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Catering

Love food? Love people? Bring your interests together with a catering business.

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Business At A Glance

Catering

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

If you’re one of those fearless people who enjoys giving elegant dinnerparties, you get rave reviews from guests and your relatives beg tohave holidays at your house because of your cooking, then cateringmight be your cup of tea.

As a caterer, you’ll plan menus and elegantor playful presentations for everything from company picnics todebutante balls, then cook it all up, deliver it to the event, serve itand clean up afterward. You can specialize in affairs like weddings;specific goodies like cakes or cookies; or clients like corporations,charities or individual parties. While your family may clamor for yourmeatloaf and mashed potatoes, you’ll need more than just the ability towhip up some spuds.

You’ll also need a flair for presentation–theability to make the fruits (and other foods) of your labors lookfancy–as well as a talent for the latest trends in foods and partyideas. You’ll also need an abundance of organizational, time-managementand record-keeping skills.
Catering requires lots of hard-core planningand pacing. Last but not least, you need a good grounding in safefood-handling practices, product liability laws and health regulations,and good people skills. The advantages to this business are that it’screative and fun–you can throw a party any time you like and serve upall sorts of new dishes and new ideas–and somebody else foots thebill. It’s gratifying–people always appreciate being fed, and whenyour presentation is elegant or intriguing, they’re impressed as well.You can start part time and you can base your office at home.

The Market

Your clients can be people with something to celebrate–a wedding,anniversary, graduation or other milestone–or any other kind of bash.You can go after the corporate market, helping to make a splash atconferences, meetings, employee-morale boosters and grand openings, oryou can set a course for businesses like yacht charters, sunset cruisesand dinner theaters.

To snag the celebratory types, develop a referralnetwork–introduce yourself to wedding planners, bridal boutiques, cakedecorators and bakers, florists, and card and party supply shopkeepers.Hand out brochures and business cards and check in often. Bring a fewchoice tidbits, snazzy hors d’ouevres or sinful desserts to give asgoodwill gestures. Everybody loves an unexpected treat and the personwho delivers it–this is a good way to ensure that they remember youfondly and refer you to their own clients. For corporate and otherbusiness types, send a sales letter and brochure, then follow up with aphone call requesting an appointment to discuss your services. Cater acharity event in exchange for publicity, then get your company writtenup in local publications. Volunteer yourself for a local radio chatshow and answer questions about throwing successful parties.

Needed Equipment

Other than a commercial kitchen, the only things you need to getstarted are a phone and a delivery vehicle. A computer and printer arealways nice but not a necessity for starters. You can get around thekitchen problem by arranging to use a restaurant’s facility for a smallfee in its off-hours or by sharing the rental costs of a commercialkitchen and its use with other caterers.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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Food

Grocery Delivery Service Business Opportunity

Busy people across the country will appreciate not having to go to the store for their groceries.

Entrepreneur

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grocery-delivery-service

grocery-delivery-service-in-south-africa

Business At A Glance

  • Business: Grocery Delivery Service
  • Start-up Costs: Minimum
  • Home Based: Can be operated from home.
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

You have a few options available in terms of starting a grocery delivery service. The first is to simply contract with local grocery stores to deliver customer orders for a fee. The grocery store would bill the customer, market the service and manage the deliveries.

You simply deliver the groceries. The second and more lucrative option is to establish a buying account with a grocery wholesaler and resell groceries to your customers at a profit.

Related: UberEATS Is Coming To South Africa

This method means you’ll have to create a catalog of the grocery items you stock as well as market the service. However, once again the potential to generate more profit is greatly increased.

Grocery delivery services are often very profitable business ventures, as the convenience of home delivery makes getting customers very easy.

Good examples

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Food

Hot Dog Cart Business Opportunity

Selling this concession food could be one juicy business.

Entrepreneur

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hot-dog-cart-sale

hot-dog-sales-in-south-africa

Business At A Glance

  • Business: Hot Dog Cart
  • Start-up Costs: R2 000 – R10 000
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time
  • Online Operation? No

Business Overview

The biggest challenge to overcome in terms of starting a hot dog vending business is to secure a vendor’s permit in your local community. However, even if you can’t get one, you can still operate a hot dog cart on privately-owned property and cater to functions such as flea markets, auctions, sporting events and fairs.

This is a terrific business to operate on a full- or part-time basis. Secure a good location or local events to cater to. Read more on Why the V&A Food Market is a Great Place to do Business.

Currently, new hot dog vending carts are retailing in the range of R4 000 to R8 000 each, depending on the features. However, as a method to reduce start-up costs, consider purchasing a secondhand hot dog cart – they’re typically half the cost of a new one.

Vending cart business equipment

  • Business: Vending Carts South Africa
  • Head office: 13 Beatrice Str, Stanger, 4450, South Africa
  • Visit: www.vendingcarts.co.za
  • Call: 083 228 2332

Download: Food Preparation Sample Business Plan

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Food

Gourmet French Fry Stand

Offer a specialty concession that customers will remember.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Gourmet French Fry Stand

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

French fries are probably the most popularfast food product sold in North America, and starting a gourmet frenchfry stand may be just the new business opportunity that you’ve beensearching for.

Ideally, a french fry stand should be located in busyareas of the community such as mall food courts, beach areas, or closeto schools. What separates a gourmet french fry stand from a commonfrench fry stand are the toppings and sauces available. Toppings caninclude cheese, chili, salsa, gravy or just about any other type ofsauce. Also, french fries should be fresh cut from potatoes on site tobe considered the best. To keep startup costs to a minimum, considerpurchasing secondhand restaurant and commercial kitchen equipment likefrench fryers and potato chippers.

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