How To Take Your Catering Side Hustle To The Next Level

Catering events on weekends have been a side hustle for decades. Finding customers through online platforms is far easier than paying for advertising in the past. Caterers can find loyal customers that throw multiple events a year which can provide great supplemental income. Specializing in a certain type of food can be wise with other restaurants food providers acting as support. 

A few events a year might be all a caterer needs as their work-life balance is important. Using your PTO wisely around these events can be wise. Remote workers might be able to prep meals and work on their meals during breaks. The size of the event could require help from friends, family members, and previous colleagues. Previous coworkers you have worked with at restaurants or bakeries can be immensely valuable contacts. With inflation causing the cost of everything to skyrocket, earning some supplemental income a few times a year can make a huge difference. 

Creating A Venue Of Your Own

Creating a venue to host events might be as easy as finding a tent rental service or pavilion rental. This can be profitable whether you are catering an event or not. The venue can even be used for other commercial purposes when it is not rented out for events. The ability to invest in a venue in an affordable way while providing catering for a number of events is a great business model. Real estate can be a great investment for a side hustle that can be tax-deductible. 

Partnering With An Event Planner

Partnering with an event planner can be so important for a caterer. This can eliminate the need to market as your partner might be able to fill any weekend availability that you have. Check on dates with potential staff and specialty food producers is also imperative. You do not want to ever overpromise and underproduce as this can lead to a bad experience for a client. 

The event planner might have staff that can help with things like bartending which might be out of your catering company’s expertise. The liability when serving alcohol can lead to insurance costs being quite high. The right event planner might simply need you to produce great food while others handle the serving of the food/drinks. 

Social Media Can Work Wonders

Social media for a catering company can fill their calendar in a matter of weeks. The ability to forecast income well into the future is so valuable. You might have 18 weekends a year that you want to do events. Filling these dates with customers that could use the catering company multiple times annually. Expansion can be possible but keeping this as a successful side hustle is still a possibility. Social media is free to post on with happy customers potentially tagging the catering company. A popular business in the area could showcase what the catering company offers to thousands of followers. The cost per customer acquisition via social media is not very high with the right tactics. 

Corporate Gigs Can Be Immensely Profitable 

Corporate gigs could include a number of requests for various luxury foods. Paying a premium price means that the ingredients need to be of luxury quality. Finding vendors that can provide the best ingredients at a reasonable price can be so important. Local ingredients can be immensely helpful as the menu can be dictated by what is fresh in the area. Most organizations at least want to be perceived as supporting local businesses even when it is not true. Working with a catering company that only sources the best local ingredients can be a great talking point at an event. 

Keep Very Detailed Notes On Expenses With Receipts

Expenses need to be tracked closely when catering as a side hustle. You’ll have to separate your personal and business expenses in an organized fashion. A business credit card can allow business expenses to earn rewards while keeping all expenses on one account. You do not want issues with the IRS due to making a mistake when deducting amounts for costs. Too many small business owners have been exposed for using funds in illegal and unfortunate manners. Restrictions apply to corporate accounts versus personal bank accounts which can be used quite freely. 


A catering side hustle can be so rewarding in a personal and financial sense. Keeping a high demand for your services while maintaining your source of full-time employment can be a challenge. Refusing certain gigs or sizes of parties can be important if demand becomes too high. Side hustles become full-time jobs all of the time but you have to decide if you want to take this path. 


Candid Mama

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