Recipe, collect – collect – collect
There is a lot that can be said about this topic.
I wish you could see my collection. From time to time I start cooking through all the bits and pieces that I have collected over the years. However to use recipes in a Catering Business you will have to try them.
When I try new recipes I tend to alter them according to my liking and what I think will work and what not. Please do yourself a favor, write down every little thing you change. Believe me, after only a short time you will not remember what you altered in this particular recipe, and if someone else does your cooking, how is he or she to know.
When catering for a function, your recipes need to be reliable. You will not have the time to go by trial and error. It needs to work the first time; Every time.
Before you start with your business, cook the recipes that you will offer your clients; Complete menus would be great. When finished, take photos and build yourself a portfolio with sample menus.
You need to know in advance what will work and what not, what flavors will complement others. You will have to collect recipes for special needs, like vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, children's dishes, and the list goes on. I like the deserts the best, I'll trial them any day. I actually have a collection of wedding cakes, special occasion cakes, birthday cakes etc. (And Yes, I have a sweet tooth)
I actually take photos of every event I cater for, it helps me to remember. Also when you refer back to that event at a later time, there may be just that special touch they have been impressed with which you can reproduce. Date them, and keep them on file under the name of the host and also in your Portfolio.
Having a portfolio makes it easier for you to hone in on your clients requirements, visual preference etc. A Buffet on a photo can look very impressive; It gives you and your client ideas. Also you will find it easier to find out about the likes and dislikes of your client, the color scheme etc.
One thing I can recommend to you is to take the best photos you have of one or two of your catering events, and enlarge them, frame them, and grace your office wall with them. These things speak volumes. Make sure that at least in one of them either you or one of your staff is visible. This will show your prospective client, he / she is not looking at some generic advertising, but at something they can expect from you.
Here is a tip for your prospective client visiting your office. Have always an onion and a slice of bread ready. No, not to offer your customer. Just put the onion in the oven just before they come, yes the bread as well, it will give your kitchen that wonderful aroma that will make their mouth water.
And NO! "I can not open the oven door, it will ruin the dish."
To your success,