Unexpected essentials for your catering businesses

If you are thinking of setting up a catering business or are already running one, there are many complicated regulations and laws that you must adhere to. The basics of running a restaurant, takeaway or food supply company are the same as any other business but you must carry out as much research about the local area before you start.

Good food hygiene

The Food Standards Agency website will give you important information on how to maintain good food hygiene and safety in your business. One of the most essential things to remember is the 4 Cs – cross-contamination, cleaning, chilling and cooking. When handling foodstuffs and cleaning a kitchen, it is always a good idea to use latex, rubber or non-latex gloves. The use of colour coded gloves and good hand washing will reduce the possibility of food poisoning.

Leasing equipment in an emergency

Running a food outlet means that you have to rely on your essential equipment to work correctly, but if your oven suddenly breaks down you could always lease a replacement. There are many companies who supply catering businesses with anything from a coffee machine to top of the range cookers and fridges. This service can keep your kitchen going until you can afford a new appliance.

Insuring your business

The insurance company NFU Mutual website gives you all the information you will need when it comes to protecting your premises, employees and customers. Make sure that your stock is protected against your freezer breaking down and damaging any frozen foodstuffs you have stored. It is against the law if you don’t insure your staff and property.

Reserve staff

When you’re running a busy catering company it is always essential that you have enough staff to cover every shift. Many food outlets work long and arduous hours and will need to rely on their employees, but there are always times when illness strikes. Signing up with a temporary staff agency will give you the peace of mind that you can get someone in as a replacement immediately so your business won’t suffer.

Keep your kitchen tidy

Running a safe and clean kitchen is just one aspect of keeping the customers happy. Whether you have taken over an existing restaurant, café or mobile food van, or are starting from the beginning, then you should ensure that the kitchen is in perfect condition. It’s easier to keep somewhere clean and up to the environmental health standards conditions than it is to struggle with an untidy mess. If you clean up as you work it can save a lot of back breaking work at the end of the day.

Keeping up with new regulations

The laws and regulations for running a catering business are constantly being reviewed and amended, so keeping up to date with any changes is important. In December 2014 a new EU regulation was introduced to provide consumers with allergy information for unpacked foods. This regulation is known as The EU Food information for Consumers Regulation 1169/2011. This will help the customer decide whether they can eat certain foods on the menu, and is a legal requirement which will benefit all consumers.