newbie questions about commerical/ catering kitchen?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by joshmom, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. joshmom

    joshmom

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    my biz idea is a gourmet baby food delivery service.  here are my newbie questions - sorry if they sound dumb...

    can you use regular home appliances in a catering kitchen, or do you need heavy duty commercial size stove and refridgerator?

    can you rent a residential apt like a studio/efficiency and use it as a catering kitchen?

    if a caterer rents out a kitchen of an already existing biz, where do ppl store their stuff when they are not using the kitchen?

    what are the basic appliances you need in a catering kitchen?

    what is a ballpark figure for outfitting a kitchen with the basic appliances?

    thanks
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Commit these three letters to memory NSF! Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING will probably be required to have those three letters prominently displayed!

    As far as the apt, contact your local health department, zoning agency, and fire department, in that order, for the answers you need.
     
  3. chefab83

    chefab83

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    The answer to the first two questions is no. You need several certifications to run a legitimate catering business. All of your equipment has to meet qualifications. You can't legally run a catering operation out of an apartment. Also, if you are running a serious operation, you need serious equipment. A four burner electric stove is not going to cut it. You probably need a large cooking apparatus (such as a tilt skillet) to produce large quantity batches. Rectangle floor freezers come relatively cheap...if I were you I would at least take a sanitation class as well.
     
  4. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    For most counties or cities the manager on duty has to have Servsafe certification or equal.  No, you cannot run a catering operation out of a non commercial kitchen.  Most catering operations don't build a standalone kitchen.  They build a whole facility with modular dining areas and banquet facilities.

    Now there are certain things you can run, such as off site bbq where you just purchase the product and cook everything onsite.   Your other options are to find a place that has a commercial kitchen with a banquet area and rent from them or do personal inhome catering where everything is done at the client's house.
     
  5. foodpump

    foodpump

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    You can.... but they'll wimp out in  a few months just at the time when you need them most.  Most household fridges /freezers won't accept 18 x 26 sheet pans or hotel pans anyway.

    What a commercial kitchen  has is INFRASTRUCTURE, that is: Venitlation system, firesupprssion system, grease trap, adequate plumbing and electrical etc.  Equipment only comes after the infrastruture is taken care of

    Ther are no set rules as to where people store their stuff if they rent out space, you can bring your stuff with you, rent storage space, or have other arrangements.

    Once again, ther are no set rules for wshat kind of equipment you need,  it is all dependant on the products you make, i.e., no need for a char-broiler or a flat-top griddle if you're preparing baby food.

    What you will need is liability insurance, and a lot of money....
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    You could use regular home appliances but you can't sell food for consumption to the public in most States without proper  licensing,and all the  permits that are required by law.,certificate of occupancy, workmans comp and liability insurance . If you do and something happens without these you have big problems all your life.
     
  7. cascadecatering

    cascadecatering

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    I'm not sure about licensing in the US, but in Australia, I registered a business, took out business insurance (cost about AUD$600 pa) and used the commercial kitchen of a caterer I used to work with, and had a good relationship.  She didn't charge me any rent, but I did some of her work for her, and ensured I carried my weight with her workload.  I kept my food in the corner of her coolroom.

    I don't have that business now, but I'd look to share a space with an established caterer, who's small, and would appreciate some of his/her rent contributed to.