are loads of business opportunities available to caterers in the United States of America, as well as in other parts of the world.

The United States of America’s Catering Industry generates well over 7 Billion US Dollars annually through events such as; weddings, holiday parties, corporate functions (Annual General Meetings and Anniversary et al), funerals and birthday parties amongst others, and the figure is still on the increase.

Catering business is considered to be amongst the delicate industries, this is because they are involved in cooking food for consumption for a large number of guests per time. It is the reason why this business is subjected to regular inspection by relevant health officials from different local health departments.

As one who runs a catering business in the United States of America, you are expected by law to comply with the laid down rules and regulations for the industry.

There is ample room for any entrepreneur who is interested in running a catering business in the United States of America to start in any capacity and still maximize profit in the business. You can start by catering for 20 people or less, conversely, you can as well start your catering business by catering for a large crowd.

The bottom line is that catering business is known to be a very lucrative business in all parts of the world, and not just in the United States of America.

2. Executive Summary

Appealing Delight® Catering Services Company is a catering business that will be based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Our intention of starting a catering business in Chicago is to deliver the best quality catering services at an affordable price to a wide range of customers.

Our services will involve catering for parties, outdoor events, weddings, holiday parties, birthday parties, corporate events, picnics, anniversaries and special events et al.

Work will always be on going when it comes to working with our clients to give them the best. We have perfected our plans on how to execute that. At Appealing Delight® Catering Services Company, we are going to take pride in working with our clients to deliver high quality and nutritious meals and excellent services while working with their budget. Our customers don’t need to break the bank to get the best of foods and services from us.

As part of our plans to make our customers our number one priority, we have perfected plans to work with our clients to provide customized services based on their budget. We will be involved in delivery services for our clients, rentals services, event management and consultancy services.

At Appealing Delight® Catering Services Company, we will go the extra mile to give our esteemed customers value for their money irrespective of the size of their budget. As such, we do not intend to turn any one down, because of the meager amount of cash they may have.

Appealing Delight® Catering Services Company is own and managed by Mrs. Sharon Miller, a notable and award winning cook in the United States of America. She will be bringing her experience to fore, to help Appealing Delight® Catering Services Company grow to become the number one choice in the whole of Chicago and environs and also a one – stop – shop when it is about catering services.

3. Our Products and Services

At Appealing Delight® Catering Services, we will be involved in cooking both local foods and intercontinental foods for our clients. Our intention is not to restrict our services to only cooking of foods, but we are also going to be involved in spreading our tentacles to cover all aspects of the ideal catering business.

In as much as cooking meals will be our number one priority as a catering business, we will also be involved in event management, rental services, consultancy and trainings. Here are some of the products and services we will be offering our clients;

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • To become the number one catering service provider in the whole of Chicago, Illinois.
  • To establish a standard catering business that will meet all the catering needs (cooking, event planning, rentals, trainings and consultancy services) of people in Chicago and neighboring states.

Our Business Structure

Our catering business will be structured in such a way to accommodate all the aspects of our business offering. We are setting up a catering business that will not only be involved in cooking and serving foods on behalf of our clients, but a business that will also be involved in rental services (renting of cooking wares, table cloths, tables, chairs, marquee tents et al), consultancy services and trainings (run a catering school).

So, in setting up the structure for Appealing Delight Catering Company, our business structure will be slightly different from what is obtainable in an ideal catering business that majors in cooking and serving foods on behalf of their clients.

We are going to run a full-fledged office in Chicago, a place where people can come in and make inquiries. In view of the above, we have made provision for the following position in our organization;

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Cook
  • Cooking Assistants
  • Admin and Personnel Manager
  • Front Desk Officer
  • Sales and Marketing Officer
  • Driver
  • Servers (Contract Staff)
  • Cleaners / Dish Washers

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for the day to day running of the business
  • Responsible for handling high profiled clients and deals
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for recruitment
  • Responsible for the payment of salaries
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Reports to the board

Bakery Manager:

  • Responsible for managing the daily activities in the restaurant
  • Ensures that the bakery facility is in tip top shape and conducive enough to welcome customers
  • Interfaces with third – party providers (vendors)
  • Reports to the Chief Executive Officer
  • Attends to Customers complains and enquiries
  • Prepares budget and reports for the organization
  • Any other duty as assigned by the CEO

Chief Chef:

  • Responsible for preparing different meals as requested by our clients
  • Makes lists and budget for cooking supplies
  • Oversees the entire coking process
  • Responsible for training new cooks
  • Makes sure that quality is maintained at all times

Cooking Assistants

  • Assists the chief chef in the kitchen
  • Runs errands for the chief chef
  • Responsible for purchasing food ingredients for the organization
  • Ensures that the kitchen is kept clean at all times
  • Ensures that all kitchen wares are kept at their proper position after use.
  • Any other duty as assigned by the Chief Chef

Admin / Personnel Manager

  • Receives payments on behalf of the restaurant
  • Handles all HR concerns for the organization
  • Supervises employees during events
  • Issues receipt to customers
  • Prepares financial report at the end of every working week
  • Handles all financial transaction on behalf of the company
  • Interfaces with our bankers
  • Responsible for payment of tax, levies and utility bills
  • Any other duty as assigned by the CEO / restaurant manager

Sales and Marketing Officer:

  • Sources for clients for the company
  • Responsible for promoting the company’s image
  • Responsible for creating marketing and sales strategies, etc.
  • Represents the organization in some strategic business meetings
  • Any other duty as assigned by the Chief Operating Officer / Bakery manager


  • Delivers customers’ orders promptly
  • Runs errand for the organization
  • Transports employees and goods to and fro event venues
  • Assists in setting up cooking and serving stands during events
  • Any other duty as assigned by the personnel manager

Servers (Contract Staff)

  • Take orders from guests
  • Serves guest during events / parties
  • Assists in cleaning dishes after events / parties
  • Assists in the movement of cooking utensils, plates, spoons and other relevant wares
  • Assists in setting up cooking and serving stands during events
  • Any other duty as assigned by the personnel manager

Cleaners / Dish Washers:

  • Responsible for cleaning the office facility and kitchen at all times
  • Ensure that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
  • Responsible for washing dishes before and after events
  • Cleans both the interior and exterior of the building
  • Any other duty as assigned by the personnel manager

6. SWOT Analysis

We are quite aware that is a stiffer competition when it comes to the catering trade in Chicago, which is why we decided to take our time to perfect our strategies before launching out. Our goal is to become a leading all – round catering services company in the whole of Chicago and the only way to achieve that is to out – perform our competitors. In order to outperform our competitors in Chicago, we hired a business consultant to help us conduct SWOT analysis.

In view of that, we were able to take stock of our strengths, our weakness, our opportunities and also the threats that we are likely going to be exposed to in establishing our catering business in Chicago, IL. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Delicious Delight® Catering Services.

  • Strength

We are a complete catering business that does not offer outdoor catering services alone, but offer consultancy services, rental services and trainings. The truth is that, people will prefer to engage a client that can provide them with all they would need to make their events a memory one.

It means that the need to sign different contracts with different providers (vendors) will not arise once they engage our services. Another positive for us is that we will be working with the best of caterers in the US; they are going to be guest lecturers in our Catering School and our CEO is an award winning caterer in Chicago who is widely celebrated.

  • Weakness

Our weakness could be the challenge of hiring and keeping the best cooks / chefs in our payroll since most of them may want to work for themselves. This challenge applies to almost all catering business owners. Yet another weakness is that we are new in Chicago, IL.

  • Opportunities

When it comes to catering services, the opportunities that are available cannot be quantified. Any entrepreneur can start his or her own outdoor catering business anywhere in the world and still make huge returns on his or her investment.

At Appealing Delight Catering Company, we take pride in the fact that we are one of the few catering services companies in Chicago that offer a wide range of related catering services; hence we are likely going to maximize the opportunities available for catering business in Chicago, IL.

  • Threat

There are a couple of first class catering services companies in Chicago IL, and they are a huge threat to us. They pose a threat to us because they are already established, and their brand is well accepted. Also, most of them can boast of a have huge clientele base.

Our competitors are able to develop expensive new marketing and sales campaigns and that will mean that we will have to struggle to catch – up.


  • Market Trends

There is hardly any organization or individual who intends organizing any party or event that will not engage the services of caterers. One of the high points of parties, weddings and events generally is the time for refreshments with foods.

Most people who attend parties look forward to when food is served, that is to tell you that a party will not be complete if there is nothing to eat and drink.

It is the norm for most corporate organizations to also give out the management of their canteens to vendors (caterers) because they know that it will be a distraction if they decided to handle it themselves. This is one of the major areas catering companies leverage on in building their businesses to generate steady income.

Outdoor catering services is supposed to be the core offering of catering businesses, but outdoor events don’t happen every day these days. As a matter of fact, caterers compete for the available weddings and parties that are organized during the weekends because weekends and holidays appear to be the busiest periods for catering business.

In order to compete with the big wigs in the catering industry in Chicago, we have decided to create a niche, which is why we want to run an all – round catering business; a catering business that is not just restricted to cooking and serving of foods, but a catering business that will offer rental services, consultancy services, as well as run a standard, government approved / licensed catering school in Chicago IL. Appealing Delight® Catering Company will adopt the following marketing and sales strategies;

  • Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to all the corporate organizations in Illinois
  • Neighborhood, door to door and mouth to ear mode of adverts to introduce our business in our community
  • Engage in road shows ( make some open air noise) to introduce our business
  • Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still deliver quality foods and services
  • Encourage and reward referral marketing.
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Start a TV show in line with our business goal and objectives
  • Sponsor relevant community events, such as cooking competitions and cooking reality shows on TV et al.

8. Our Target Market

No doubt, the target market for catering businesses cut across people of all walks of life and organizations. The need to celebrate and call for a party will always arise and it is not restricted to only a group of people or organization, it cuts across people of all walks of life.

Yes, our catering services is within the reach of everybody and we intend serving available clients, but in order to effectively make plans and take actions towards meeting our sales and marketing goals, we have been able to pencil down the category of people and organizations that will be our main target market. Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically designed our products and services for;

  • Families (Homes)
  • Schools (boarding house and campus et al)
  • Wedding Ceremonies
  • Event Planners
  • Sport Centers
  • Corporate Organizations
  • Aspiring Entrepreneurs (Those who want to learn how to cook and run their own catering businesses)
  • Managers of public facilities
  • Carnival Organizers
  • Caterers ( for our consultancy services and perhaps renting of our catering wares)

Our Competitive Advantage

Appealing Delight® Catering Services is coming into the catering industry knowing completely well that there are other competent and well established catering companies in Chicago. However, we have decided to critically study the industry and have realized that in order to have a competitive advantage over our competitors; we must do what they are not doing.

In view of the above stated fact, we have decided to offer a wide range of catering services that will meet the needs of a wide range of clientele base. We want to be the one stop shop when it comes to catering services in the whole of Illinois.

Our clients should be able to sign just one contract with us and we will deliver nearly all they would need to make their events a memorable one. This is the competitive advantage that we are bringing to the market in Chicago, IL.


  • Sources of Income

Appealing Delight® Catering Services Company is established with the aim of maximizing the catering business, hence our service offerings. With the nature with which we intend building our business, we are not going to lack continuous inflow of cash.

There are several sources of income for our business and we will ensure that we do all we can to maximize them. Below are the sources of revenue generation for Delicious Delight® Catering Services Company;

  • Offering outdoor catering services to a wide range of clients
  • Engage in Party rental services (renting of catering wares, chairs, tables and tents et al.)
  • Manage Canteens for corporate organizations.
  • Running a top notch government approved catering school in Chicago, Illinois
  • Offering consultancy services in line with our business offerings
  • Event Management
  • Sales of Cakes

10. Sales Forecast

It is important to state that our sales forecast is based on the data gathered during our feasibility studies and also some of the assumptions readily available on the field.

This sales projection is based on our business offerings which involve outdoor catering services, rental services, event management, canteen management, our catering school and consultancy services et al. On the Average, we look forward to;

  • Handle about 4 Outdoor Catering Events in a Month
  • Secure contract to manage 5 canteens for corporate organizations within the first 3 months of launching the business
  • Sell a minimum of 20 Standard Cakes in a Month
  • Manage a minimum of 2 Events a Month
  • Consult for a minimum of 4 clients in a month
  • Train a minimum of 50 caterers within the first 6 months of launching the catering school
  • Rent our catering wares / party stuffs to a minimum of 4 clients per month

N.B-: Please note that we could not put a specific amount to the projection above because the prices may differ for different services and for different clients. Part of our business strategy is to work within the budget of our clients as stated earlier.

Also, to deliver quality catering services hence it will be difficult to project what we are likely going to make from such deals. But, the bottom line is that we are definitely going to make reasonable profits from any business deal that we execute.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

Appealing Delight Catering Services Company intends to become the number one catering services company in the whole of Chicago and the only way for us to achieve this is to engage in guerilla marketing. Our plan is to ensure that we get our own fair of the existing market in Illinois.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis, so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization.

Our goal is to become a one-size-fits- all kind of service people when it comes to catering services in Chicago, Illinois and its environs. This is why we must explore all the marketing tactics available to us if indeed we want to fulfill our mandate. In nut a shell, we will explore the following marketing and sales strategies to promote our catering business;

  • Direct Marketing
  • Marketing via Our Sponsored TV Programs and Community Based Events
  • Erect Our Billboards in Strategic locations around the city
  • Sales Reps
  • Online Marketing (via our official website, social media platforms and blog et al)
  • Referral Marketing
  • Promotion of our products during our training sessions in our catering school

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

We have been able to work with our consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. First and foremost, we want our brand to visible and well communicated which is why we have created a logo with attractive colors.

All our publicity materials and jingles are done by some of the best hands in the industry. We have created a budget to take care of our publicity and advertising need and here are the platforms we intend making use of to promote and advertise our business;

  • Place adverts on both print and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Sponsor relevant TV shows
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook ,Twitter, LinkedIn, Badoo, Google+ et al
  • Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations
  • Engage in road shows from time to time
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in targeted areas from time to time

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Launching a new business is not an easy task especially if you are launching a business / idea that is not entirely new from what is obtainable in the location you intend launching it. So, part of our strategy for entering the market is to leverage on pricing to gain a good percentage of the available market.

Of course we will attract clients by offering quality catering services for rock – bottom price. A price that probably will be the lowest in the industry.

Although prices for our catering services and other related services will be lower than what is obtainable in the industry, but it wouldn’t remain so for a long time. As a matter of fact, we intend jacking up the prices gradually until it falls at par with what is obtainable in the industry. We aim to achieve this within a year of launching the business.

  • Payment Options

Our payment policy is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that we will make available to our clients;

  • Payment by cash
  • Payment via Point of Sale (POS) Machine
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via
  • Payment via Mobile money

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our plans without any itches.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

  • The Total Fee for Registering the Business in Florida: $750.
  • The budget for Liability insurance, permits and license: $5,000
  • The Amount needed to acquire a suitable Facility with storage space for 6 months in Chicago, Illinois (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive): $70,000.
  • The Cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (fridges, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al): $15,000
  • The Cost for Catering Equipment (Standard commercial oven, Industrial Gas Cooker, Baking Sheets and Racks, Mixers, Work Tables, Sinks, Slicers, Scales, Cake decorating Tools, Ingredient Bins and kitchen utensils et al) : $15,000
  • The Cost of Launching a Website: $600
  • The cost for our opening party: $5,000
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al): $5,000

Going by the report from our research and feasibility studies, we will need an average $150,000 to set a catering business in Chicago, IL.

One good thing about catering business and perhaps other related services that we render, is that you are definitely going to make profits from any business deal that you handle. You are expected to submit quotations that will be enough to cover your expenses and profits as well.

Generating Funding / Startup Capital for Delicious Delight® Catering Services Company

  • The CEO Mrs. Sharon Miller will generate 40 percent of the start – up capital from her personal savings
  • She will source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Her bankers are willing to give her loan facility to the tune of 80,000 US Dollars

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

Our CEO Sharon Miller has plans to implement succession plans hence the introduction of her daughter Ms. Stacy Miller to join her in building the business from the scratch. She has made plans to train her on the job and also attend training courses. Ms. Stacy Miller will be understudying her mother with the sole aim of taking over the business once she retires.

As part of the plans to sustain the business and also to expand the business, we will continue to invest in the training of our employees and also continue to explore new opportunities to generate income for the business. We are certain that if we get things right and we work hard; we are likely going to triple our income in the second year of our operations.

Check List / Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Renting of Facility and Construction of our Commercial Kitchen: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members and friends: Completed
  • Application for Loan: In Progress
  • writing of business plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the Needed furniture, electronic appliances and catering equipment: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Preparation of our catalogue and price list: Completed
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and in the neighborhood: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Kitchen Approval by Inspectors from Local Health Office: Done
  • Opening party / launching party: In Progress
  • Compilation of our list of products and detailed recipe : Completed
  • Arrangement for trainers and training facility: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – suppliers of all our needed food ingredients: Completed
  • Purchase of delivery vans: Completed.