Catering 101: How to Start Your Own Catering Company

First off, we just have to say, you’ve made an excellent career choice. You’ll love the delicious food, wonderful people and incredible experiences the catering industry has to offer!

The first step to understanding how to start your own catering company is to make sure you have the right equipment and event products:

Start Your Own Catering Company: Place Settings 101:

Perhaps the most obvious and important equipment you need to start a catering business are plates, glasses and cutlery. When figuring out how many place settings to buy, it’s a good idea to order a few more than you think you need because normal wear and tear (like slippery hands, dancing guests and tough dishwashers) will account for broken pieces that need to be replaced.

Start Your Own Catering Company: Dinnerware 101:

When choosing plates, bowls and platters, consider what type of catering company you want to run. The size, style and design should mirror the type of food you’ll be preparing and the guests you’ll be serving. Here’s a few helpful tips:

1. Embrace Geometry

A hot new trend in the catering world is to veer away from the obvious white round plates and to embrace new shapes and modern design. Try these rectangular porcelain dinner platesor this one-of-a-kind 8” triangle plate if you plan on serving upscale food to your guests.

2. Bowl with Purpose

Soups are perfect menu items for any occasion during these cold winter months. A tasty tomato bisque in one of these fancy teardrop bowls will be sure to be a conversation starter among guests.

3. Be Unique

Food just tastes better when it’s served in a platter you’ve never seen before! These white Monocle bowls will ‘wow’ your guests and add a dash of elegance to any place setting.

(For tons more catering specialty dinnerware options, check out our unique china sets!)


Start Your Own Catering Company: Flatware 101:

When buying forks, knives and spoons, an important rule of thumb for people just starting out in catering is to remember these three tips:

1. Design Matters

Simple styles feel more modern while more intricate patterns tend to indicate traditional and antique settings. Our fan pattern flatware is a practical and versatile middle ground for any menu!

2. Par for the Course

Don’t forget, a three-course meal requires a minimum of three forks! Some appetizer/dinner/dessert combos need even more. Make sure you have enough cutlery on hand for the meal you’re serving!

3. Match. Match. Match!

Perhaps the most important tip we can give you is to make sure your flatware matches! The easiest way to solve this problem is to order from the same company; a catering supply company you can trust that won’t discontinue their design styles and have enough inventory on hand for those last minute needs!


Start Your Own Catering Company: Glassware 101:

Water glasses, wine glasses (both red and white!) and champagne flutes are a must have starter set for every caterer. Matching is important, of course, which tends to get very tricky because glassware breaks so easily. Be sure to stock up on the set you love so you never have to worry about running low! And if you do need a few last minute glasses, try to find an event products company with low minimum ordering!


Start Your Own Catering Company: Ovens 101:

Once you get your small business off the ground, and if you have the space and the budget, a Moffat Convection Oven is the way to go! Available in both half size and full size, these ovens can increase your cooking output to cover hundreds of guests! Make sure you do your due diligence before diving in on one of these bakin’ badboys, because knowing when to pull the trigger and upgrade your equipment is half the battle of starting a business.


Start Your Own Catering Company: Chairs 101:

Depending on the different types of catering you’ll be doing, you might need to invest in some chairs. The important thing to remember when purchasing chairs is to find a nice, durable set that you can use indoor and outdoor. These Chiavari chairs are perfect for any beginning caterer!

We all started our catering careers somewhere, and it gives us no greater pleasure to offer catering tips, tricks and expertise to small catering and event planning companies just learning the ropes.

International Event Products has been in the hospitality business for over 19 years! We believe in combining our expertise in design and catering with high-quality, fairly-priced wholesale products, giving small catering companies like yours exactly what you need to get off the ground and succeed in the hospitality and event planning world.

If you have any questions for our expert catering team here at International Event Products or would like more information, feel free to request a call with our team!