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Starting a Home-Based Catering Service in the UK? Key Points to Consider

Starting a Home-Based Catering Service in the UK? Key Points to Consider
March 18, 2023 Tom Clark

If you have always dreamt of putting your culinary skills to work for you, perhaps the time is ripe to open your own home-based catering service. Friends and family have been urging you to use your amazing talents after seeing the ‘miracles’ you have been able to work at family gatherings like holidays, weddings, and christenings. You may have finally reached a stage in your life when you are now seriously entertaining the notion of going to work for yourself in the catering business, but can you operate from your own home? Actually, you can! Here are a few key points to consider.

Is Your Kitchen Properly Equipped?

Here it would be wise to refer to specific guidelines for selling food prepared in your kitchen. Your kitchen will be inspected by an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) who will consider three main areas. Safe food handling is only one of the things they will look for, followed by safe food maintenance and last, but certainly not least, the physical condition of your kitchen. One of the things which many budding home-based caterers begin with is a total remake of their kitchen.

For example, if you live in the St Albans area of the UK, you could contract the services found on where one single contractor can ensure you have a kitchen that is more than aesthetically pleasing. This may include a total remodelling of your kitchen with a strong focus on anything and everything, including plumbing if necessary. Bear in mind that there are strong rules regarding the safe disposal of waste along with such things as storage and refrigeration. Professionals will be best able to help you pass inspection without a glitch.

Getting the Legalities Out of the Way

According to the Foods Standards Agency, the safe handling of food waste, as mentioned above, is a very important factor to be considered. However, they also offer guidance on the entire process of starting a food-based business from home. It involves things like registering as self-employed, perhaps as a limited company.

You will need to have all your ducks lined up, not the ones you cook of course, but the legalities necessary to be in compliance. From registering with HMRC to passing any and all inspections and obtaining proper business insurance, it is vitally important to get all the legalities out of the way before selling your very first item.

Local Marketing Is a Must

The advice you find on the UK government we spoke of above, also including permissions from your local council and your mortgage lender, might seem like the final step before launching your newly outfitted kitchen. By the way, since you are renovating your kitchen for business purposes, once registered to do business, that can be a tax allowance at filing time!

However, now it’s time to consider bringing in the clientele. Local area marketing is also an absolute must. Hiring a marketing agency may be a wise decision but you can also offer incentives to family and friends who recommend your catering service to people and businesses they know. Whether you choose to offer them a discount on future services or freebies along the way, any incentive you can offer will get the ball rolling in your community. Yes, it’s a lot of hard work, but you’ll finally be your own boss doing something you love and are very good at doing, at that!