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Gil and Janet Roberge are the husband and wife team behind Zest Café and Catering, a business they started in their house doing a few orders here and there for friends. Now in their fourth year of operation, the catering business grew simply by word of mouth.
Catering is a good way to put a culinary education to good use, especially if you like the idea of setting your own hours and getting away from the fast pace and high intensity of the restaurant world. If you’re a self-starter and are interested in this type of work, you can choose between starting a catering business and starting a personal chef business.
Catering is often the gateway to the restaurant business. Because of the low startup costs of self-catering, a catering business is an ideal way to get a taste of what it is like to be a restaurant owner.
Like many careers, catering takes a combination of training, hard work, and carefully honed skills to succeed. While there is much in common with being a chef, caterers face many additional challenges.
While teaching a restaurant program at a community college, I repeatedly would have students who thought it would be great idea to open a catering business. Some were returning to school, loved to cook and thought it would be an easy way to make quick money.