How to start Food catering services


How to Start Food catering services


To think of the occasions which happen in this country. For starters, there are around 10 million weddings happening every year in India, accounting for 2000per day and atleast 144weddings per minute.

Now talking about another, birthdays. Factually speaking, of each of the 365 days and considering only the population of Hyderabad which accounts for around 2 crores, there’s atleast one birthday being celebrated every day.

Just imagine the number of occasions which take place among this 1380004385 populated country in various aspects ranging from being required at airports to as small as a passing out celebration.

Not so sure about the “I’am here for the food” guest list but there’s this one group without which the wedding cannot take place and they do not need no gatecrashing, the food catering services.

Hungry for this business opportunity now, aren’t you ?

Market potential and uses

Catering services, are defined as a business which provides the services of food at a remote site or a site such as a hotel, hospital, film studios etc

The catering service market is estimated to be worth ₹15000-₹20000 crores in India. The market potential for this business specifically in the country is vast because of the increased disposable income of people and the increase in the occasion being celebrated in this country.

Moreover the need of people to maintain and celebrate their occasions as a private affair especially for this high-end weddings, after parties, farm house parties, barbecue nights, poker nights etc has been contributing to the need of catering services

Further the potential of the catering services can be defined and elaborated on the following basis

On the basis of types of catering services

  • Weeding catering services
  • Corporate catering
  • Buffet catering
  • Sit down catering
  • Food truck catering
  • Office delivery
  • Restaurant catering

On the basis of cuisines

  • Inter regional cuisines : South Indian, North Indian etc
  • Inter city/state cuisines: Hyderabadi, Punjabi etc
  • Inter country cuisines: Mongolian, Mexican, Italian, continental etc

On the basis of catering services

  • High tea
  • Dinner
  • Breakfast
  • Luncheons
  • Street food
  • Desserts

On the basis of uses of catering services

  • Birthday parties
  • Weddings
  • Office parties
  • Celebratory occasions
  • Aircrafts
  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Process of establishing a catering service
  • Kitchen location and rent
  • Decide if sources of capital
  • Gather and assemble equipment
  • Get license and permits
  • Source out vendors
  • Hire manpower
  • Market your business
License required

The licenses required to run a catering service business is

  • Food Establishment License
  • Alcohol license
  • FSSAI license

Other licenses:

  • Food safety license
  • Health/trade license
  • Eating house license
  • Environmental clearance
  • NOC from the fire department
  • Signage license
  • Playing of music in restaurant license
  • Shop and Establishments Act
  • Nominations under PFA act 1954
Investment required

The investment required to set up this food catering service is

  • Small scale : ₹1 lakh – ₹5 lakhs
  • Large scale : ₹10 lakh – ₹20 lakh
Profits made

The profits made from running a catering service business would be :

  • Small scale: ₹1 lakh-₹4 lakh per month
  • Large scale: ₹10 lakh – ₹ 15 lakhs per month

Also read :

Target consumers

The target consumers for your food catering service business would be

Aircrafts: The aircrafts are the large target consumers for this food catering business. A catering service for an international aircraft would prepare around 200000 meals of different foreign cuisines per day. To imagine the scope of your business here is a goldmine itself

Weddings: The Indian population is expected to spend 20% of their wealth on weddings which also includes food catering for different cultures and cuisines to be made available at that occasion
Restaurants and hotels: These requires catering services of the sit down and buffet types to meet the financial, occasion as well as meal needs of the consumers

Commercial offices: These require food catering service as a part of their routine meals in the form of canteen or to host formal parties and meet the taste and cuisine requirements of all sorts of employees

Events and occasions: Events and occasions like Birthday parties, farmhouse parties, pool parties, bachelorettes, surprise parties, bridal showers, poker nights, barbecue nights etc also require food catering services

Area required

The area required for setting up a food catering service depends on the occasion and people being catered

  • More than 25 people – 100 sq ft
  • 20-25 people – 70-80 sq ft
Raw materials required

The raw materials required to set this food catering service business are

  • Cooking oven
  • Serving equipment
  • Tin foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Cutlery
  • Refrigerator
  • Cooking stoves
  • Garbage bins
  • Disposable containers for storage
  • Coffee and beverage stations
  • Cambro
Manpower required

The manpower required for this food catering business is 12-15 people which include

  • Chefs
  • Waiters
  • Bus boys
  • Coordinators
  • Labour
Business model and growth

The business model of a food catering business can be defined using these four variants

Value proposition: The value which this business is likely to provide to you is
Wide target consumers

  • High profit margin and turnover
  • Low investment
  • Easily available consumers and demands

Target consumers: The target consumers for this business are

  • Aircrafts
  • Commercial offices
  • Weddings
  • Exhibitions
  • Birthday parties
  • Hotels and restaurants

Competitor review: The few key competitors in this food catering business are

  • The Indian catering company
  • Tandoori nights
  • Dana Choga
  • Paramprika
  • Little food Co.

Marketing strategy: The marketing strategy that can be implemented by your food catering business is

  • Word of mouth promotion
  • Tie ups with restaurants
  • Weddings
  • Social media promotion
  • Google listings

The food catering service has the potential and has witnessed the following growth prospects

The food catering service in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% by 2024
With an increase in the consumer spending on events and occasions and the catering service they choose becomes a decider in justifying their social status and standing

Profit margin

The profit margin which this business is likely to yield to you is 35%-40%


You should worry about the cuisine you would experiment with the next time you attend a wedding and not about taking or not taking up this business opportunity because it’s a no brained and here’s why

  • Firstly, the profit margin and the annual turnover from this business is vast because of the increased disposable income of consumers and rising need for celebrating occasions in India
  • Secondly, the scope of expansion of this business is vast contributing to the target customers you have to cater to which are immensely populated in India
  • Lastly, till there are weddings there’ll be a catering service required so you’ll probably never run out of this business.

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