When you’re starting a catering business or expanding your restaurant business to include catering services, you will need to decide whether to buy your supplies or rent them. Buying equipment and supplies can mean spending several thousand dollars that you may not have on hand. However, renting allows you to select the tableware and equipment as your business needs it.
Determining What You Need
Before making a decision about buying or renting catering equipment, you will need to consider what type of catering services you will offer. A restaurant may just offer banquet style services of their regular menu items for office parties, church functions and other small gatherings. However, a full-fledged catering service may offer a variety of different services.
A catering service may be hired to prepare food for weddings, family reunions, company parties or anniversary dinners. Some of these functions can be formal affairs requiring tableware that is of high quality and a menu filled with gourmet foods. If you hope to service all types of clients that will require you to have many different types of table and kitchenware to handle any type of function your company is hired to cater.
The Advantage to Renting Catering Supplies
Saves Money – When you are first starting out in a new business, you may not have the capital you need to buy a variety of equipment and different types of tableware. Renting allows you to get the items you need when you need them. In some cases, if you only do a few formal functions a year, you may not want to buy expensive dishes, flatware and cookware for gourmet food when you can save money by renting what you need.
Access to Better Equipment – By renting, you will have access to newer, more modern equipment instead of using the same equipment you may have had in your restaurant for years. It also allows you to experiment with different types of kitchen equipment that you may not have the capital to buy.
Gives You More Choices – When renting flatware or tableware for a catering job, you will be able to pick out different patterns instead of using the same one for every job. You can create a web page on your website or create a book for your customers to choose the patterns from and then rent what you need. Renting what you need will allow your customers more choices when hiring your service.
Better Money Management – By renting the most expensive kitchen equipment or tableware as you need it, you will be able to manage your cash flow better. You won’t have to spend your capital on equipment or place settings and stemware that you may only need a few times a year. You won’t have to take up needed storage space with equipment and supplies you only need on occasion.
If you do decide to rent the catering equipment and supplies that you need, you should select two or three companies with which to do business. It will not only give you a wider variety of supplies to select from, but when you go to rent the supplies you need, there is always a chance that one store may be out of the items you want.
By doing business with more than one company, if one location is out of the table or stemware you need, you will always have someone else to rent it from. In addition, you may be able to get better prices by dealing regularly with more than one company. As your business grows, one of the companies will want your business enough to offer discounts. They may offer you better prices than you’re getting from their competitors to earn your business.
The Advantage to Purchasing Catering Supplies
Offering More Variety – By offering your customers a variety of choices of tableware, stemware and flatware, you will look more like a professional organization. If you can show that your catering company can handle both formal and casual dining options, it will also help you attract more business because you can offer your customers more choices for the event they are hiring you to cater.
Tax Advantages – Although you should discuss the tax advantages with your accountant, you should be able to write off your purchases as business expenses. There may also be depreciation credits on your kitchen machinery as well.
Ease of Access – When you own the equipment and tableware you use, you have it on hand when you need it. There is always a chance that the company you rent from will be out of the tableware your customers want for their event. However, by buying what you need, you will always have it available to you.
When you do purchase the items you need from an equipment and catering supplies company, such as Pattersons catering supplies in Bristol, you may be able to get much better prices by buying in bulk. Instead of just buying one dish pattern at a time, buy two or three that you think you will need for your business and negotiate a better price based on the amount that you’re purchasing.
The Renting or Buying Decision
The decision to rent your supplies or buy them will be based on what type of catering services you plan to offer your clients. It will also depend on how much capital you have to invest in your business and the supplies that you will need. You could always do a combination of buying the items you need and renting those that you may only need on occasion.
If you start off catering small informal affairs, but you hope to grow and cater weddings, anniversaries and other more formal occasions, then you can buy your casual dinnerware and rent the more formal items as you need them. This will help save money until you absolutely need to start purchasing more formal tableware as your need and business increases. Renting is a good option until renting becomes too inconvenient.