If you are interested in starting a home-based catering business, there are a few things you will need to consider before even embarking on the venture.
Understanding the requirements
If you are interested in starting a food business, you will need to make sure that you understand everything that is required, including the standards of hygiene, the necessary facilities and the restriction of access. You must also be sure that you will be able to meet – and maintain – the necessary standards.
Applying for permission
If you want to sell food in any form, you need to be licensed to do so. This involves applying for permission from your local council to run a catering business from home. The type of licence you apply for will depend on what it is you want to sell and on what scale.
Any food that is sold to the public has to be prepared in a kitchen facility of a certain hygienic standard. Even if you want to bake cakes in your kitchen at home to be sold through an outlet, there are certain requirements about how your kitchen is organised. These may include storing all the ingredients separately, in specific containers and having a dedicated fridge. If you are seeking to begin a larger enterprise, like a home-based catering business, you may have to remodel parts of your kitchen, or even make sure there is a separate building in which the food preparation takes place.
Any food-preparation business will be subject to regular inspections. You need to be prepared for these inspections, or your business may face closure. This involves making sure that your premises, storage facilities and preparation processes comply with all the required standards, which must be kept up throughout the time your business is in operation.
Restrictions on access
The laws governing the production of food specify that there should be a certain standard of hygiene in the area where the food is produced. This includes a restriction on who is allowed to be in the area. All pets are restricted. In a larger home-based catering business, only those individuals involved in the production of the food may be in the kitchen, which means that the members of your family will need to keep out of your preparation space. If you are interested in running a small enterprise from your home kitchen, this will not be possible. In this case, you would need to be strict about who is allowed to handle any of the ingredients you use in the production of the food.
Running a home-based catering business can be rewarding on many levels, but you must be sure you understand and will be able to implement – and maintain – all the necessary standards and requirements for the business to run successfully.