How To Start a Dessert Catering Business

Do you have a passion for desserts? Do you head to check out the Sunday brunch dessert buffet section first, or do friends and relatives rave about a particular dessert creation you've become famous for?  You may be a prime candidate to start a dessert catering business.  A dessert catering business can initially be operated right from your home, even on a part-time basis, and can become a very lucrative enterprise once you establish your reputation for the quality of desserts you offer clients.

Clients most likely to use the services of a professional dessert caterer range from wedding parties, bridal showers and bar and bat mitzvah celebrants, to colleges and universities hosting alumni receptions and companies hosting holiday parties for employees or customers.

Firs,t apply for a business license from your local city government offices and find a kitchen facility that is health department approved in which you can prepare your menu of dessert specialties. Unless your home kitchen can qualify for health department approval, you can do the administrative part of the job working from home but you cannot sell desserts to the public using a home kitchen.

It's a good idea to get your feet wet by working for another dessert caterer to learn just what is involved in the dessert catering business, which usually involves working nights and weekends as well as putting in long hours when necessary.  You also have to have physical stamina and to be creative and resourceful.

When you're ready to strike out on your own, draw up a business plan that will focus on the kinds of desserts you will specialize in.  Will you offer dessert buffets including a wide array of dessert categories from puddings and cakes to pies and cookies?  Do you want to specialize in cakes of every kind, or only chocolate desserts in order to cater chocolate parties?

It can take a hefty chunk of capital - as much as $25,000 - to get your business underway, so check with your local bank or the local SBA office regarding a business loan.  You will need to invest in equipment and supplies such as a catering truck or van to carry the desserts to the party venue in addition to renting professional kitchen space that has the proper equipment to produce the kinds of desserts you will be featuring as a caterer.

It can be easy to market a dessert catering business because whether they admit it or not, most people can't resist sweets. Just take some samples of your dessert handiwork to local chambers of commerce networking meetings and give prospective customers a taste of what you can offer them as a dessert caterer. It's also a good idea to join a trade group such as the International Caterers Association which can provide lots of education and support to help you succeed in the dessert catering business.  There are lots of other ways you can increase your profits; online business management courses can help you with these.


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