Catering is a tough, competitive business. There are many different events that take place year-round in Orange County. While this provides a lot of opportunities, the competition is fierce. Avoid these mistakes to stay on top.

1.    Not Being Competitive

Do you know what your competitors are offering? Do you know what people want but don’t have? If you aren’t different, it is hard to stand out among the vast catering options.  By doing research, you will find out which options you should be offering. You must continue to market your catering business. Even when you are getting inbound referrals, at some point those will end. Many people say you must have as much passion for marketing as you do cooking.

2.    Customer Service

Due to the competitive nature of catering, excellent customer service is paramount. According to, “68% of customers visiting a catering food business do not return due to indifference of the staff and/or owner.” When a customer is hosting an event, not only do they want the event to be special, but they want to feel special too. Remember to stand out from the crowd.

3.    Not Being Flexible

Every event is going to be different. The time the food is served will vary, as will the length that food is out for. You must be flexible to have great customer service. Preparation for the event will be different each time. Be aware and plan ahead.

4.    Attention to Detail

Meal presentation is a big part of catering an event. Often, what makes an event memorable are small details. As a caterer, the presentation and quality of the meal are paramount. No plate should lack in these areas. Proper storing and transporting of food are essential. Aside from health concerns from improper storage, no one enjoys eating cold soup.

5.    Poor Budgeting

You have to know your costs. Specifically, be aware of the dollar amount you make per plate. The most important, however, are your fixed costs. Fixed costs are what you must pay monthly even if you have no customers. It is very hard to get a steady stream of clients, so it is important to understand these. By knowing your costs, you can maximize your profits while remaining competitive.

By avoiding these mistakes, your business is one step closer to not only succeeding but growing.