How to start your own catering business

One of the fast growing small businesses in South Africa is catering. There are wedding caterers, funeral caterers, birthday party caterers and many more. The business itself is very simple to start, but without the right equipment, it can be a bit tricky.


Whether you are a party planner or an entrepreneur looking to get into the industry, knowing what equipment you will need to maintain or start your business can be very helpful. What are the equipment you will need working in this exciting industry?

Before we divulge this information, you need to know how much it would cost you to start a catering business. Depending on which types of events you will be hosting, big or small, the start-up capital for a catering business can range between R10 000 and R80 000 in South Africa.

And just as every other food provision businesses needs a licence, you will need to be licensed for you to operate your catering company in the country.


You can also rent catering equipment and hire temporary staff to operate your catering business. However, it is always better to have your own equipment so that when events come up you are always ready with your own equipment.

The catering business may be exciting, but it also comes with its own challenges. Having your own equipment prevents you from getting into typical issues for example, having to pay for replacement plates to the person you rented the equipment from.


When you have your own equipment, you are able to keep track of what you need. And a great caterer always has backup or rather an understudy for every set of cutlery.

What equipment do you need for your catering business?


Area Items
The Tables For the table you will need a sufficient amount of plates in various sizes, for dinner bread or salad etc. You will also need different types of glasses e.g. wine glasses. You will also need silverware, different knives and forks for different purposes. Different colour table cloths, napkins, and the salt and pepper shakers.
To Serve When you are going to be serving people, your waiters and waitresses need to have serving trays as well as bus tubs. For an even more professional setting, a get up for your waiters will make the event better.
For the buffet If you are going with the buffet option, you will need food warmers, cutting boards, knives, fuel cells, tongs, and lots of spatulas.
To drink Depending on what beverages you will be serving for the event you might need to have the following: corkscrews for wine bottles, lots of ice, coffee pots, a cocktail maker, pitchers for water, straws, and drink stirrers.
To contain food During the event or occasion you will need to contain the food in some kind of way to keep it fresh and warm/cold depending. The use of insulated containers for food and food covers such as plastic wraps or foil should be used. Also to dispose if left overs ensure that you have lots of garbage bags.

Are you looking for affordable catering equipment for sale? Visit the Junk Mail website for used catering equipment.

Yolanda Zondo

Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric

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4 Responses

  1. Jack says:

    I found this article very informative providing information regarding the catering business. I really like the equipment’s column where the author have mentioned the necessary equipment’s needed for starting a catering business. Thanks for sharing the article.

  2. Sena says:

    Very informative article. …Thanks

  3. William says:

    Where can one attend a training seassion for this befor starting a business

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