Mobile catering businesses are popping up everywhere these days. They allow you to fulfill your love of cooking and at the same time provide the convenience of owning a food business without the challenges of a brick and mortar establishment. They also allow customers to get scrumptious food they love — such as BBQ — to go. It’s the best of both worlds: fast food and a great-tasting, home-cooked meal. Placing your mobile BBQ catering business in the right location(s) can ensure you a loyal following. Before you start, you must get the right licensing and permits. You must become familiar with your state, city and county guidelines for running a food establishment.
Get a business license. To run a business, you must apply for and become approved to run a business in your area. There are different regulations in every state, city and county; you may need to get approval from each sector. Fill out your applications and become qualified to run a legal business in your area. Look for the Department of Licensing in your state, city and county.
Get a food service permit. To serve food to the public in your area, you must have a permit. This permit acknowledges that you understand how to make food safely and prevent illnesses. You may be required to take a test to prove that you understand how to prepare, cook and store food properly to prevent food-borne illnesses. Your state, city or county public health office will provide the necessary information and applications.
Get a permit for a mobile catering business. Your county or city will require you to obtain a permit to place your mobile vehicle in designated areas. Because you are mobile, you must get approval for every place your mobile vehicle stops. Fill out the necessary applications and follow all relevant guidelines. These can usually be found in the Department of Public Health and food services department in your city and county.
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Stephanie Raines started a writing service for entrepreneurs and professionals in 2011. She brings more than 10 years business experience in the nonprofit, education, sales, retail and office administration arenas. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Washington State University and a M.B.A. from City University.