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How to Start a Taco Catering Business

A taco catering business is a type of food service company that specializes in providing fresh and delicious tacos for events and gatherings. These businesses typically offer a variety of taco options, including different meats, vegetarian and vegan options, and a variety of toppings and sauces.

Taco catering businesses may provide full-service catering, including setup, cooking, and cleanup, or they may simply drop off the food for the event. They may also provide additional services, such as bartending or rental of tables, chairs, and other equipment.

Taco catering businesses can be hired for a variety of events, including weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, and other celebrations. They are a popular choice for those who want to provide delicious, easy-to-eat food that appeals to a wide range of tastes and dietary restrictions.

Available statistics show that the global food truck market size was valued at USD 3.93 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 percent from 2021 to 2028.

Steps on How to Start a Taco Catering Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research is an essential step when starting a taco catering. First, you are expected to identify who your potential customers are, such as wedding planners, event coordinators, or individuals hosting private parties. Determine their demographic characteristics, such as age, income, and location.

Next, you are expected to analyze your pricing, services, and marketing strategies to determine how you can differentiate your business. Conduct surveys or focus groups to understand what customers are looking for in a taco catering service. Ask about their preferences for food, pricing, and customer service.

You should also determine the cost of goods sold for each taco recipe and the overhead costs associated with running the business. Analyze pricing strategies used by competitors to determine what pricing structure will be most competitive and profitable for your business.

Lastly, based on your research, you should develop a workable marketing plan that targets your ideal customers and highlights your unique selling points.

a. Who is the Target Market for Taco Catering Business?
  • Event planners who specialize in organizing social and corporate events in open spaces.
  • Venue owners
  • People who are hosting events such as birthday parties, anniversaries, and housewarming parties
  • Corporate clients
  • Wedding planners
  • Non-profit organizations.
b. Is Taco Catering Business a Profitable Business?

Yes, the taco catering business is considered a profitable business. As a matter of fact, the global food truck market size was valued at USD 3.93 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 percent from 2021 to 2028.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

Yes, there are existing niches when it comes to the taco catering business, and here are some of them;

  • Vegan and vegetarian tacos
  • Breakfast tacos
  • Seafood tacos
  • Regional specialties
  • DIY taco bar
  • Gourmet tacos
  • Healthy tacos
  • Fusion tacos
  • Taco truck
  • Mini tacos.
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Kogi BBQ (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Guerrilla Tacos (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Tacos El Gordo (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Tacodeli (Austin, TX)
  • Fuzzy’s Taco Shop (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Taqueria La Esquina (New York, NY)
  • Taco Dumbo (New York, NY)
  • The Taco Truck (Hoboken, NJ)
  • Tacos Tierra Caliente (Houston, TX)
  • Torchy’s Tacos (Austin, TX)
  • Bakersfield (Nashville, TN)
  • Puesto (San Diego, CA)
  • Velvet Taco (Dallas, TX)
  • The Original Taco Factory (Rosemead, CA)
  • Barrio (Seattle, WA)
  • Guisados (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Taqueria del Sol (Atlanta, GA)
  • Taqueria Cancun (San Francisco, CA)
  • Coyo Taco (Miami, FL)
  • El Camion (Seattle, WA).
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Taco Catering Business?

Yes, there are county and state regulations and zoning laws for taco catering businesses in the United States. These laws vary by location and can include health and safety regulations, licensing requirements, and zoning laws. For example, in many states, food service businesses are required to obtain a food service license.

This license often requires businesses to undergo regular inspections and meet certain health and safety standards. Additionally, there may be zoning laws that regulate where taco catering businesses can operate. For example, some cities may require food trucks to obtain permits or only allow them to operate in certain designated areas.

f. Is There a Franchise for Taco Catering Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for the taco catering business, and here are some of them;

  • Taco Bell Catering
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill Catering
  • Qdoba Catering
  • Chronic Tacos Catering
  • Tijuana Flats Catering
  • Baja Fresh Catering
  • Rubio’s Coastal Grill Catering
  • Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Catering
  • Jimboy’s Tacos Catering
  • California Tortilla Catering.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Taco Catering Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • Restaurant or Shop facility or Food Truck
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Equipment, Machines, and Supplies
  • Employees
  • Startup and Working Capital
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a Taco catering business are;

Creative Taco Catering Business Name ideas
  • Pricilla Godstone® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Benny Fellas® Taco Caterings, Co.
  • Ole Chile® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Jennifer Madison® Taco Caterings, Co.
  • David Tammy® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Food Zone® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Alicia Zeds® Taco Caterings, Ltd.
  • Hannah Bucksaw® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Isabella Brown® Taco Caterings, Ltd.
  • Grace Pickstock™ Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Zoe Delicious® Taco Caterings Company
  • Théodore Filipe® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Doris Rowland™ Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Food Court® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Zara McPherson® Taco Caterings, Ltd.
  • Food Empire® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Barry Greene® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Food Station™ Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Lizzy Marcos® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  • Plate Full® Taco Caterings, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Taco Catering Business?

The ideal business structure for a taco catering company is determined by a variety of factors, including the size of the company, the number of owners, the level of personal liability the owners are ready to accept, and the tax consequences of the various business structures.

However, we normally recommend that you start the business with minimal liability. LLC is a hybrid corporate form that provides the flexibility of a partnership while also providing its owners with limited liability protection. An LLC can have one or more owners, and the owners are not personally accountable for the debts or liabilities of the business. This business form is frequently used for small to medium-sized organizations.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Taco Catering Business?
  • General Business License
  • Seller’s Permit
  • Food service permit
  • Vending licenses
  • Liquor license
  • Zonal Permit
  • Signage Permit
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Taco Catering Business?

You don’t need any certifications to open a taco catering business.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Taco Catering Business?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Seller’s Permit
  • Vending license
  • Food service permit
  • Liquor license
  • Zonal Permit
  • Signage Permit
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

A taco catering business may or may not need a trademark, copyright, or patent and this is dependent on the specific products, services, and branding associated with the business. Be that as it may, a taco catering business may want to consider obtaining a trademark for its business name or logo to prevent others from using similar names or logos that could cause confusion in the marketplace.

A taco catering business may want to consider obtaining copyright for its original recipes, marketing materials, or other creative content that it produces.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Taco Catering Business?

The cost to start a taco catering business can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of the business, location, equipment, and supplies needed, staffing costs, marketing expenses, and more. However, a rough estimate could range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the size and scope of the business.

b. What are the Cost Involved in Starting a Taco Catering Business?
  • Legal and administrative costs (the cost of obtaining business licenses and permits, registering the business, and consulting with attorneys and accountants): $2,500
  • Equipment and supplies: $15,000
  • Staffing costs: $35,000
  • Rent/lease: $45,000
  • Marketing and advertising costs: $3,000
  • Insurance costs: $2,800
  • Food Truck: $25,000
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: $5,000.
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Taco Catering Business?
  • The size and type of the taco catering business
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost of branding, promotion, and marketing of the taco catering business
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the taco catering business
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • The cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost of the grand opening of the taco catering business.
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

It is not necessary to build a new facility for your taco catering business, especially if you choose to operate from a food truck.

But, if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility for your taco catering business will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Taco Catering Business?
  • Rent or mortgage
  • Utilities (such as electricity, gas, water, and internet service)
  • Equipment maintenance and repair (such as refrigeration units, cooking equipment, and serving utensils)
  • Staffing costs (employee salaries, benefits, payroll taxes, and workers’ compensation insurance.)
  • Food and supplies
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Insurance
  • Accounting and legal fees (such as bookkeeping, tax preparation, and contract review)
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chef or Cook – $46,000 per year
  • Event Coordinator – $40,000 per year
  • Bookkeeper or Accountant – $35,000 per year
  • Waitstaff (Servers) – $33,000 per year
  • Kitchen Staff, $32,000 per year
  • Truck Driver -$30,000 per year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Taco Catering Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Théodore Filipe® Taco Caterings, Inc. is a taco catering business that specializes in providing delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine for a variety of events and occasions. Our team is led by an experienced chef with a passion for creating fresh, flavorful dishes that are sure to please any crowd.

We use only the highest quality ingredients and strive to provide exceptional service to our clients. Our catering services are ideal for events of all sizes, from small parties to large corporate events. We offer both on-site and off-site catering services, and our mobile food truck is available for events in and around Fort Worth, Texas.

b. Products and Service

We offer a wide range of menu options, including traditional street tacos, burritos, and nachos, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.

c. Mission Statement

At Théodore Filipe® Taco Caterings, Inc., our mission is to provide our customers with delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine, using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. We strive to offer exceptional service and to make every event a memorable and enjoyable experience for our customers.

Vision Statement

Our vision at Théodore Filipe® Taco Caterings, Inc. is to become the go-to taco catering business in and around Fort Worth, Texas, known for our commitment to quality, service, and affordability.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a taco catering business are to prepare and serve fresh and delicious tacos for events and gatherings.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chef or Cook
  • Event Coordinator
  • Bookkeeper or Accountant
  • Waitstaff (Servers)
  • Kitchen Staff
  • Truck Driver.

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
  • Strong reputation in the local community for quality and service
  • Experienced and skilled chef with a passion for authentic Mexican cuisine
  • Flexible and customizable menu options to meet the needs of any event
  • Mobile food truck for on-site catering services
  • Add-on services, such as beverage service and rental equipment, to enhance the overall customer experience.
  • Limited marketing and advertising efforts
  • Limited capacity for large-scale events due to current equipment and staffing limitations
  • Limited brand recognition outside of the local community.
  • Expand marketing efforts to reach new customers and increase brand recognition
  • Increase capacity for large-scale events by investing in new equipment and hiring additional staff
  • Expand services to new markets and geographic regions
  • Partner with other local businesses and organizations to increase visibility and generate new business opportunities.
  • Competition from other local taco catering businesses and traditional catering services
  • Fluctuations in the economy and consumer spending habits
  • Potential health and safety concerns related to food preparation and service
  • Changes in consumer preferences or dietary restrictions that may require changes to menu offerings.
b. How Do Taco Catering Businesses Make Money?

Taco catering businesses typically make money by charging customers for their catering services. The business may charge a per-person rate for the food and beverage service, or they may charge a flat fee for the catering services. Some taco catering businesses may also charge additional fees for add-on services, such as rental equipment or beverage service.

c. Payment Options
  • Credit and debit cards
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay and Google Wallet
  • Gift cards and store credit
  • Installment payments
  • Cash on delivery.
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Create a website that showcases your services, past events, and testimonials from satisfied clients.
  • Utilize social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to showcase your work, promote specials, and interact with potential clients.
  • Attend local industry events and tradeshows to network with other vendors, showcase your services, and promote your brand
  • Offer discounts or promotions to new clients or for referrals from satisfied customers
  • Build relationships with event planners and venues in your area to become a preferred vendor
  • Focus on customer service
  • Utilize targeted advertising campaigns on platforms such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads to reach potential clients in your target market.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for Your Product/Service?

On average, a single taco from a casual restaurant or food truck may cost anywhere from $2 to $5.

b. How Much Profit Do Taco Catering Business Owners Make a Year?

According to industry estimates, some taco catering businesses may generate annual revenues of $100,000 to $200,000 or more, depending on the size and scope of their operations.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the taco catering business and their sales volume
  • The location the taco catering business is covering
  • The management style of the taco catering business
  • The business approach of the taco catering business
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the taco catering business.
  • The number of years the taco catering business is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Taco Catering Business?

In general, a profitable taco catering business may have a profit margin ranging from 15% to 25% or more. However, this can vary widely depending on the specific business and market.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $240,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $320,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $500,000
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Taco Catering Business?
  • The demography of the location
  • The demand for taco catering services in the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of taco catering and related food truck businesses in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking, and security et al
b. What State and City is Best to Open a Taco Catering Business?
  • Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Washington, D.C.
  • New York City, New York
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Miami, Florida
  • Chicago, Illinois
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Taco Catering Business?
  • Griddles or flat-top grills for cooking meats and vegetables
  • Charbroilers or gas ranges for cooking meats and other ingredients
  • Deep fryers for frying chips or churros
  • Steam tables for keeping cooked food warm
  • Cutting boards and knives for chopping vegetables and meats
  • Food processors or blenders for making salsas and other sauces
  • Mixers for preparing dough for tortillas or churros
  • Chafing dishes or steam tables for keeping food warm during service
  • Taco holders or serving trays for displaying and serving tacos
  • Buffet tables or mobile food trucks for serving food at events
  • Dishwashing sinks or machines for cleaning dishes and utensils
  • Sanitizing solutions or equipment for maintaining cleanliness and food safety standards
  • Plates, bowls, and utensils for serving food to customers
  • Serving spoons, tongs, and ladles for portioning food
  • Storage containers for holding prepared ingredients and leftovers
  • POS (Point of Sale) system
  1. Hire Employees

The decision to hire or not to hire employees for a taco catering business depends on the size and scale of the operation. If the business is small and operates on a small scale, it may be possible for the owner to handle all aspects of the business on their own.

However, as the business grows and the sales increase, it may become necessary to hire employees to handle various aspects of the operation.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

Launching a new business is key to how successful the business can gain traction in the market space and the taco catering business is not an exception. So, you must make sure you organize a launch party that will attract key players such as event planners, venue managers, wedding planners, and corporate organizations in your target market locations.

a. What Makes a Taco Catering Business Successful?
  • Choose a good location and unique tacos to launch the business
  • Make sure your services are top-notch
  • Throw a party before officially opening the taco catering business
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your taco catering business
  • Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your taco catering business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Taco Catering Business?
  • Preparing for events
  • Taco preparation
  • Serving customers
  • Cleaning and maintenance
  • Administrative tasks
  • Training and developing staff, scheduling shifts, and ensuring that all staff are following health and safety protocols.
  • Building relationships with clients and industry professionals.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Taco Catering Business?
  • Excellent catering skills
  • Excellent quality control skills
  • Excellent customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Health and safety knowledge
  • Accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining and bidding skill
  • Work experience in a taco catering business environment
  • Experience in managing people.