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Updated On :
July 20, 2023

How to Start a Food Catering Business in India

July 20, 2023

We all knew that Food is the necessity of life. But what we didn’t know was that it will become our want. We want food if we are happy if we are sad if we are partying if we are craving and even if we are crying. We just crave different kinds of food in every mood. As our want for food is continually increasing so do the places to have food from. 

Some people love to eat and some people love to cook & serve. So, in the food catering business the people who love to eat become customers, and the people who want to cook & serve become caterers. And here in this blog, we are going to talk about the people who are willing to start their food catering business. 


If you are planning to establish your own catering business, you can do so with minimal investment and great chances of growth. You don’t have to think about its growth, because today a lot of people want only quality food with good services, if you can provide that then your business will grow tremendously.

To know more about how you can start and grow your business, read this blog till the end. 

What does food catering refer to?

In simple words, food catering refers to a business where people cook, serve, and provide services to their customers at a particular place in the city. To make this more vivid, let’s understand simply. You must have visited cafes, restaurants, Dhaba, Hotels, pub, events, etc where the food served at your table. That food and the service served at your table is called food catering. 

The food catering term is not narrower, it’s wide. It includes everything from cooking food to serving it to the person. A person cannot only focus on cooking food, he also has to focus on other things like the atmosphere of the place, services, good taste, quality, affordability, etc. This is what an owner of a food catering business has to keep in mind. 

It sounds easy to start but running it to the ultimate success is the main task to perform. And I believe everyone can do that with dedication. 

Scope of food catering business in India

If we talk about the scope of this business, which I must say is very wide. It is not just confined to one or two food catering rather outspread to so many food outlets. 

You know we Indian just love food. We crave new dishes every hour. Also, we don’t hesitate to try different food because that’s what India is, surrounded by diversity. If you look around in any part, at any place, or any function food will not be missed because it is always there.

So, if you are thinking that starting a food catering business would be a risky choice then don’t think much. Because it will be going to your best decision. Also, if you know Indians, we love every festival, function, party, event, which are full of food. There can’t be any question of scope when you know there are boundless ways of running this business conveniently. 

All you need is just a step towards what you want to get out of this business. I am sharing a few of the events with you, where you will see an abundance of food flowing around, just to make sure that if you want it to start you can start without doubting your instinct. So, here is the list;

  • Birthday parties
  • Corporate events
  • Weddings
  • Social events
  • Kitty parties

So, you must get an idea of how wide the scope of this business.

Why one would start a food catering business?

I don’t think there is any specific reason why a person chooses to start a food catering business. Because there can be so many reasons for doing it. People generally feel this urge to satisfy the hunger of others. This is their main reason for opening a catering business, they feel happy to feed people’s hearts with food. Besides this common reason, there are the following other reasons to start a catering business;

  1. Wide scope– As we have learned above, this business has an extensive scope. It is not confined to one form or one place rather spread in a wider site. Due to its wide scope, people can find a lot of ways to start this business at their own pace and run it successfully till the end. Even, you can see a lot of catering businesses in your locality. And see that’s how you can never fail to earn in this business. 
  2. Profitable– This business is no doubt a very profitable business with less investment. You can earn a lot of money once your business is among everyone’s minds. As you have read in the previous point that its scope is wider than any other business, you can have an idea how cost-effective it is going to be.
  3. Employment opportunities– You know starting a catering business is not one man’s job, there are going to be a lot of manpower. For hiring manpower, you will create employment opportunities in the market. Where people will come and find employment in your business. With the help of all such people, your business will be going to flourish. 

These are the main reasons for opening a catering business. 

Will the food catering business be successful?

Yes, I can bet on this. You don’t have to bother about its growth. Once you are ready with all the things it requires to start, then you are just going to see a lot of customers around you. And you already know why. We have discussed the food cravings of people. People celebrate little or big victories with food, people rid of their bad mood with food, people just want food every time they are feeling something. 

Like right now, I am craving a good spicy snack. And I am going to order it. That’s how this business earns what it earns. 

An important thing which you have to keep in mind before setting this business is the choice of place you are looking for it. That can change the whole game. If you are opening a restaurant make sure that you open it at a place where people locally reside or in the market itself. Likewise, if you are opening a café, then make sure that it is situated at a good locality where youngsters generally head to. 

You know this is how the business works. All these things matter to the success of a business. So, always make sure you consider such effective ideas while starting a food catering business

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Is registration of food catering business necessary?

Yes, of course, it is necessary. You cannot take a back step from doing it. You have to register your business before you start working. Because facing difficulties before the start is good rather than facing it later. To avoid any kind of illegality of your business, make sure to register under valid acts. 

Here is the list of registration which you may require to register under;

  1. The business entity– When you are starting a business you must be choosing a form of business, you want to start with. That can be a company, individual, partnership, LLP, etc. That’s completely your choice to make. But what is necessary is to register the form of business under its valid act. Otherwise, the business would be called illegal. 
  2. Trademark registration– If you are making a unique identity of your brand in the form of any particular mark, that would be called the trademark of your business. Your business would be recognized through that mark itself only if you register it under the Trademark registration act. Otherwise, your trademark can be used by anyone without your permission, you would lose the right to get it back legally. 
  3. FSSAI License– It is one of the most important licenses when you are starting a food catering business where you are directly dealing with consumers. The full form of FSSAI is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It guarantees the credibility of your business to the public at large. 
  4. GST Registration– With the GST roll out a lot of businesses started to fall under GST, where they have to register themselves under this act. There is a certain limit for falling under the GST criteria, if you cross that limit your GST registration is mandatory. And you have to pay tax. If you would not register yourself, you will have to bear penalties under GST.

So, I guess you have got an idea about the importance of registration in your business. Please consider this point seriously and consult a registration expert. 

Choosing a form of business entity for your business

As you know, before starting any kind of business it is important to decide its form in which you are going to start your business. This is necessary because it helps you in taking legal registration of your business. 

Here is the list of forms of business entity in which you can take registration;

  1. Proprietorship– Under this form, you single handily take responsibility for your business. You invest and you get the profit. There is no need to share it with any other individual because you are the only proprietor of the business.

    But generally, in the catering business, this form doesn’t go well because catering is not a small business it requires enough capital and that may be impossible for a few people to invest alone. Also, all the liabilities fall upon you at the time of winding up. 
  2. Private company– Under a private company, there are at least a few people who invest together and the company remains solely liable for the penalties. There is no limit on minimum capital, you can invest as much capital as you want. This can be a good choice for a food catering business.
  3. LLP– LLP stands for limited liability partnership. Under this form of business, the liability of each partner is limited to the amount of capital they have brought to the business. They will be responsible for penalties, risk together. Also, if LLP goes into winding up its partners will not be liable to pay their assets. 

Types of Food catering business

There are so many ways from which you can choose how you want to run your catering business. Which type of food catering business you want to start. So, without wasting your time let’s just dive into the types of catering business, which are as follows;

  1. Social Event catering– This type of catering is generally asked for intimate events, where people enjoy everything about the party which is generally not big. In intimate parties, the details matter. People generally focus on every detail of the party from décor to food. So, the caterer takes care of all these things. 
  2. Wedding catering– As the name suggests, this kind of catering is for weddings. As we know, a wedding is such a big affair where people from different places come to attend who focuses on every little detail about the wedding from venue to DJ to Décor to Food.

    They pay attention to everything. So, it’s also the responsibility of your catering business to look after all these things to make the wedding memorable. Also, if your work would be impressive, you might get any new project there. 
  3. Corporate catering– Corporate catering is generally very personal affairs, where the employees and employers of companies are called to attend the event. It can be to celebrate a victory or to develop a personal relationship with colleagues.

    Corporate events are very calmed and elegant, where the focus is on a good atmosphere. You can choose corporate catering for your business if you love this kind of environment. 
  4. Restaurant catering Restaurant catering is one of the common types of catering which you can see everywhere. It is the most famous kind and generally has a larger public interest. Here all the efforts are in good hygiene and good food, which people generally prefer. If you want to open your restaurant and serve food to a lot of people at once, then choose a crowded area and set up your restaurant.

    Tip– You can also start your own restaurant easily. Take a look at our blog on How To Start A Small Restaurant In India?

These are the types of catering businesses you can choose to start with. You can also start with multiple catering services. It is only up to you how you will manage.

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How to start a food catering business in India- stepwise guide

We have learned enough about the catering business, now it’s time to understand how we can start a food catering business in India through steps. So, here are the steps to follow in this journey of opening your own catering business;

Step 1- Make a business plan

The first step is to create a business plan, which includes every little detail about your business. Making a business plan is always a wise decision because it gives you a lot of clarity on the things you might be confused about. It helps you slow down the stress you are taking for starting your business.

It includes the details like name of the business, types of catering, choose a place to open, calculate investment and so many things. A business plan helps a person to have control over things that may get uncontrolled if not given enough attention. So, sit and write down your business plan. 

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Step 2- Research the target market

You know researching about the market is one of the important things to do before indulging in business. It makes you understand the audience you are going to target. You get to know a lot of things about the market.

How it works and where you should start? Every answer is there in your market research. Who your competitors are and how you can compete with them? All these answers will be filled in while researching the market. It also helps you make your business strategy around the market. So, conduct surveys and research about the market fully. 

Step 3- Decide the niche

Another important is to decide your niche, which includes deciding on the kind of services you can provide under the catering business. You can just do what everyone else is doing, you have to find your better area where you can do better.

If you will see around most of the food catering business are successful because they focus on particular services rather than indulging in every kind of service. You should work on your specialty, where you can create wonders, where you are perfect, this is how a business grows when you focus on what you can do better with the things you already have.

So, this must be your first decision to make. 

Step 4- Plan the location

As I have discussed above a bit about this, it plays a very important role in the life of the catering business. If you fail to choose the right place for your business, your business would wound up in a very short time. Because people would fail to find you and recognize you.

This business depends on a full recognition of food and place, where people can visit you. So, choose a place which is mostly crowded with lots of people that means around the market, any good locality or a tourist place. The choice is yours, please make a wise one.

How To Start a Food Catering Business in India

Step 5- Get the required equipment

As you know, you are starting a catering business where you are going to require a lot of equipment for your business. You first have to create a kitchen full of equipment required to make the food, which includes utensils, storage containers, refrigerators, gas, and a lot of things.

Without all of this equipment, your business cannot be possible. So, focus on bringing the best material to your business to make it successful. 

Step 6- Plan your Menu

Once you are done with the equipment and all, you have to plan a menu which you going to serve to your customers. Make sure that your menu is different from what others are serving and also try to add new and variety of dishes to gain the interest of customers.

Also, price your dishes competitively keeping the cost and profit in your mind. But try to make your menu more delicious with a variety of dishes. So, make a delightful menu for your customers. 

Step 7- Hire a manpower

As we have discussed above, that it’s not a one man’s job to perform it requires a lot of people to do a lot of things in the catering business. If you want to work smoothly and smartly, then you are going to need a lot of people.

It helps you to work in a better way with all the things planned properly and performed even more duly. For hiring staff, you first have to decide how many people you are going to need and for what department. Because under food catering business, there is going to be a lot of department. Then, you will hire the right amount of people. 

Step 8- Plan Investment and cost

No doubt investment and cost play a very important role in every business. You have to make sure beforehand that how much money you need to invest in this business and how much cost you are going to incur daily.

If you are planning this business, there will be the cost of equipment, the salary of manpower you are going to hire, and recurring costs you are going to bear every day, and including the rent of the place, electricity charges, etc. You have to plan very precisely. 

Step 9- Registration

We have discussed very precisely the registration procedure of starting this business. I guess you have got an idea which registrations you are required to have to run this business. Also, without registration, your business will not have any legality which is an important aspect of any business.

So, please make sure to get yourself registered under valid acts such as GST registration, trademark registration, FSSAI license, and business entity. 

Step 10- Make a website

Now, when we are on the verge of ending our steps it is important to know that starting a website creates an important impact on your audience. It helps you reach more and more people. Also, it creates an online market for your business to settle in. You can tap on those people who are online.

You can create a website where you showcase your business and provide details about the food and share the testimonials of your customers. So that newer customers add to your list. If you are not much aware of the website and how it works, then in such a case you can approach us at Traffic Tail we will build your website because we are in this business for a very long.

Step 11- Build a brand

Building a brand is part of your business. It makes you visible among a lot of successful people in the market. It gives recognition to your business. When you will build a brand image of your business, a lot of customers will easily recognize you and would get attracted to your brand. It will help you create a revolution in the market.

So, as soon as you set up your business focus on creating a brand. You can also speak to us at Traffic Tail regarding the brand building because we also focus on this aspect. 

These are the steps that you will require to follow while starting the food catering business.

Why marketing is necessary for the food catering business?

Marketing is an important aspect of any business. It is required to be done in every business. And food catering is one of the businesses, so marketing in it is also necessary. Even we can say, under this business marketing is most important. As you see around there is a heck of competition in the catering business. There are a lot of people opening their catering businesses because it is much prevalent in the market. 

So, to cater to the competition marketing plays an important role. The one who knows how to target the audience can make a difference in their business. There are a lot of ways of doing marketing which you can perform like advertising, promotion, online marketing, words of mouth, and very prominent social media. You can use this medium of marketing your business to target the right audience for your business.

In other cases, if you are not acquainted with the marketing and its modes you can contact us at Traffic Tail, we run a lot of marketing campaigns for our clients. You can also check the testimonials of our previous customers regarding our services on our website to get a better idea about our credibility. 

Whichever way you choose to market your services, just make sure you do it accurately. 


Reading this whole blog may have taken your time but I can claim that it is worth reading and knowing the things in bits and pieces. The food catering business is not as easy as it sounds and it is not entirely dependent on food but also need attention on the given services to the customers. There is no hard and core rule to set up this business, you just need to follow required things and there you will be growing like ever. 

Frequently Asked questions

Q1. Is there any scope of the food catering business?

Ans. Of course, yes. There is a wide scope of food catering business due to demand of different foods at most of the time. People want food at every time. If you see around, there are a lot of people who are a foodie and crave for different tastes. To have that taste they wander to different places. So, there is no doubt that they will find you and you will get a lot of customers. 

Q2. Is food catering a good business?

Ans. Yes. It is very good business. Tell me what is better than filling people’s heart with their favourite food. Today, what people love the most is food. And if you are into that business then you will be going to people’s favourite spot of all time. 

Q3. What are the types of food catering businesses?

Ans. There are so many types of food catering business, which you can choose to start with like,

  • Social event catering
  • Corporate catering
  • Wedding catering
  • Restaurant catering
  • Concession catering 

Q4. Is registration necessary if I open a catering business?

Ans. Yes. Registration is the most important of any business. If you are opening a food catering business then you have to deal with the following registration;

  • Trademark registration
  • Business entity registration
  • FSSAI license
  • GST registration (if the limit exceeds) 

These are the mandatory registration you have to go under valid acts to run the business successfully.

Q5. How can I be sure that the food catering business is the right choice?

Ans. It’s completely your decision to make whether you want to go for this business or not. If you love to cook, serve or interact with people you can choose it. Besides, there are few reasons why you should choose this business which is as follows;

  • It has a wide scope
  • It is profitable business
  • It creates employment opportunities in the market

Q6. What are the steps of starting a food catering business?

Ans. Here is the list of steps you can follow to start a food catering business;

  • Make a business plan
  • Research about the market
  • Decide the niche
  • Plan the location
  • Get the required equipment
  • Plan your menu
  • Hire a manpower
  • Plan the investment and cost
  • Register your business
  • Make a website
  • Build a brand

These are the steps you can follow to start your own catering business. 

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