Feeling entrepreneurial? Tips for starting your own catering or foodservice business

Is a cafe your cup of tea? Find out how to start your own foodservice business with these resources
Is a cafe your cup of tea? Find out how to start your own foodservice business with these resources

Are you a food fanatic? Have you always dreamed of starting your own restaurant, café, catering business or even a pop-up? Then the following resources can help solidify your goals and set you on the right track to business ownership.

The FSA’s guide, Starting up: your first steps to running a catering business, outlines what new business owners need to do in preparation for setting up a UK business, registering it, locating premises, complying with food hygiene and safety regulations and handling finances.  Whether you are taking over a business or starting from the ground up, this guide will provide you with expert information. To help new and current foodservice businesses, the Institute of Hospitality’s own resources on the recent Food Information Regulation and its requirements surrounding allergens can be found at FIR on the Institute’s website.

The Institute of Hospitality also offers its members a number of ebook titles on starting and operating a foodservice business – from flight catering to food trucks! Some of the many ebook titles found in the Institute’s eResources Collection include:

  • Catering Management {3rd ed.}
  • Design and Equipment for Restaurants and Foodservice: a Management View {3rd ed.}
  • Flight Catering
  • How to Start and Run Your Own Restaurant {Successful Business Start-ups}
  • How to Prepare a Business Plan
  • On-premise Catering
  • QuickBooks 2011 All-in-one for Dummies
  • QuickBooks for the Restaurant
  • Restaurant Financial Basics
  • Restaurant Service Basics
  • Running a Food Truck for Dummies
  • Starting and Running a Catering Business : How to Start and Manage a Successful Enterprise
  • Successful Restaurant Design
  • The Complete Guide to Foodservice in Cultural Institutions : Keys to Success in Restaurants, Catering, and Special Events
  • The Restaurant Start-up Guide : A 12-month Plan for Successfully Starting a Restaurant

If you are undertaking any sort of food business, it should be registered with the UK government. Further information about business registration and links to the process can be found HERE. Local authorities often provide information to start-up businesses.

Young entrepreneurs can find further information on establishing a business from the Prince’s Trust. Older entrepreneurial types will find support – the 50+ business pack sounds great! – at AgeUK.

To gain insights about entrepreneurship around the globe and to discover what helps new businesses succeed, refer to the research conducted by , read about new business, entrepreneurs around the globe and what helps new businesses succeed, visit the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) to download its research.

A love of food – or even talent – isn’t enough to ensure success in the competitive foodservice sector. These basic guides can help any entrepreneur get started – or at least inform individuals about the ground work that is required prior to their investment of time and money.


Author: Institute of Hospitality

Established in 1938, the Institute is the international professional membership body for managers and aspiring managers who work or study in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries. We help more than 10,000 hospitality professionals in 100 countries grow their knowledge, professional profile and expertise offering a wide range of high quality membership services such as targeted and regular industry networking events, hospitality qualifications and extensive online quality resources such as free management guides, Hospitality magazine, webinars, ebooks and ejournals. To learn more about our many member benefits, view our website or email membership@instituteofhospitality.org

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