Catering Services (Indoor and Outdoor): How To Start Catering Services Business (Indoor and Outdoor) In Nigeria.
How To Start Catering Services Business In Nigeria…Catering is all about the provision of culinary services. This can be to individuals or a group. It can be indoors in a restaurant or outdoors at events like weddings, ceremonies (i.e., naming, burial, child dedication, etc.), birthday celebration, anniversaries, etc. Professional catering service goes beyond the mere provision of food, drinks, or beverages to include professional serving, table-setting, meal distribution, packaging, and after-service delivery.
How To Start Catering Services Business In Nigeria
What I am discussing here is professional catering service and how to start it here in Nigeria, both indoors and outdoors. But before I go any further, let me briefly clarify the differences between indoor catering service and outdoor catering service.
Indoor Catering Service vs. Outdoor Catering Service
Yes, catering service comes in either of two forms – indoor catering service, and outdoor catering service. In indoors catering business, people come to your shed or business centre (i.e., restaurant, “mama-put”, fast food outlet, etc.) to buy food or get other kinds of catering services. In indoors catering business, you go out and render catering services at events, to homes, offices, etc. That’s what the difference basically is.
Both indoors and outdoors catering services have their ups and downs and they are summarized as follows:
|Indoors Catering Service||Outdoors Catering Service|
|1. You require artificial lighting from bulbs, sometimes special lighting.||You have abundant, natural light from the sun.|
|2. You can maintain a consistent temperature, well-regulated temperature using fans, air conditioners, open windows, etc.||You are at the mercy of the weather. If it is an outdoor event, the rains or extreme sunshine may spoil things for you.|
|3. You spend once on equipment and materials and do not have to carry them about.||You may have to buy new equipment to shield your wares, depending on the weather at the time. Also, you may have to be moving equipment around to cater for any eventuality.|
Based on the above, therefore, I belief the meaning of and difference between indoor catering service and outdoor catering service is now clear. Let us now see how you can start any or both of these catering businesses in Nigeria today.
Whether it is indoor catering service or outdoor catering service, the steps to start the business are roughly the same. To start indoor or outdoor catering service, you need to do the following:
(1) Get Professional Training on Catering
Yes, professional training on catering comes first, other things follow. The best place to get properly trained professionally on how to become a professional caterer is a recognized catering school in Nigeria. This is where you will get the technical skills, the culinary skills, and the business management skills required to manage this business properly.
You will be given a certificate when you complete your training – which is not really what matters as compared to the skills that you will acquire. You can get professional training on catering services in Nigeria from the following schools:
- Zealous Hits Training Institute located at 152 Abeokuta Exp.Way, Araromi Bus Stop, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos Nigeria
- Topkraft Culinary Academy located at Okubankole Mafe Avenue Laderin Estate, Abeokuta, Ogun Nigeria
- Soundbite Nigeria Cookery School,
- HBS Hotel School located at 1b George Str / 74, Olowora road, Omole phase 2, Lagos
- Dof Institute located at 43 Oritshe Street, Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria
- Avery’s Cooking School located at Festac Town, Lagos
Aside from catering schools, you can as well get catering training from top schools and colleges in Nigeria which offer core catering or catering related courses. Some of them include:
- University of Uyo (UNIUYO)
- University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB)
- Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST)
- Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK)
- Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH)
- Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUA)
- kogi State University (KSU)
- Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU)
- Federal University of Technology Minna (FUTMINNA)
- Crawford University (CRAWFORD)The Federal University Of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM)
(2) Do A Proper Feasibility Study/Research
A proper feasibility study on your locality is central to your success in catering business. It is from this research that you will find out what the market needs, the cost of materials and services, your present competitors and prospective clients, sustainably strategies, working advertisement strategies, etc. You must do a proper feasibility study before you start caterer business in Nigeria, else risk the possibility of a big loss in the future.
(3) Develop A Working Business Plan
Your catering business plan comes after you must have completed your feasibility study. It will serve as the guide for the business and shows the business hierarchy, responsibilities, mission, and vision statements. With it, you will be able to direct the affairs of the business properly. Your potential investors will definitely need your business plan before giving you any aid. As such, you must get it ready even before you start the business.
(4) Buy Catering Tools, Utensils, and Equipment
Catering business is somewhat capital-intensive because of the long list of items you need to buy to start and run the business. However, a sizeable amount as N800, 000 should get you the basic catering equipment such as the following:
- Catering and rental glass racks
- Catering and rental plate racks
- Chafers, chafing dishes and chafer accessories
- Cutting boards
- Disposable bags
- Disposable catering trays and food boxes
- Food storage boxes and covers
- Knife bags, rolls, and cases
- Large cooking pots.
- Large gas ranges
- Linens and table covering
- Paper napkins
- Plastic food pans, drain, trays and lids
- Plastic trays and catering trays
- Plate racks
- Plates, bowls, and trays
- Salad bar item
- Serving carts
- Serving utensils
- Stainless steel steam table food pans and accessories
- Table decorations
- Table top accessories
- Uniforms for waitresses and cooks
You can buy these utensils, tools, and equipment in the open market, in shops, or online.
(5) Pick A Suitable Location
Irrespective of whether it is indoor catering service or outdoor catering service that you are rendering, you need an office space. For indoors catering service, this will be your restaurant or fast-food outlet. If it is outdoor catering service that you wish to go into, you would simply rent and properly furnish an office space where your clients can meet and hire your services.
To go far in catering business in Nigeria, you should consider investing heavily in business advertisement. You can do this via several means like the social media, the mass media – the Radio, TV stations, Newspapers, fliers, handbills, billboard, etc. To boost or sustain the success, you can provide discounts.
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