Catering in Washington

How to start your own Washington catering business

If you enjoy working creatively with food and also like working with the public, than catering in Washington may be the ideal career path for you. Washington caterers should have a keen eye for both large and small details. They should be highly organized yet flexible, and they should have stellar communication skills. Discipline and self direction are both vital in the catering industry.

Catering in Washington covers a wide array of events from casual work luncheons to elegant weddings. There is also a growing demand for catering among businesses and corporations. Employee picnics, fundraisers and meetings each offer the chance to cater events in Washington.

To start your own catering business in Washington, you will need to:

1. Find financing for your Washington catering company.

2. Start your Washington catering company on legal footing.

3. Establish your niche among other catering companies in WA.

Get small business counseling for your catering company in Washington

A big advantage of starting your own catering company is that the start-up costs are pretty inexpensive, especially compared to other new food-based businesses. However, you still may need a small loan to help you purchase small wares, print menus and cover advertising costs. Before you go to the bank for a loan, you will need to have a thorough business plan that outlines why you are the perfect person to start a successful catering business.
Small Business Administration.

Start your Washington catering company on legal footing

Catering companies in Washington need many of the same licenses and permits as restaurants in order to serve food to the public. As the owner of a Washington catering company, you will also be responsible for paying taxes, wages, and carrying enough insurance to protect both your customers and your employees, should you hire any. Plus, serving liquor requires additional licenses and insurance.
state of Washington's website has a list of all the applicable permits needed to start a catering company. If you plan on serving alcohol, you will need to apply (and pay for) a liquor license as well.

Develop a niche among other Washington caterers

To build a client base for your Washington catering company, you'll need to develop a niche your business. What is going to make your catering business outshine all others? Will you have a unique menu or theme, such as Tex-Mex or Latin-inspired food? How will your prices compare to the competition? You need to charge enough to make a profit but not so much that you price yourself out of the local market.
  • Washington catering companies include restaurants that cater as well. Don't forget to check with local restaurants in your area to find if they provide off-premise catering and what their price range is.