10 Steps for Starting a Mobile Catering Business

10 Steps for Starting a Mobile Catering Business

The beauty of owning a mobile food catering business is that it can take cuisine to locations where stationary kitchens are unavailable. Several mobile catering vendors prefer to operate within a circuit - moving from location to location during pre established hours, while others choose to set up in the same location each and every day. It matters not which way you choose to utilize your mobile business as long as your catering businesses meets all local and state health code rules for operation.

Step #1 Determine where you will prepare the food you intend to sell. The health department will need to do a thorough inspection of your catering vehicle. Consider this when deciding what you food will prepare onsite and what food you will prepare in advance.

Step #2 Consider forming your business into an LLC otherwise known as a limited liability company. An LLC will protect all of your personal assets including your family in the case that the business encounters any problems.

Step #3 Fill out the application for your business license. You will need to obtain a DBA license in addition to your main business license, unless you will be operating your mobile food catering business under your personal name.

Step #4 Purchase your mobile vending vehicle. You will need to look for certain health department approved features such as a kitchen with a working sink. Set a price you can afford and do some research. Several food trucks and carts have been designed to meet all health code standards within each one of the fifty states.

Step #5 Invite a health inspector from the city you will be operating your mobile catering business from to come and check if your vehicle is up to code. Keep in mind that if you are preparing food in your home kitchen or at a restaurant, that location will likely need to be inspected too.

Step #6 Get in contact with your local restaurant suppliers so that you may purchase food and supplies. Those located in an active farming region should talk with their local producers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the source at cheaper rates.

Step #7 Buy insurance for your catering truck in order to protect it from damage and protect your company from liability of foodborne illnesses and other situations in the like. You will also need to purchase unemployment insurance for any full time employees as well.

Step #8 Research potential set up locations for your business i.e. parking lots, factories, breweries etc. You will need permission to sell on these properties and a good way to start is by contacting the owners of each properties to inquire the rules about setting up your mobile catering business upon their property. Negotiate set up terms, schedule time, and vendor competition. Once terms have been agreed upon, it will be time to draft a contract outlining the agreement. You as well as the property owner will need to sign the document.

Step #9 When it comes to storing your money, make sure to keep it safe in a lock box at all times. This lock box should be out of vision/reach of all customers and its location should be in limited knowledge to a few specially selected employees. Keep an ongoing tally of all sales receipts throughout every shifts and perform a cash audit at the end of each business day.

Step #10 You will need to make a tax plan for your business. Tax payments can either be made monthly or quarterly to better manage your business income and ensure that all of your companies taxes are paid in an orderly fashion. Keep in mind that you will be responsible for reporting each one of your employees wages and withholding taxes from each one of their paychecks as well. It is also important that you keep all records of food and supply purchases so that you may deduct them from your taxes as operating expenses at the years end.