So you’re starting a catering business – congratulations. It’s an exciting time, and you’re going to be working in a fast-paced, competitive industry. So you’ll need some great equipment to ensure you stay one step ahead of the competition and consistently exceed your customers’ expectations. But where do you start when there are so many different types of equipment to choose from? We’ve narrowed down five essential supplies that every small catering firm needs. Remember that you can always invest in more equipment as your business grows.
1. Pastry and Baking Accessories
If you’re going to be creating baked goods of any kind, you’ll need an array of pastry and baking accessories, such as pastry knives, bakeware and even a chef’s blowtorch. Invest in the best bakeware and knives that you can, as buying cheaper things simply means you’ll need to replace them more often. Look for equipment designed for commercial use, as this will last longer in a catering kitchen.
2. Takeaway Containers
According to the BBC, we are eating more takeaways than ever before. So whether you’re going to be running a takeaway or not, having containers to hand where customers can take home food is a great move. These should be compact, leak-proof and high-quality to prevent spills and keep food fresh and hot.
3. Cutlery and Tableware
Every catering business needs a good range of cutlery and tableware – the type you choose will depend on the type of catering business you’re running. A workplace canteen may favour functionality over aesthetics. A burger van or outside catering establishment may look for eco-friendly cutlery and tableware that’s biodegradable if it’s thrown away (as so often happens). According to Green Diary, our use of disposable utensils has risen sharply worldwide, so choosing eco-friendly options is a must. Buying cutlery and tableware online at sites such as 247cateringsupplies ensures you’ll get the best possible price compared to shopping on the (expensive) high street.
4. Bar Supplies
If you’re going to be serving drinks of any kind, you’ll need basic bar supplies such as glasses, spirit dispensers and measures and wine/champagne buckets. Don’t forget the bottle openers. If you plan on making cocktails, you’ll also need to invest in supplies such as cocktail shakers, strainers and mixing spoons. Forgetting to order vital bar supplies could mean you’re unable to fulfil customer drinks orders.
5. Commercial Microwaves
A commercial microwave is a must for most catering companies. Of course, you shouldn’t be relying on your microwave to cook customers’ food, but for reheating things or defrosting it can be a boon when the kitchen staff are rushed off their feet. Invest in the best commercial microwave you can afford, and make sure you check its dimensions before purchasing – you don’t want one which will be too big or too small for your premises.
There are plenty of other pieces of equipment you’re going to need, depending on the type of catering business you’re running, but these are just a few essentials to help you get started.