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Caterer looking for advice, insight or feedback

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New Contributor
Dec 6, 2016
Hello my name is Mike, and I run a small full service catering company in central Florida. I have been in business since Jan. 1 2020. Rough year to start but I muscled through and I am still in business today. I have over 12 years of serious cooking experience in various cuisines and restaurants in Miami, Fl. and this is my first business. I didn’t graduate from college and I did not come from a wealthy family. Homeowner, husband and father to 2 kids.

I currently have 3 main services

  1. School Delivery - not a huge profit margin but makes an impact in my community. I feel good about broadening kids paletes and we’ve seen great results. 3 days a week. M, W &Th.
  2. Meal plans - 3 diet options, 5 meals a week. I personally shop for all the food on Saturdays and cook on Sundays and Wednesdays. I deliver twice a week. Takes up most of my time and effort and it’s not my favorite style of serving food. I continue to do it due to demand for it in my area. Somewhat consistent throughout the year and has gotten me through 2021.
  3. Events - Private dinners, cocktail parties, drop offs, weddings, showers, holiday celebrations, and on and on. Highest profit margin but less consistent. I would consider this my preferred way to cook, however, I don't see long term scalability and during the slow season, well, it’s slow. I have done very well in this area for being a new business in a new area.

Being a first time business owner, having pretty good success within my first year, starting from pretty much nothing and with covid very prevalent, I feel kind of lost. Although I am grateful that I have had success, I can’t help but ask myself “Am I running 3 different businesses?” And, honestly I am not sure what I should do. According to the “10 stages of the lifecycle of a business” I am at the infancy stage. I work around a lot of other caterers and food businesses and I have come to see that I am definitely ranked pretty high, even with the OG’s in the area. I am a bit unorganized and time allocation is not my strong suit. I work out of a commissary/shared kitchen and I do pretty much everything in the business by myself.

Any advice? Has anybody had success running a catering business with this many services? I have a lot of questions so if anyone is willing to help, I’d definitely be thankful.

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