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How to Start a Catering Business in Kenya

The high number of events taking place has necessitated the need for catering services. Starting a catering business is a profitable venture in Kenya. Among the most common events that require catering services include weddings, corporate events, graduation ceremonies, family get together and burials.

There is a lot of stress and strain that comes with preparing food for guests. For instance, determining how much food will be needed and looking for cookery ware is stressing. It is also expensive to buy cookery ware for a one day event. You can address the problem that event hosts face in preparing food for guests by starting a catering business. This is how you can start one.

Identify a Catchy Business Name

You need to find a good business name for your catering business. It will help you develop a brand for your business. A business name will help you in marketing your catering business name. A good business name should be easy to remember, unique and have a positive impression.

You may need to register your business name on eCitizen portal to make sure it cannot be used by any other business. It will cost you around Ksh 1000 to register a business name.   

Read also: How to start an event planning business. 

Write a Catering Business Plan

Before starting a business, it is best that you write a business plan. A business plan will help you navigate through the competitive industry and also mitigate any risks and challenges you may face along the way. Your catering business plan should highlight the following:

  • A specialty
  • Startup costs
  • Sources of startup costs
  • Business location

Identify a Specialty

One of the first things you need to do is to identify a specialty for your business. For instance, you need to decide what your business catering niche is. You need to decide on the following:

  • The food you will be serving your clients
  • The type of functions you will be serving
  • The capacity of guests your catering business can serve

Identify a Good Business Location

Business location is a significant factor in the success of any business. You need to identify a location with events that require catering services. For instance, you can set up your business in a location near gardens that host events.

However, you can also start a catering business from your home. You will however need to advertise your business so that customers can know about its existence. As such, you may need to have a business website or social media presence. For instance, you can create business page on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Make sure to post pictures of food that your catering business prepares.     

Read also: How to start a bakery business.    

Buy Catering Equipment

Once you have everything in place, the next thing that you need to do is to buy catering equipment. Some of the catering equipment that you need to buy include:

  • Pots, sufuria and pans
  • Grill
  • Food preparation tools
  • Microwave
  • The display
  • Serving spoons
  • Plates
  • Freezer
  • Dispensers
  • Utensils
  • Table cloths
  • Cutting knives
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Dishes
  • Serving equipment

Get the Necessary Business Licenses and Permits

You need to acquire business licenses. Otherwise, you will be in constant conflicts with the local authorities. It is mandatory to get a business permit to operate any business in Kenya. You need the following business permits and licenses.

  • Single business permit. You can get the single business permit from the County Council offices. Its cost varies from one county to the other. On average, it costs Ksh 7,000 annually.
  • Fire and safety certificate. Since your business will be dealing with fire, then you need to have the license. To get it, you need to have fire extinguishers and safety equipment.
  • Food and Health permit. Any business dealing with food and health needs to obtain the license. A health specialist with be sent to inspect your business premises before you can be issued with the permit.

Read also: How to start a fast food business.  

Cost of Starting a Catering Business in Kenya

The cost of starting a catering business in Kenya depends with the size of your business. Most of the startup costs will go into buying cookery equipment. To start a small catering business, you need a at least Ksh 150,000.

The following is catering business capital breakdown.

  • Catering equipment – Ksh 100,000
  • Business licenses – Ksh 15,000
  • Branding and marketing – Ksh 20,000
  • Food stuffs and ingredients – Ksh 30,000

Is Catering Business Profitable in Kenya?

Catering business is a profitable business in Kenya. Its profitability depends with the number of events you will be hosting. You can start a small catering service and expand it to a big business. From a single event, you can make a profit of over Ksh 10,000. Strive to get many events where you can offer catering services to maximize your profits.