How to Start a Dessert Catering Business

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In this difficult economy, many people are looking for ways to expand their income and ensure financial stability. If you are a great cook and people enjoy and look forward to the desserts that you make, maybe starting a dessert catering business is for you. Remember, anything worth doing is worth doing right. So, start off on the right foot and you will be successful in the long run.

Things You'll Need

  • Unique recipes
  • Business cards
  • Business license
  • Liability insurance
  • Fully equipped kitchen

How to Start a Dessert Catering Business

Host a dessert party for friends and have them try your unique recipes. See which ones are a hit and which ones are a dud. (However, if you have been cooking desserts for several years, you probably already know which ones are a crowd-pleaser.) Use your friends' feedback as the basis for the first recipes you will use with clients. Pass out your business cards to friends and ask them to give them to their friends as well.

Check the phone book or local city Web sites to find local catering companies. Solicit each company and ask them if they would like to outsource their dessert function. You will probably have to provide a copy of your business license and liability insurance forms to be able to work for these companies.

Use your home kitchen, which is hopefully already fully equipped with all the utensils that you need, to create samples for potential clients and catering companies.

Once you have a solid base of clients from your catering company solicitation and your friends, start basic advertising through local magazines and then expand to Internet ads. If you have one particular dessert that everyone loves--such a certain pie or a unique wedding cake--make this item the focus of your advertising.

Never stop soliciting new business. Leave your business cards at all of the places you stop--the grocery store, your hair salon, your dentist, and more. Make sure that everyone you know is fully aware of what you do for a living. You want to be the first name they think of when they need a special dessert.

Tips & Warnings

  • Anyone can bake a pie, but it takes someone with talent to make a pie look like it came straight out of Southern Living magazine. Be sure to create a product that not only tastes good but looks good as well. Image is everything.
  • One dissatisfied customer will tell more people about your business than several very satisfied customers. Fix your mistakes. If you have a client who did not like a dessert, find a way to make her or him happy. This may mean a refund, but a refund is much cheaper than the damage that can be caused by a lot of bad word of mouth.

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