How to approach caterers about leasing/renting their kitchen space/time?

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Joined Jan 24, 2003
I would love to have a legal facility from which to market and produce wedding and specialty cakes. I have thought of working out some type of arrangement with a caterer (that does not already offer these cakes) where I could rent time/space/use of their kitchen & equipment to do so. Any thoughts? This would give me a chance to gradually build my buisness with low overhead and low upfront investment. I would be a separate buisness, have my own license, take care of my own supplies, finances, etc. I just need the use of commercial space and equipment. I have a couple of caterers in mind, I'm just not sure how to present/sell the idea to them. Also unsure how to compensate them. For those of you that own a catering buisness, what would it take for you to allow someone to do this? What reasons can you give for considering or not considering such an offer? Thanks for the help and information.
-Kim
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
In many cities there are legal commercial kitchens available to rent. They are usually available on an hourly basis, to people who need a legal kitchen but whose businesses are not yet big enough to afford their own facility. Check around to see if there are any in your area.
 
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Joined Jan 24, 2003
Really? That sounds great. How do I go about finding these commercial kitchens? I checked the phone book under 'kitchen' with no luck. Any ideas? Thanks for the info!
-Kim
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Try looking for culinary education programs; sometimes they rent their kitchens out when they're not needed for teaching. I just spent three days doing product testing in that sort of situation. It was a terrific facility.

Or call caterers and ask where they do their cooking. Especially if the address they list is in a residential area (if they're doing it right, they are NOT cooking at home). If they rent kitchen space, they can give you contacts. Which almost brings you back to your original idea -- just ask. If they rent out their own kitchens to others, they have set fees that usually depend on the frequency with which you use it, and the time of day. This is true for all rental kitchens, I believe.

Also, it might help others here give you suggestions if you let us know where you are. General location is enough -- which major metropolitan area are you near, or other place we can relate to.
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2003
Kkhigh,
I'm in the same situation. What I have done is contacted local churches and VFW's, etc. and asked if they had kitchens. Most of them do. I offer a donation and utility help in exchange for use of their facility.

Most welcome this because their all NON-Profit orgs and they can use the money.

I have however been turned down because of their fear of health department inspections. I assured them that will not affect them but their set in their ways.

Good Luck
 
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Joined Dec 2, 2000
I too am having a tough time here in Portland trying to rent a spot parttime where the caterer will not take me for all I've got.
The churches are out of the ?? because of the health codes
Danielle
 
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Joined Sep 11, 2013
I am a small caterer that utilizes the local university Ag center. They have a food incubator for start up "foodies"
 
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Joined Feb 4, 2015
Tasty Cooking and Catering.
Troy, Mi. 1-248-528-0462
Space available to rent/use for bakers/caterers.
Please contact
Renee
 
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Joined Mar 16, 2016
We are upgrading our kitchen to a fully functional commercial kitchen.  We are curious what kind of money you can get in rentals to a full time caterer?  Any input would help.  Thanks
 
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Joined Mar 16, 2016
Danielle

We are upgrading our kitchen to a fully functional commercial kitchen.  We are curious what kind of money you can get in rentals to a full time caterer?  Although we are located across the country and would be no help to you, I'm just curious waht a caterer would be willing to pay.  Any input would help.  Thanks
 
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Joined Mar 16, 2016
Danielle

We are upgrading our kitchen to a fully functional commercial kitchen.  We are curious what kind of money you can get in rentals to a full time caterer?  Although we are located across the country and would be no help to you, I'm just curious waht a caterer would be willing to pay.  Any input would help.  Thanks
 
984
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Joined Jun 23, 2015
Kkhigh,
I'm in the same situation. What I have done is contacted local churches and VFW's, etc. and asked if they had kitchens. Most of them do. I offer a donation and utility help in exchange for use of their facility.

Most welcome this because their all NON-Profit orgs and they can use the money.

I have however been turned down because of their fear of health department inspections. I assured them that will not affect them but their set in their ways.

Good Luck
Many nonprofits have kitchens that are not inspected because they do not serve the public on a daily basis.  If you sell off site then they will have to comply with all codes and inspections.  For many that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Commercial kitchens for rent usually require you to have business licenses, insurance, health inspections, and all other things that make you a legal business.  They charge usually dues and hourly fees twenty five dollars an hour and up.  
 
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