Statewide catering

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by chefnhustle, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. chefnhustle

    chefnhustle

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    I am in the preliminary stages of starting my own catering business. Would a catering business license alone allow me to operate throughout the entire state? I want to be able to take my show on the road and go wherever there's an opportunity to do an event. If a catering business license alone doesn't suffice, what and or should I say how many permits and licenses do I have to acquire to have that free flexibility to roam the state. I live in Texas. I am serve safe food manager certified. I'll take any and all advice, resources, links etc. Please point me in the right direction. Thank you all in advance.
     
  2. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    There are some good threads on this topic you may want to read and pick up some great tips.

    In a nut shell...it depends on the state and the show.

    Almost 100% of the Texas event sponsors will permit the spaces (city, county, state) and you "rent" from them.

    They will want to see your tax id and whatever passes for ServSafe in your area.

    Of course every show is different with different requirements causing you to think ahead and schedule your year accordingly.

    mimi
     
  3. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Don't know if you are familiar with the Round Top antiques show and fair (Marburger farms?).

    The area is already well loved for the quaint B&B's... a good area to spend a long weekend (lots of permanent stores) and twice a year the place explodes (not just Round Top but almost the whole county...even vacant cow pastures get cleaned up and rented out) for 10 days.

    Not a flash in the pan either...been there for at least a decade with vendors from all over the country plus a few from Europe with some lovely and very expensive antique pieces.

    Spring show should be coming up and they have likely filled the # of food vendor stalls allowed but if you have a free day swing by and see for yourself.

    Of course the long term relationships get first pick but IMO it is one of the better shows as it is 20 miles to the closest hamburger if you get my drift.

    Well worth developing a rep with the sponsors.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  4. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Catering or Vendor ?????? I'm not to sure you could pull this off unless your a well know Chef traveling around Texas. Catering is planned months in advance and you would have to be known to every city in Texas in order to be considered. The first good step is to know 
    • flipflopgirl  she is known at all the fish cleaning stations throughout Texas. One thing to check is if a insurance rider is needed if your using a city or county owned property. You would also need this for city and county functions like County Fairs and City owned banquet halls and so on. You would have to name the city or county on the insurance rider in most cases would be 2 million in coverage. If you have a food handlers card it is good for the whole state. In some cases the Health Dept may want you to buy a temp health permit and come out and inspect your operation if your serving the public at a public function. If your dealing with a private party in the back yard of a home or private hall its a bit different. The Health dept really only worries if your serving the public. The private party or function is what it is, private. This doesn't mean you don't have to have insurance. It just means you need insurance to cover your own butt. When you deal with cities they will require some kind of a business license in towns that require one. not all cities require s business license. If your doing a city or county function you can be put on a list of vendors and included on their license.    I had a catering company for years. It's easier to be a big man in a small town than to be a giant in a large area. There's a lot involved in catering outside your area. Staff for one thing could be hard to find and also most function hall kitchen aren't really that great. Most have house style kitchen stoves that just cover small local cooking needs refrigeration is also a problem. I've done some off the wall catering over the years. One catering being a party for 2000 people on a beach in Hawaii that we had to carry all the food warmers/ tables and everything else that was needed down cliffs and over the sand. If I didn't have a lot of knowledge of logistics I would have failed many times. I would worry about being successful in your hometown before I worry about traveling around Texas.....
     
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  5. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Some pearls from Chef Bill....catering or vendor?

    HUGE difference.

    mimi
     
  6. chefnhustle

    chefnhustle

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    Thank you guys both for responding. To answer your question I say catering but it'll be more dinner party less banquet buffet chafer food. Without revealing too much it's like a traveling statewide pop up dinner. Think DINNERLAB. So I am the one initializing the events if it isn't designed and requested by a client of some sort. I'll have a business license. I have my food manager's certificate as well as Servesafe. I know it'll be easier to just stick to one market but I have friends and family throughout the great state. It'll be much more fun that way. Also, I am a US Army Iraq Veteran and I just want the legal flexibility to be able to go do these dinners on base or off but wherever near my fellow military men and women serving. It's important that they have periodic access to my events. I just wanted to know if a business license and a food manager certification is enough across all these counties and cities within.
     
  7. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Sorry...just such an unusual question I went into vendor mode.

    IMO?

    If you have good social media hype and get people wound up you could prolly make some nice bank (do it fine dining style with the linens and nice crockery and charge a pretty penny ;-)

    Check with the state....still will need a tax ID to buy the food at least plus income tax ect...

    MAYBE a festival license depends where you are cooking (commisary vs your own trailer).

    Then ask what you WON"T need if you have one.

    My SIL took one out every weekend for a year in the same space (love small town Texas hehehe).

    Are you coming to Houston?

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017