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  • #978467
    Sez
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    Hi. One final question… I am certain I want to pursue a career in food and have always wanted to start my own cafe, however recently I have been thinking about a catering business instead as the hours would be more flexible. Would the extra costs of rent, fixtures etc. and long hours be worth it to have everyday trade, or would a catering business be potentially as profitable, or possibly even more so? Thanks for any help – I have found this site unbelievably helpful :)

    #1107374
    Geronimo
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    I’ve got friends who had/have owned bakeries, cafes and restaurants. The biggest issue for them was having a life outside of work. One family sold their restaurant after about 15 years, another sold the bakery after 30 years, because they wanted weekends and evenings free.

    So I guess my only advice would be to have a good understanding of the time commitments involved in either option, and be sure that it suits your goals for life.

    Good luck!

    #1107375
    Kennethti
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    It’s difficult to actually say, because you’re comparing apples and oranges – both businesses rely on different types of marketing and different types of customers to make it work.

    In a cafe business you would be primarily reliant on foot traffic and as time passes this will build you a reputation. There are costs like rent and inflexible trading hours, but these are vital in relation to how you earn your money.

    In a catering business due to less visibility you need to advertise or have a very good network of friends, family, or business partners. Your main clients will be individuals who are having functions, or businesses who are hosting some sort of function. While you can save on costs for rent, you would end up spending money on networking and advertising. If you have no established network you would have to rely more on advertising.

    It’s difficult to say which is more profitable, and this is not a simple question to answer.

    #1107376
    Sez
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    I know it is not an easy question to answer. I’ve been struggling to figure it out for some time. Thanks so much for all your help anyways :) At the moment I have 2 small children, so I certainly can’t commit to a cafe. I’ve been catering a few friends birthdays and doing cakes just for fun and I seem to be already establishing myself a good name, so I guess I just see where life takes me for now. Sometimes I wish my passion was in an easier field, but then it just wouldn’t be the same :) Thanks again all!

    #1107377
    Printerboy
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    Sez, post: 119033 wrote:
    Hi. One final question… I am certain I want to pursue a career in food and have always wanted to start my own cafe, however recently I have been thinking about a catering business instead as the hours would be more flexible. Would the extra costs of rent, fixtures etc. and long hours be worth it to have everyday trade, or would a catering business be potentially as profitable, or possibly even more so? Thanks for any help – I have found this site unbelievably helpful :)

    Why not do both? Work hard for a 2 years and figure out which one you prefer.

    A. You will build a network for your catering by having a business location + People will have more trust initially knowing you have a bricks and mortar business.

    B. I think Catering has higher potential profits but it is hard to have foundation for any comments until you try it out.

    #1107378
    bluepenguin
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    Have you thought about setting up a food stall at markets, festivals etc?

    #1107379
    Kennethti
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    bluepenguin, post: 119114 wrote:
    Have you thought about setting up a food stall at markets, festivals etc?

    I think that’s a pretty good idea.

    A client of mine who did a takeaway shop also started doing catering after she had a steady stream of regular clients who asked her if she could cater for their community events.

    #1107380
    Sez
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    My original idea was to have a coffee shop and run my catering business through it as an extra. I was hoping the extra would allow me to not work such long hours at the shop so I could still have a life. I am considering starting the markets soon. I’m a working mum on a very tight budget at the moment and I need to be sure we can afford the public liability insurance first, and I can’t let my working life get in the way of my kids. They are definitely my number one priority :)

    #1107381
    Avatar Consulting
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    It costs money to make money

    Hi

    I noticed that you said that you haven’t got Public Liability insurance yet due to its cost.

    If this is true, then you cant afford to open a bricks n mortar cafe anyway. The basic rent & fitout costs would be in excess of $80,000 and you would need to employ staff to help cover the times when you are busy (weekends etc) and so you can stay with your kids.

    On top of this you would need $3-5,000 in additional insurances to cover the cafe and its equipment.

    With your existing catering services I am assuming that you havent applied for a Food service licence to cook food at home as they would have required you to make additional changes (like sinks & fire safety systems) that you need to have.
    Check your local council health department to see what category of food service you are classed as.
    Remember it only takes 1 customer to sue you for food poisoning to lose your house as a sole trader and public liability insurance doesnt cover that.

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