There is a growing trend to celebrate life events with a party, and a business that can capitalise on this growth is catering franchises. Baby showers, baby gender reveals and even divorce parties have led to an increase in demand for catering. A report by IBISWorld claims that the growth of the catering sector is partly due to the larger number of traditional life events that require the service of catering companies, such as weddings and funerals. This article is going to take a deeper look into the catering industry in the UK, the benefits of running a catering company and some of the best examples of catering franchise opportunities.
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Starting a catering franchise - what’s the current state of the industry?
The UK catering industry is thriving. According to the same data from IBISWorld, revenue for the catering services market is around £1 billion and has grown by 0.4 percent between 2014 and 2019. As well as the rise in personal gatherings, corporate events also boost the revenue of the sector. Research by Eventbrite suggests that the UK events industry is worth around £42.3 billion, with 1.3 million business events held every year. The fact that there is plenty of demand for catering services makes starting a catering company an attractive proposition.
Catering companies also make a considerable contribution to the UK economy by employing approximately 28,000 people. And despite the uncertainty that Brexit has brought to the economy recently, the market size, growth rate and number of employees in the catering industry are impressive. As well as the UK catering industry presenting plenty of scope for lucrative business opportunities, there are lots more advantages to starting your own catering franchise. Let’s take a look at five in more detail below.
5 benefits of running a catering franchise
So, if you think you’ve got what it takes to run your own catering company but don’t know where to start, you should consider franchising. By investing in a franchise, you’ll get to enjoy being your own boss while benefiting from the support and expertise of an established brand.
Due to mobile catering franchises rising in popularity, we’re going to focus on them in particular. If you’ve got your heart set on starting your own catering business but are concerned about the rising cost of leasing property, then a mobile catering franchise could be the answer.
1. Reduced start-up costs
Although there are costs to consider for a mobile catering business, they generally require a lower up-front investment and will cost you less in the long run. The fact that mobile caterers aren’t tied to a particular fixed location makes them ideally suited to aspiring entrepreneurs who would be unable to start their own business if they needed to lease property.
2. You can go where your customers are
Mobile catering companies can overcome one of the biggest challenges that more traditional food businesses encounter – getting customers through the door. It takes significant time and marketing effort to build up a brand reputation that pulls in the crowds. In contrast, as a mobile caterer, you’re able to go where prospective customers are. Whether that’s a private event, a festival or a carnival, you’re ready to use your initiative and take a proactive approach to make your business a success.
3. It’s what customers want
The popularity of mobile catering companies is on the rise. Increasingly, people are choosing to feed their guests at events such as weddings and baby showers by hiring a burger van or providing a hog roast. This trendy alternative to traditional catering can often be more cost-effective for customers and adds a fun element to their event.
The last two benefits can also be applied to non-mobile catering companies:
4. You can follow your passions
If you’re a sociable individual who thrives in a busy environment and can communicate efficiently with large crowds, starting a catering franchise could be your next business venture. Being passionate about cooking is also important, of course. If your catering company provides delicious food and is highly organised, you will bring joy to your customers at some of their most important life events.
Running your own catering business allows you to get creative; you can choose the costs, use your favourite ingredients and set up the station how you like. If you’re taking the franchise route, you might not get quite so much creative freedom as you would when taking the independent start-up route. So, if you’re taking the franchise route, remember to double check what is outlined in the franchise agreement and make sure you are prepared to not have complete control over how the business is run.
5. You can set your own hours
One of the biggest advantages of owning your own business is that you can choose which events that you work so they fit around your personal commitments. Depending on the scale of the catering company you want to run, you can choose to work full or part time. Therefore, if you want to only work events at weekends and spend the week focusing on another business venture, it is completely doable.
Catering franchise examples
If you’re tempted by the catering industry but want the guidance and support of an established brand, why not consider buying into an existing franchise?
One such opportunity is Jasper’s. Jasper’s is a catering franchise aimed at providing food for corporate meetings, lunches and events. As a franchisee, you’ll prepare food at your own commercial catering unit (which Jasper’s will help you find), based in your own exclusive territory made up of a minimum of 13,000 businesses.
What does a standard day involve?
You'll be responsible for all your day-to-day business processes and procedures, which will range from meeting customers to working with your production team and delivering the highest standards of corporate catering.
What do I get in return for my investment?
Before you launch your new business, you’ll attend a 16-week training programme with courses covering sales, the network's systems and production manuals. Once completed, you'll have additional ongoing training, books and audios to help you learn more about the business, complemented by field sales training and assessments.
To help your business get off to the best start possible, Jasper’s will provide you with customer leads and a minimum of four booked appointments a week for the first 12 months.
How much is the investment?
To become a Jasper’s franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum personal investment of £42,500 and an initial start-up cost of £140,896. To register your interest, check out its website today.
If a mobile catering company sounds right for you, then you may want to consider investing in a Cafe2U franchise. Cafe2U delivers great coffee and fresh foods directly to customers across the country. As a van-based franchise, it has low overheads so that you can achieve profitability quicker than catering companies based in one location.
What can I expect when I become a franchisee?
As a Cafe2U franchisee, you’ll attend a four-week training programme known as the Acceleration Package. Your training will be a mix of classroom-based sessions and learning on the job. What’s more, to give you peace of mind, Cafe2U will offer you an income guarantee for the first two weeks of business. This way, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll deposit in the bank during the first crucial weeks that your business is up and running.
How much is the investment?
The franchise fee is just £27,000, but you’ll need to fund your all-important van too. The Mercedes-Benz Vito van, which you can purchase on finance, will be kitted out with everything you need. It will have an espresso machine, pie warmer, refrigerator, cash drawer and sink-washing facility installed so that you can fully cater to your customers’ needs. It will also be fully branded and built to comply with the relevant Food Safety and Local Government Environmental Health Regulations.
Cafe2U takes care of all the details so that you can focus on getting your business on the road to success and profitability.
The Incredible Ice Cream Company
Founded in 2008, this ice cream franchise’s bars have made appearances at hundreds of corporate, public and private events up and down the UK. The Incredible Ice Cream Company asks that interested candidates can make a minimum investment of £24,000.
The Gourmet Hog Roast Company
This ambitious franchise is keen to be the leading hog roast and outdoor catering company in the UK. Since 2012, it has been providing its delicious cuisine at corporate events, weddings and private parties. You don’t need any previous experience in the industry, and a minimum investment of £7,500 is required. Head to its website now to express your interest and find out more about the opportunity.
Crackers about catering? Start a franchise
If you’re passionate about cooking and are eager to make your mark in the growing industry, why not consider starting a catering franchise? We also have plenty of healthy food, fast food and food and beverage franchises for you to browse as well.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©