If you want to work when you want, and be your own boss, then a pizza oven catering business can provide the independent lifestyle you’re craving. It is a great business opportunity for any entrepreneur who is driven to make a profit.
But just like with any business, running a mobile pizza oven catering business involves hard work and careful planning. Here is a checklist of things you need to run a successful mobile pizza oven catering business.
1. Figure out Your Budget
Most businesses fail due to poor budgeting. So it is prudent to sort your budgeting out first. Do you have the money to purchase a mobile pizza trailer? Do you also have the capital to run the business? Write down your costs, and see how much cash you will need to get your minimum viable product.
2. Take Care of the Culinary Side
Do you have the expertise required to start a business in food service and catering? If not, are you willing to learn? Do you have an interest in the culinary side of starting a pizza oven catering business?
3. Buy Your Pizza Oven Trailer
Make sure your oven manufacturer offers ongoing after sale support. Only buy from manufacturers who have a reputation for durability, safety and high quality. Finally, make sure you pizza oven trailer can actually bear the weight of the oven safely.
4. Find a Commissary Kitchen
You will need adequate cold storage for your pizza ingredients. Not only will it come in handy, it is also a requirement set by Health Department regulations.
Try to find a commissary kitchen that has a dough mixer, so you can easily prepare dough.
5. Learn the Market
You need to understand the different event types in your market. Will you be operating in an area with plenty of events and sales opportunities? What are their pros and cons? What are their profit margins? You should also take note that public events will have a very different profit margin to private ones.
Some examples of events you can cater include:
- Farmers markets
- Corporate parties
It can also be a good idea to team up with some local event planners. They can let you know what volume you can expect from events. They can also give you a heads up on the best places to find new customers.
6. Understand Health Department Licensing
Before you start open, you will need to have the proper licensing for your mobile pizza truck. To start with, look into Temporary Event Licenses, and the Mobile Food Vending Permit.
7. Get Insurance
When you start a business, you also expose yourself to risk. So you will want to be sure you’re covered by insurance. At the minimum, you will want to get insurance for your business, mobile pizza oven unit, and vehicle.
8. Manage Your Ingredients
Before a catering event, ask yourself the following questions:
- What days will my pizza ingredients be delivered?
- Will I have enough time to make the dough?
- Will I have enough time to let the dough proof before the event?
- Is there a local supplier who can provide ingredients, in case I run out during the event?
9. Get Your Pricing Straight
To be successful, you will need to consistently appeal to your niche. So it’s a good idea to learn about menu design and market prices for your area.
It can also be a good idea to provide desserts, drinks, or salads to go with the pizza. This will allow you to create a more complete meal. It will also help you get a larger profit margin.
10. Make a Plan B
Pizza oven catering businesses are not immune to last minute emergencies. So create back up plans for the following scenarios:
- Bad weather
- An unexpectedly large number of customers
- Venue changes