Catering Business For Sale: Franchises in the UK

25/10/2018 18:00 | Food franchises

catering business for sale

If you love food, but you don't want to commit the time and investment required to open a restaurant, you could consider starting a catering business.

Owning a catering business gives you the freedom of being your own boss with more flexibility than the long hours that a traditional restaurant would demand. Its often less expensive to get your business set up too as you wont necessarily need to worry about renting or buying premises.

There are many different services that your catering business could provide. These include:

Corporate events: conferences, exhibitions, staff meetings
Social gatherings: weddings, charity events, baby showers
Personal uses: cooking a meal in someones kitchen so that they can enjoy a meal in the comfort of their own home with family and friends without having to worry about the cooking.

But how do you go about starting your own catering business?

How to start a catering business

You could choose to start from scratch or buy an existing catering business for sale. Either way, there are specific steps which you should take to ensure your business is a success.

1. Obtain the right skills and experience

If you want your catering business to have credibility, you'll need to have a certain level of experience. It will take time and commitment, but if you're set on running your own catering business, and you've never worked in the industry before, you could consider getting a job with an established catering company for a while.

This may not be an option for everyone, but the skills and knowledge you'll gain on the job will be much more valuable than any other type of research you carry out.

2. Choose a concept

It's essential that the type of food you offer through your catering service is what customers want. Equally, you need to be passionate about the food you're cooking.

Do your research and identify where there is a gap in the market. Then consider if you could fill this gap. There's no point creating a menu which is similar to other caterers in the area, but neither should you compromise the type of food you enjoy cooking just to be different.

It's a balancing act but you can only achieve success by being dedicated and hardworking, and this is only sustainable if you love what you do.

3. Decide where youre going to work from

Where you base your business depends on the size of your budget and your ambition. If you want to start small and limit the amount of money invested in your business until your concept is proven, then your domestic kitchen may be large enough to meet your needs.

As your business grows, you can look to rent commercial kitchen space. This will give you the option to store equipment and stock, take more bookings and hire staff to help you cater for larger events.

4. Recruit staff members

When your business is at the point where extra help is required, then you need to make sure that you recruit the right staff members. Remember that your catering and serving staff become the face of your brand so choose employees that represent you and your business appropriately.

Introduce a dress code or provide uniforms to create a professional feel to your business. Make sure that all employees have sufficient training so that they can provide your customers with a first class service. Your staff members will be your greatest assets and will help to promote your business on your behalf.

Considered franchising?

There is another option if the thought of buying a catering business for sale and going it alone fills you with dread. You could choose to invest in a catering franchise instead.

By choosing this route to business ownership, youre buying into an already tried and tested business model with a proven track record of success. You dont need to come up with a unique business concept or arrange your own training as the franchisor will take care of these crucial elements of starting a business for you.

Mobile catering business for sale

Britain has got an ageing population. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that 18% of the UK population are aged 65 and over and 2.4% aged 85 and over.

This has increased the demand for services supplied by franchises such as Wiltshire Farm Foods more than ever before. Wiltshire Farm Foods cooks and delivers delicious and nutritious frozen ready meals to customers, with an average age of 83, up and down the country.

As you would expect for a reputable franchise of this size, a significant investment is required to become a franchisee. Your capital plus liquid assets should range from £80,000 to £150,000 but in return, you can expect to turnover between £500,000 and £1 million a year.

Once you become a franchisee, you'll receive two weeks of IT support to help with the day-to-day running of your business. You'll also have access to a dedicated Business Manager to help you develop a marketing plan and provide ongoing support as and when you need it.

Self-catering business for sale

If its more of a traditional catering business that youre after, then Jaspers could be for you. This franchise serves bowl food, buffets, tapas, fruits, snacks and hot food for businesses and corporate events.

Research published by IBIS World in 2017 found that corporate functions represented the largest service segment of the UK's catering services industry, accounting for just under 50% of the industry's revenue. This, combined with low overheads, means the average Jasper's franchisee can generate a turnover of around £250,000 a year.

If youre interested in buying a Jaspers catering business, youll need to invest a minimum of £42,500 with the initial start-up costs totalling approximately £140,896. Youll also require at least £25,000 working capital to fund your business until it starts making a profit.

As a new franchisee, youll attend a 16-week training programme so that you can learn about the Jaspers sales process, systems and production methods. Once youve launched your business, youll continue to receive ongoing training to help you with sales conversion and customer retention.

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