When starting a catering company, the first thing you’re expected to do is build a catering menu. From creative food options to services and packages, there are many things to consider, and if not planned properly, you will end up overwhelmed. In this article, we will go through different package ideas, using a catering menu template, and more. Market Research Make a list of packages you would like to offer. It’s important to do some research into what is being offered in your area, and decide on your own selling benefit. You unique selling point could be anything from large events to intimate dinners for fewer than 10 people. Picking your niche is crucial. Being too specific may result in low demand, but if the variety is too broad, it will be much harder to master one style of catering and find your unique selling point. Consider handing out your card to local residents and conduct short surveys asking what sort of services people are interested in paying for. Getting Started Put together your business plan for your company and create a business card. You will have a much higher chance of succeeding if you run some numbers prior to starting. Have business cards ready is important for building a client base. Don’t complicate things - professional chefs have plenty of advice online when it comes to building catering business plans, including a creative catering menu template and different packages. Make sure you don’t rush into the food business and take your time building a plan. Don’t make rash decisions that will end up costing you, and meet all deadlines involved in the process. Breakfast Catering When it comes to building a catering food menu, breakfast is perhaps the easiest meal to create. The food is simple and there are ways to be really creative with your dishes. Gourmet breakfasts include variations of bread-based foods, eggs, vegetables, dips and deli cheese/meat. The best way to present breakfast foods is buffet-style, because you get the chance to be creative with your stations. Most menus include: Pancake station; Deli cheese and meat stand; Eggs made to order; Dessert stand with fruit, light tartes and mini muffins. Create a list of main dishes rather than picking ranges of smaller options. For example, offer dishes like breakfast quiches, eggs benedict, and scrambled eggs with ham, but supplement these with a range of fun side dishes like a cheese platter, roasted vegetables, and bread/pastry baskets. The event will instantly feel like a celebration for your guests. Lunch and Dinner For lunch-based events, the catering menu consists of more filling foods. Options typically include appetizers, meat or fish-based main courses, and dessert (especially if it’s a celebration). Include some gourmet items in your list of appetizers for a more elegant event. This might include a shrimp cocktail, raw meat bruschetta, coquilles saint-jacques, or a deli cheese platter. For large occasions, avoid foods that require carving or cutting. This can cost extra for service staff alone. All menus should end with dessert options. Depending on banquet size and format, opt for either a stationary sweets stand or give guests a chance to choose between two desserts in the menu. To build a solid catering menu, use a template online; it will make sure that you have enough dishes for every course, taking into account dietary restrictions indicated in advance. -- Main Points: A menu built for catering services takes time to put together; make sure you think all costs and services through. For breakfast menus, choose simple dishes but add deli cheeses or meats to make it appear fancier. For fancier large occasions where food needs to be more gourmet, include all three courses. Don’t forget dessert, especially if it’s a celebration. Hand out your company card at the end of every event; this will get you more clients.