There a lot of untapped small business ideas and opportunities in the catering industry, yet; I still see a lot of catering beginners struggling to make headway in the saturated niches, thus ignoring the untapped ones.

Are you interested in starting a catering business from home but you want to avoid a death-match with competitors? Then below are the top 20 small catering business ideas you can start from home today.

There was a time when catering was considered to be a service available only to the rich and mighty in the society. If you could afford a caterer at that time, you would be regarded as a rich and powerful person.

But these days, catering has evolved so much and it’s not only that almost anybody can afford a caterer these days, it also has to do with the fact that there are now several types of catering services to the extent that catering has now become an industry and not just a business.

Without wasting much of your time, let’s discuss the top 20 business ideas in the catering industry that you can invest in-:

Top 20 Small Catering Business ideas & Opportunities for 2020

1. Romantic Catering

A lot of people might not have heard about this one before but it is an existing business in the catering industry that you might have patronized before. Remember that time when you took your fiancée out to dinner in a reserved corner of your favourite restaurant, that is basically what romantic catering is all about.

Romantic caterers offer lovers an unforgettable dining experience by cooking meals and creating the right atmosphere and mood, so that the lovers can enjoy the food in the most romantic way. This may involve boat or ferry dinners, serenades, scented candles and flowers.

2. Lunch Catering

Lunch catering involves providing meals and snacks for workers. You could just locate a company that has a sizable number of staff and find out if they already have a caterer. If they do not already have one, then you should talk to the manager about a chance to supply lunch regularly to the workers, so that they can get their lunch without having to leave their business premises.

3. Mobile Catering

Mobile catering is almost similar to lunch catering but different in a way. As for mobile catering, your major trade equipment is a food truck which you would load with already prepared meals (some come with in-built kitchens, so that you can prepare meals on-board).

You would drive this truck around business areas and neighborhoods and have people patronize your services. A mobile catering service is like a life saver for people who barely have time to prepare their own meals or go out to buy food.

4. Wedding Catering-: This is a very popular one and most caterers are into wedding catering. It involves preparing and serving dishes at weddings. Wedding caterers also take up other wedding related jobs like decoration and event planning.

5. Corporate Catering-: What a corporate caterer does is to provide food for corporate events like business meetings, conferences or seminars. Corporate caterers mostly have to prepare their meals in buffet style.

6. Social event catering-: Ever had a birthday bash and needed someone to provide the meals to be served? That person you hired is a social event caterer. What social event caterers do is to provide delicacies for social gatherings such as birthdays or campus parties.

7. Special event catering-: Special event catering involves cooking for public gatherings and events like sports, tours or political campaigns. It involves catering to a large crowd and it’s highly rewarding though stressful.

8. Industrial Catering-: Schools, hospitals, large factories, prisons etc; are some of the clients of industrial caterers. They are usually stationed in the mentioned places and provide food to occupants or students regularly. Those of us who had a taste of boarding school know exactly what industrial catering is all about.

9. Airline Catering-: A lot of people say they don’t like plane food but maybe I’m weird but I love plane food-yummy! Airline caterers are responsible for providing food to be served on a flight.

10. Restaurant Catering-: This is a very popular one. Restaurant caterers are responsible for cooking the meals that are served at restaurants. Sometimes, they own the restaurants and sometimes they are just hired as a Chef to provide such services.

11. Hotel Catering-: Some hotels do not have in-house chefs but would rather sub-contract their catering services out to their behalf. Such third party caterers offer what is known as hotel catering services.

12. Transport Catering-: If you are someone who travels regularly, you most likely would have patronized a transport caterer. These are people who provide meals for sale in transport stations like bus parks, train stations or airports. I have personally experienced this type of service while on a long distance journey by road; traveling from Lagos to Owerri on a public transport.

13. Welfare Catering-: Welfare caterers cook food for aged people, people with special health needs or for homeless people.

14. Food delivery business-: This is another business opportunity in the catering industry. It involves sourcing for food on behalf of your clients and delivering it to their doorsteps. They would usually state what they want via your website or mobile platform and it would be your duty to search for it and deliver it to their doorstep in a timely manner.

15. Drinks and Cocktail Services-: The catering industry is not all food and no drinks. Those who offer drinks, cooling and cocktail mixing services are also offering a service in the catering industry. This business involves sourcing for drinks, icing them and serving them at parties. It also involves cocktail mixing at such parties. This is currently a very lucrative business in the catering industry.

16. Health Catering-: This involves cooking meals for people with special health needs such as diabetics, people who need to shed weight or ulcer patients. You can have a restaurant for this or work on a hiring basis.

17. Gourmet Catering-: Gourmet caterers offer you delicious food with high standard and quality presented to you in a beautiful way. Gourmet Caterers are generally on high demand and expensive.

18. Catering Equipment Sales and Hiring-: If you are interested in investing in the catering industry and you are not too talented in the cooking department, you can still invest in catering business by going into sales and leasing out of catering equipment to other caterers.

19. Start a Catering School-: This is yet another investment opportunity in the catering industry. You can start a catering school for training aspiring caterers.

20. Party grills and bars-: It is not uncommon to see grilled food items like fish and meat served hot at parties and there are usually make-shift bars to go with it. This is another good investment opportunity that involves thinking outside the box and bringing what the people want to them.

More Catering Business ideas You Can Start from Home Today

21. Start a catering blog to share your experience, and offer advice to other aspiring caterers out there.

22. Create a forum dedicated for caterers. This will be a center point, where catering business owners and aspiring caterers can come together to exchange ideas and network together.

23. Organize a seminar for caterers; where you would offer catering business advice and success strategies, in return for money.

24. Create and sell information products about catering. Examples are books, audios and cds, etc.

25. Become a catering consultant and help newbies setup their catering businesses.

In conclusion, regardless of the business you decide to do, you must remember to always strive for excellence and be the best at it. All these business ideas were invented by someone somewhere and who says you cannot invent your own Business model too?

Ajaero Tony Martins
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