Tag Archives: catering

cooking life

Tips for Opening Your Own Catering Business

Are you thinking about taking your cooking skills to a new level?  Sunny Gandara of New York’s Fork and Glass shares her top 5 tips for getting started in the catering industry.  Be sure to read the profile post on Sunny too!!!

TIP #1: RESEARCH. This means everything from what permits you need, food safety certificates, and how you want your business to be formed (For instance we are an LLC which protects us as private persons against law suits).

TIP #2: Know your competition and define yourself clearly. Are you a high end caterer or a “budget” food provider? (I would never suggest the latter, by the way…) What foods or events do you specialize in? Find your niche, and be GREAT at that – not mediocre in a million different areas.

TIP #3: Don’t be afraid to outsource – a caterer can’t be everything from a florist to a baker.  You need to know your strengths and let others do what they do best. This also saves you time.

TIP #4: Don’t get into this business if you cherish your weekends and holidays – this is when you’ll be working.

TIP #5: You must love this business in order to excel in it – love food, loving throwing parties, and most of all – be great around people!!  What is going to keep you alive is repeat business, nobody wants to hire someone they are uncomfortable around.

cooking spotlights

Spotlight: Sunny Gandara of NY’s Fork and Glass

I first met Sunny at J Records where we worked together in the International Department.  In fact, she spent nearly a decade in the music industry before realizing it was time to take a chance on her true passion – food.

Sunny is a Norwegian native and came to New York, by way of Rome, Paris, and San Francisco, 14 years ago.  She graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in 2005 and also holds a diploma from the WSET [Wine & Spirits Education Trust], as well as several certified credentials from the Society of Wine Educators.  She currently has a totally awesome job as a mixologist and lead educator for Heavy Water [an ultra premium vodka brand from Scandinavia].  Sunny met her husband, [then Executive Sous Chef] Mark Gandara, while working the front of the house at the 3-star Scandinavian restaurant, Aquavit, in mid-town Manhattan.  How cute is that?!  Mark is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has over 10 years experience working in several high profile Manhattan restaurants [such as Union Square Cafe, Alto, and the Russian Tea Room] and with celebrity chefs from across the country.

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