The most recent figures show that Burger King has more than 13,000 outlets − a far cry from the inauspicious Insta-Burger King chain that started in 1953 and ran into financial trouble in the following year.
The moral of the story is that big things can grow from relatively humble beginnings, whether from the back of a burger van or the comforts of a converted home kitchen.
This sort of growth − or any sort of growth, for that matter − will generally not happen by chance; instead, if you have plans to move on from simply catering at the odd event to having multiple outlets and a commercial freezer army stocked with rapidly-rotating goods, careful planning and business know-how is a must.
Knowledge is power
Knowledge is key to starting and growing a successful catering business. This includes fully understanding everything, from the regulations you must adhere to and protecting yourself against claims for accident or injury to having a complete grasp of your marketplace.
An eye on the money
Financial planning is another essential that, if absent, can spell business disaster. Revamping a commercial kitchen, for example, can costs tens of thousands of pounds − or more − and is not something that should be undertaken lightly.
While buying the vital equipment to get your business moving is undoubtedly essential, including items such as cooking and refrigeration equipment from companies such as FFD Ltd, overstretching your finances on embellishments or attempting to grow too quickly can perch your business on the edge of a very precarious precipice.
The price is right
Do not be tempted to force growth through aggressive pricing policies. An underpricing tactic is impossible to maintain in the long term and can be financially crippling for your business.
A team effort
Surrounding yourself with a good team is another essential for maintaining and growing your business. No man is an island and no larger-scale catering boss can survive, much less thrive, without attention being paid to employee quality and satisfaction.
No catering company will prosper without being backed by a brand. From the outset, and during growth periods, it is essential to maintain your own core values and those of your company and to fulfil the requirements of the niche you have filled or created for your business.