Tasty Catering, a small local Catering Company was founded by the three entrepreneurial brothers, Larry, Thomas, and Kevin in 1989. The company which began as a fast-food hot dog stall called Tasty Dawg is located in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village, Illinois and has been in operation for more than 25 years now. One of the brothers, Thomas Walters, is the CEO of the company. Tasty Catering Company now serves delectable treats at corporate meetings and conventions, wedding ceremonies, social events, special events, residential parties, holiday parties, and outdoor meals. The company has received several awards for exceptional company culture.
Tasty Catering Companys CEO says that they began by first identifying their catering niche. Notably, creating a niche involves thinking about which food the owners like to make. In the case of Tasty Catering, the owners said that although initially they liked to make hotdogs, they were motivated to expand by offering catering services to the wedding, parties, holiday parties and events. After identifying their catering niche, the owners created a menu which involved having a variety of foods and items that suit different customers tastes and preferences. After menu creation, they then had a party to test their dishes on friends and family (Venter, Boshoff & Maas 2005).
The second step in starting up and operating the Tasty Catering Company was to secure a space and supplies. Securing an area for this company meant finding a space to rent since local laws prohibited them from having their catering business from a home kitchen. After setting up space, the three brothers had to set a kitchen. It was the most expensive step in their process of starting since industrial paraphernalia that is required in the catering works were very costly. However, Thomas says that they had to acquire these equipment based on their menu. After setting the kitchen, they then went ahead and bought the catering equipment that they needed on-site. The apparatus they bought included the serving platters and serving utensils such as individual trays, chafing dishes, and tiered food plates.
The last step that the brothers had to take in starting up their business was to set up the business. This move involved getting applicable permits and licenses, setting their prices; which required extensive paperwork after Consultations, tastings, and catering events. Thomas adds that they had also to purchase a van for transporting their food to their client's destinations. After that, they then hired employees who would help them in preparing food, delivering and serving the customers (Erdosh, 2012). The owners also said that they had to hire an accountant who would help in keeping track of their invoices, expenses, and income. Then lastly, they had to market their business through various marketing channels so as to reach out to many customers.
During the interview, Thomas said that there are many valuable lessons for a successful start-up that they learned. The first key lesson is the three capitals; the human, financial and physiological capitals. To start up a business, an entrepreneur should take a closer consideration of the economic resources that they have which is required to provide the services to a particular sector of the economy. They should also consider their knowledge, skills and experience, and manage their active and developmental states. Thomas also says that they learned how to create and control a strong people-centered culture in their company which includes visions, missions, and values. Being able to differentiate between a leader and a manager is another lesson they learned. The CEO says that a successful entrepreneur should be a leader and not manager. Finally, getting the right people with the right attitude and skills and being able to manage them is an essential lesson to a successful startup (Block, 1995).
There are some functions that the management team for Tasty Catering Company performs. Tasty Catering managers work with catering assistants and chefs in planning and organizing foods and drinks of the company. The managers ensure that the food and other services that they deliver are of high quality and standard. Tasty Catering managers are also responsible for meeting financial objectives. Catering managers are personnel who have the ability to manage and lead staff and possess excellent customer service skills as well as the capacity to work comfortably with figures. Also, catering managers are passionate about food and can operate in a dynamic working environment.
In general, managers in the catering industry serve a variety of purposes. They are responsible for planning the menus, advertising vacancies, hiring staff as well as training them. The managers are also responsible for the personnel motivation, organizing shifts for workers, managing finances and budgets, and managing stock control. Additionally, catering managers monitor the quality of services offered to their customers and ensure that the business runs by the regulations concerning the health and safety, food hygiene, and nutrition.
There are varieties of external factors that affect the success of Tasty Catering Company. One of these features is the market that the company serves which is very significant to its success. Since the company deals with events, it has to tailor its services to attract customers as well as market the company. Customer service is another factor that influences the success of tasty catering company. The company caters for different and unique events which reveal that customer preferences and tastes for these events are different. Besides the creation of an appropriate ambiance, the company must keep the cost within the budget of the client. Infrastructure is another major external factor affecting the operation ad success of Tasty Catering Company. Since the foods and other services have to be delivered to customers who in most cases are far from the companys premises, the company must make ad hoc arrangement for infrastructure. Customer locations should be accessible for efficient delivery of services.
Besides the external factors, there are several internal factors that the company can manage. One of these factors is the internal personnel who facilitate the cooking, delivery, and service to customers (Watson, Hogarth-Scott & Wilson, 1998). The company managers, therefore, handle the turnover rates of staff by providing motivations, treating employees well, giving them a chance to learn new skills, and taking their needs into account. Legal factors which regulate the operations of Tasty Catering Company are also managed by ensuring strict adherence. Corporate management is another factor that management team of this company operates successfully.
One of the biggest challenges that Tasty Catering Company faces is the constant struggle to ensure that they stay relevant in an ever-changing industry. The company needs to make sure that their products and services still appeal to customers and that the clients maintain a high degree of confidence in them (Erdosh, 2012). Since the demands of customers keep on changing, the company has to train its staff to a greater degree for service standards. Coaching of personnel has to be made more efficient so as to produce quality service and achieve the companys targets. Planning and decision making is another challenge that Tasty Catering Company faces. Determining the amount of food that is required for the available guests is sometimes difficult. Therefore, the company has to make sure that no guest runs out of food at the peak of serving. Also, the food should not exceed the amount required by the guests. To manage this challenge the company involves itself in extensive consultations from other businesses in the same industry. Seeking advice and relying on its experience helps in solving this problem. The other challenge is the uncertainties that occur due to weather or guest change. The company should plan in advance and have contingency plans to cater for these changes.
Management of organizational changes and transformations in Tasty Company is different today from the way it was at the start. New markets and labor pools open daily, innovation and technologies have been a challenge to the business model (Erdosh, 2012). Capital flows and consumer demand are difficult to predict, contrary to the way it was at the start.
Block, Z. (1995). Corporate venturing: Creating new businesses within the firm. Harvard Business Press.
Deakins, D., & Freel, M. S. (1999). Entrepreneurship and small firms London: McGraw-Hill.
Erdosh, G. (2012). Start & Run a Catering Business Self-Counsel Press
Venter, E., Boshoff, C., & Maas, G (2005) The influence of successorrelated factors on the succession process in small and mediumsized family businesses. Family Business Review, 18(4), 283-303.
Watson, K., Hogarth-Scott, S., & Wilson, N (1998) Small business start-ups: success factors and support implications International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 4(3), 217-238.
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