Catering vs. Restaurant Business: Which is Best for You?

Food in a catering

Being in the food service industry is not easy. Although people’s taste palettes differ widely from one person to another, serving quality and delicious food that the majority would enjoy is possible. Aside from the quality of the food served, one should also be mindful of the services delivered by the business as a whole.

Adhering to safety and sanitary standards set out by the government is also a must. When you have all these things laid down, the next thing that you have to consider is the type of food business you will get into.

Two of the most popular and profitable businesses in the industry are restaurants and catering services. Having commercial catering tools and equipment or a huge kitchen where mass cooking can be done is a good start, but there are a lot of other factors and things involved in turning your food service industry idea to a reality.

Here is a closer look at the factors that you have to consider when choosing whether to start a restaurant, a catering service or both.


You would need a significant amount of capital to fund both a restaurant business and a catering service. However, how you use your money widely differs. A restaurant cannot predict how many people will come in for the day and the kind of food they would order.

So it is important to have a margin that allows the business to deliver all the things listed on the menu. If not appropriately estimated, a restaurant can lose from allotting such margins. Catering service, on the other hand, knows precisely how many people are coming and how much food should be prepared.

This gives them a better estimate of the costs to spend and minimise wastage or losses.


Customers looking at the menuPeople go to a restaurant to try food that they are famous for. Thus, consistency is key. This makes it easier for staff and people to cook and prepare meals as it is the same every day and varies when new things are added on the menu.

Caterers, however, are expected to provide different sets of the menu for different clients. This can be challenging as an all vegetarian wedding would have a totally different menu from a wedding that has no food restrictions.


Both types of services require a huge area to work at, not to mention specialised equipment that can cook for a huge number of people in as less time as possible. However, because catering services are not expected everyday unlike a restaurant, they have more liberty to be flexible as they can function by renting a kitchen instead of owning one.

The upside for restaurant owners, however, is they have more convenient access to their own working space as compared to renting.

In the end, the kind of business that you would invest in would highly depend on your personal preference and budget. But keeping these factors in mind can help you have a better idea on which road to take.

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