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How to Start a Catering Business in India

It is one of India's most prominent service industries, so the restaurant industry is among the most significant choices for Indian entrepreneurs. The retail food category includes the catering business in its purview. Depending on the cooking techniques, menu design, and cost, several restaurants are accessible in India. 

A café, a fine dining establishment, a casual eatery, an ethnic restaurant, a quick service eatery, a fast-casual eatery, a restaurant serving just fast food, a pub, etc., are all considered restaurants. Casual dining, quick service restaurants, fine dining, and cafes are the restaurant market sectors expanding the fastest in India. The popularity of bars, pubs, sports bars, lounges, and clubs is also growing.

Indian Restaurant Industry

One of the quickest markets in the world is to start a catering business in India. According to a survey by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), the restaurant industry in India is predicted to develop at a compound annual growth rate of 9% to reach Rs. 5.99 lakh crore by 2022–23. Opening a restaurant would present new chances for aspiring restaurant owners, notwithstanding the difficulties and difficulties that the owners of restaurants encountered due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

The Steps Involved In Launching A Restaurant

Choose your restaurant’s concept

The first step in opening a restaurant is to decide on its idea. The local population’s financial potential and dietary preferences will determine the restaurant’s idea. Depending on their vision and resources, a restaurant owner may select any of the following sorts of restaurant concepts:

  • High-end restaurants
  • Eateries serving casual fare
  • Bakeries
  • Cafes
  • Food trucks

The restaurant theme, interior design, cuisine, and menu must all be chosen by the company owner after the restaurant idea has been chosen. The theme, cuisine, service approach, and interior design must all be consistent.

However, when a company owner starts with a dark kitchen, choosing the theme and decor is unnecessary. Dark Kitchens are solely internet eateries with no physical location. A person cooks food in a kitchen set up in the dark and sells it online. Opening a dark kitchen is a beautiful idea because it requires less setup money and customers prefer to order meals online.

Plan Your Business

Business owners should start a catering business in India for their restaurants after choosing the idea. A business plan will assist the restaurant owner in presenting the company’s future growth to potential investors.

The company owner must also decide whether to launch a franchise or open a standalone eatery. Comparatively speaking, opening a franchise is more straightforward than opening a restaurant. However, when a person owns their restaurant, they are not required to split the profits or pay franchise fees. Financial analysis and business strategy are crucial when deciding whether to open one’s restaurant or pursue franchising.

Review Restaurant Prices

A company owner has to be well aware of the operations and business start up costs related to opening a restaurant. Regardless of the sort of business, an owner must pay the following expenses:

  • Cost of food is the price of the ingredients required to make a dish. The cost of the plate should ideally be no more than 30% of the menu price.
  • Labor costs are a significant restaurant expense that raises costs when starting a restaurant.
  • Expenses unrelated to labor or food are referred to as overhead expenditures.

Obtain Funding And Investments For The Restaurant.

Obtaining the necessary capital and cash is one of the most crucial factors when start a catering business in india. The restaurant owner must decide the amount of money required to open a restaurant. A decent-sized restaurant’s setup expenses might range from Rs. 15 lakh to Rs. 1.6 crore, depending on the menu, the location, and other elements.

Choose The Restaurant’s Name And Location.

The name and location of the restaurant are two more crucial factors that a restaurant owner must take into account. When requesting business registrations and licenses, a restaurant owner must include the name, logo, and address of the restaurant’s location. Customers’ first impressions of a restaurant are based on its name and logo. Thus, choosing a memorable and straightforward name is crucial. 

According to the proprietors, the restaurant’s name must also be marketable and available for use as a domain. Before deciding on a place for the restaurant, the owner should locate nearby rivals, track their development, and comprehend their business approach. Owners may better grasp the client base, tastes, and spending power in a specific location by analysing the competitors. It is always preferable to put a restaurant in a prominent and accessible area. The finest places to open a restaurant are often in large urban regions.

Obtain The Necessary Registrations And Licences.

For start a catering business in india to be operated, the proprietor must get the necessary registrations and licences. Depending on the size of the restaurant, different fees apply to acquiring various registrations and permits. Applying for the permissions early is preferable because it takes a long time for them to be issued. A proprietor cannot launch a restaurant venture without getting the necessary permits. Below is a detailed explanation of all permits and registrations necessary for a restaurant company in India.

Create The Menu

Food is the restaurant’s primary offering. The quality of a restaurant’s food may build or ruin its reputation. Consequently, the menu should be thoughtfully created. A well-designed menu can significantly impact the cost of the restaurant’s meals. The menu should include dishes that can be prepared quickly and using ingredients that are easily accessible or local. 

Restaurant operators must determine the cuisine they wish to serve and base their menu selections on their customers’ preferences. The menu should be created to entice people to spend money. In India, doing a combination of thali meals is reasonably expected.

Set Up A Delivery Service.

Particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic, a meal delivery service is an essential part of the restaurant industry. Nowadays, customers would rather place an online meal order than go out and dine at a restaurant. Even with the lockout, Zomato and Swiggy, two well-known Indian online food delivery services, had tremendous growth in 2020. A company owner must thus set up and organise an online distribution strategy.

Start a catering business in india owner can work with an online meal delivery service or hire a delivery crew. The owner will have control over who is delivering the food, how it is delivered, and when it is given once the restaurant has its delivery personnel.

However, working with internet meal delivery services enables a restaurant to reach a wider audience and increase its awareness. Additionally, it benefits restaurants that cannot afford a sizable delivery staff.

Technology and Restaurant Marketing

An essential component of maintaining and running a restaurant is its digital infrastructure. Operations in restaurants have been made simpler by a flexible POS system with various contemporary digital technology. Technology is crucial for promoting the eatery.


Getting into a business? So it should only be started after taking the advice of experts. For considering every essential factor and getting all the information on start a catering business in India. Don’t forget to get in touch with the experts of Vakilsearch.

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