A Quick Guide to Starting and Running a Food Service Business

Posted on March 26, 2013
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The food service industry is one of the most trying fields in business. The hours are long, the work is hard and you are often required to stand on your feet all day. Whether you run a fast-paced restaurant, operate a catering business or manage a small café, the key to success remains the same. You must be willing to put in the time, money, and advanced planning required for a profitable business plan.

Designing Your Kitchen

It’s important to shop for a location with your business plan in hand. After all, this is where you will begin to design the perfect culinary haven: your kitchen. Designing a kitchen that is catered to you and your food service business is essential for time management, cost control and execution of your menu.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • If you are running a catering business look for, or create, a large open working area with ample space for refrigeration. This is beneficial for preparing and storing food ahead of your scheduled event.
  • If your kitchen is serving a restaurant, look for a work space that has room for all of your necessary restaurant equipment and the heat is produces. Commercial kitchens get hot fast, so be sure to design a kitchen that can provide a comfortable working environment for busy chefs.
  • Consider how the kitchen space will support your highest priorities. Overall, remember to design a work area that is best for your business plan and your staff.


A larger staff will cut down on costs. Although up front it may appear to be an expensive endeavor because of payroll costs, having the right number of employees in place will pay off quicker than you imagined.

With the right amount of employees on the schedule you can book multiple events at one time, serve large parties and deliver food in a timely manner. In the food service industry there is nothing more important than customer service, time efficiency and the quality of your customers’ experience.

This is particularly important if you live in a large city as online reviews will affect your profits.


Delivery service reaches a whole other group of customers, and may be necessary for restaurants in major cities. Whether you are delivering a full family meal, lunch to a business executive or a lemon drop cake for a birthday party, competition lies not only within the quality of the food, but also with the options available and the time in which it was delivered.

People are willing to look elsewhere for a fuller menu and faster delivery, so be sure to nail down how your delivery service is executed before bringing it into your business plan. For budget-weary operators, consider delivery by bicycle. Bicycle couriers provide a more affordable, but still speedy, form of transportation.

This guest post was written by Tim Adams. Tim has his degree in culinary arts from Drexel University and currently works as a chef for an all-natural restaurant in downtown Philadelphia. He enjoys food, cooking, baking, and gardening.

photo credit: joephoto08 via photopin cc

Maggie Moulatsiotis Maggie Moulatsiotis (68 Posts)

Maggie is the Content Development Manager at FoodServiceWarehouse.com, a pescetarian and a newly minted DIY and home cook extraordinaire. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and very cute puppy, Puka.

1 Reply to "A Quick Guide to Starting and Running a Food Service Business"

  • Juan Carlo
    November 25, 2013 (10:17 pm)

    Hey Maggie, Thanks for sharing this great article. I really learned a lot from it. Very profound information.

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