The Caterers Corner
new joiner Caterers Corner: new joiner
By Jmcups (Jmcups) on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 01:00 am: Edit

New kid on the block here, love the info you exchange. It's been very helpful. I've been catering for family & friends for years & realized this is my passion. I want to get in to this 100% and am doing everything I can so I can make it a success. I'm at the point where if I get a kitchen I'm in. It's very hard trying to find a kitchen to use in WNY . I've gone to churches, firehalls, schools, posts, etc. No luck. Still trying though, looking into lease, buying, sharing whatever. Any info or advice much appreciated

By Jonesg (Jonesg) on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 07:47 am: Edit

Have you tried ELks clubs etc, it might help if you know a member. It would really help too if you book a job first and go to them for renting their venue.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 04:16 pm: Edit

What part of WNY Jmcups????

By Jmcups (Jmcups) on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 11:31 pm: Edit

I am from East Aurora NY, just outside Buffalo. I've tried Moose clubs etc with no luck. Did some catering at a post that almost got us in, but a lot of politics there.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 09:01 am: Edit

Why not talk to some of the people from ECC or UB..those colleges that have culinary arts may be able to use one of their labs when there isn't a class scheduled......or do you know any people that own a rest. that is only open for lunch or dinner and might let you use there facilities. Call HSBC arena...I think delaware north does their concessions...they might for a small fee let you use thier facilities now that the sabres are not playing. I am tring to think of where else.....the only trouble I see with the asking of local restaurants is the fear of competition...that is why I asked if your knew anybody that owns one.....I know a couple of people at NCCC...but have not talked to them in a while and that is quite a trip from E.A. Another thing you can do is look for a place that is dual use...i.e. can have a store front, sandwiches, culinary novalty shop.etc, that can have a kitchen in the long as the catering pays all the bills the store front is gravy....good luck

By Chefjoannam (Chefjoannam) on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 03:19 pm: Edit

Chefgibz0 said:
> you may be able to use one of their labs when there isn't a class scheduled

My school used to do this, but then they stopped it, citing insurance and liability issues. First they said it could only be used by current or former, students during non-class hours, then they said only by current students for school related stuff during non-class hours, then they stopped it altogether.

Even the Chef-Instructors were on "our" side, but the administration put its collective foot down.

[grr... but they had no problem letting tv crews in for "famous" chefs, even when it interfered with class schedules of the currently enrolled (paying!) students.]

Such short-sightedness...they have no idea how much influence current/recent students have on future enrollments.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 06:02 pm: Edit

If they pull the "insurance" thing...offer to sign a to the director of culinary arts program. They might have a lil more pull than the reg. instructors......

By Catergreat (Catergreat) on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 08:01 pm: Edit

Are we to assume you don't have money or financing to build your own kitchen?

Remember, a catering kitchen does not have to be in an A+ location. Some build successful kitchens in old warehouses. They can spread out and have plenty of storage. Usually there is a loading dock that most of us would kill to have!

With "E-Bay" you can get great deals on used equipment. But you have to have the cash to buy it. Banks need collateral, used equipment is not collateral.

I have known of caterers who partnered with a money-client. Some people have money, some have talent. Just be prepared to work and see a percentage of the profits go to the partner. Cash backing is necessary. Capital is one of the ingredients in a successful company.

Along with Education, Training, Talent and Attitude.

Perhaps there is a restaurant who would love to cater, but needs an idea:

Offer to cater their food and your food under your name. Give them 20% (which is more than they make on their food anyways) in return for use of their kitchen.

This is a shakey arrangement usually......Even if you do know and trust the owner.

By Jmcups (Jmcups) on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 09:09 pm: Edit

I have an appointment to talk to someone who runs a restaurant and banquet hall who is looking to semi-retire. He is looking for someone to possibly take over the catering and he will keep the restaurant end of the business. I'm not quite sure what his intentions are. We did a catering benefit at his business and he really like the way we handled things. We asked him if he ever thought about a partnership and thats when he said he was thinking of retiring. We will find out more detail before we leap. I have catering supplies such as cambros,slicer, chafing pans, large stock pots, hotel pans, large bar cooler, freezer, etc. I have excellent credit and own a home that I can borrow against.
I am just very cautious when it comes down to it.

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 07:42 pm: Edit

This sounds interesting. I guess the best thing for all parties would be to do more gigs at the hall, and "get to know each other".

By Jmcups (Jmcups) on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 07:55 pm: Edit

I'll let you know what we come up.

By Jmcups (Jmcups) on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 10:22 pm: Edit

Thats what we are going to do, get more parties at the hall, & get to know each other so we can both come out better. We will work it where if I book a party he gets a kick back for the hall and the bar, i'll get profit from food and we can use the kitchen when we need to. I offer to help him out with his catering as well and to try to bring in more business. Long term we can buy him out if we want down the road. See how things go and work from there.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 12:45 am: Edit

good news and good luck!!

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