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Author Topic: Catering Question  (Read 1203 times)

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Offline sharky300

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  • Location: Birmingham
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Catering Question
« on: July 11, 2017, 12:41:32 AM »
I have my first wedding booked and I have a question... I will be catering the event at a private location in a downtown area of a small town. This is not a normal party venue, so I asked the client to make sure there would be no problem with me parking on the street during the event. When he called the city to ask about it, they told him I would need to get a business license to do the event.
   Is this normal? I just find it a little odd, but I am new to this. I guess there is some grey area, since dome of the food will be cooked on site, but I just can't imagine that had he set it up with a "normal" catering company, they would not have to do this... or am I crazy?

Details on the event..if it helps. . I will be setting up on the street. We will be setting up buffet inside the venue. Salad and drinks will be set up, pizza will be run in from the truck as needed. No sales to the public, or service from the window..

Any input is appreciated.

Have a great day!!

Jason

Offline mgcain12

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  • Location: Southwick, MA
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Re: Catering Question
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 09:19:19 AM »
Depending on the local ordinances, you may not only need a business license (so the county gets their cut) but also a catering license (ServSafe certified, food handling, commercial kitchen required). I know around here they are real sticklers for this stuff - fortunately my attorney also has a certified inspected kitchen I can work out of.  Congratulations on the wedding - and on your new catering business!  :chef:

Offline sharky300

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Re: Catering Question
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 12:45:47 AM »
Thanks, we are excited! We have been doing festivals for a couple months now, and have set up at a couple business's around town. They are fun, but I really hope to build up the catering side, and Not have to rely on festivals.

  I know there is pressure when catering, and keeping large line moving. But the uncertainty, of festivals, and a different kind of pressure to have 20+ people in line for a three hours straight. I know we'll get better, and faster, but wow... no room for error there!!!


Offline Tommy G

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Re: Catering Question
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 11:07:22 AM »
If you are doing festivals and have all of the appropriate paperwork it doesn't make sense to me that they are asking for these things. Festivals are a challenge but they are your gateway to the private events.  To be 20+ people deep is a testament to the product you provide. If your pizza is that good people don't mind waiting. At most of the festivals long lines at the best food trucks are the norm and most people except that.
In other posts you mention you need ways to speed production........don't sacrifice speed for quality, as I said before the people at these festivals are the ones who will be calling you to book a private party later. I just did an event yesterday that was a referral from someone who picked up a card from a festival we had done two months ago. Their comment to us when they booked was " We heard how good your pizza was and we just had to have you for our party"

In short,  Festivals are a challenge and except them for what they are. They will help you with your efficiency in providing a quality product and will lead to more private events. After doing a few festivals you can pick and chose the right ones to attend and stick to doing private events. We find that if you provide a quality product with great service you will never need to advertise. One successful private event leads to several more.

Offline kkgator

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  • Location: Gainesville, FL
Re: Catering Question
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2017, 08:03:50 AM »
Here in Florida I have a state catering license & a county business license as a caterer.  Since my business is located outside of the city (home office), I only have to have a county business license.  If my home were in the city then I would be required to hold a city permit as well.  If you plan on having more events at or near this venue, I would apply for the license.

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