55 Catering Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

55 Catering Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

Interested in starting a catering business in 2021?

We put together 55 of the best catering businesses you can start in today.

For each business idea, we’ll show you real-world examples of other catering businesses to help you see what it really takes.

Here's the full list:

1. Start a cooking class business ($1.2M/year)

Monika Reti from many, USA started Hipcooks over 7 years ago, a cooking class business.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 8
  • Location: many, USA

In true Hipcooks fashion: I’m not a culinary school graduate — I’m a hack! Here’s my story:

I’m first-generation American (Mom is from Germany and Dad from Argentina). My parents were young foreign students in the US and their friends were the other international students: I was a kid surrounded by people from different nationalities, like Spain, Russia, France, and the UK. I was a child foodie and loved to experience culture through food.

I caught the travel bug early, living in Argentina (studying economics in college), traveling through Europe, and moved to England for graduate school (I have a Master’s in Economics from LSE.) While in school, I cooked my way through a series of London restaurants in the gastro-boom of the ’90s, just for fun. My first job was on the West Coast, as an econometrician at the RAND Corporation.

how-i-started-a-cooking-classes-business-with-7-locations

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Monika Reti, on starting Hipcooks ($100,000/month) full story ➜

2. Start a healthy drink business ($1.2M/year)

Deepak agarwal from New Delhi, Delhi, India started Auric over 3 years ago, a healthy drink business.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 9
  • Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India

The inflection point for me had its origins in both professional and personal life.

Most of my time at Unilever was spent with categories such as Haircare and Skincare. Customers buy brands in these categories for benefits like anti-dandruff. Surprisingly, the same customer ends up making purchases in foods due to taste & refreshment alone. Shouldn’t we be carrying more about the benefits of products that go in our bodies as compared to what goes over our bodies?

The second insight came from my personal life. A backbone fracture led me to three years of Physiotherapy which did not help. I turned towards Yoga and five years later, I came out not only a fitter person but also a changed being. That’s when I started learning and practicing Ayurveda.

how-i-started-a-100k-month-ayurveda-beauty-and-wellness-beverage

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Deepak agarwal, on starting Auric ($100,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a coffee cafe business ($156K/year)

Nikki Bravo from Chicago started Momentum Coffee and Coworking over 1 year ago, a coffee cafe business.

  • Revenue: $13,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Chicago

Tracy Powell is a Technology Entrepreneur, Real Estate Developer, and Investor. He invested the first part of his business career in investments working for firms such as Merrill Lynch and First National Bank of Chicago and American Express. As a real estate developer and investor with over 28 years of experience, he specialized in urban real estate development. developing 100’s of units of affordable, market-rate, and elderly housing.

The future of your business relies on what you do today. So be at your best, don't dwell on how difficult the past was, bring the lessons that you learn each day as you walk towards your goal.

Tracy is also the founder of Blue Venture Partners a Software Development and IT consulting firm, and Blue Fund Rewards which is a crowdfunding platform that focuses on raising capital for startup businesses and organizations. He is the President of Ignite Technology and Innovation, a not for profit that focuses on creating technology co-working spaces and programming in under-resourced communities throughout the country.

how-we-started-a-13k-month-coffee-shop-and-coworking-space

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Nikki Bravo, on starting Momentum Coffee and Coworking ($13,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start a chocolate making business ($144K/year)

Sarah Gross Feoli from New York, USA started Rescue Chocolate over 11 years ago, a chocolate making business.

  • Revenue: $12,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, USA

I’ve always been interested in animal welfare, and grew up with at least one or two dogs in the house at all times. During middle school and high school, I volunteered at my local animal shelter in Shreveport, Louisiana. I also became a vegetarian and then a vegan during those years. (I chose the vegan lifestyle primarily out of compassion for animals. Later I learned that it is also beneficial to the environment and one’s health as well.)

My love for chocolate didn’t happen until my mid 20s, after I had moved to New York. I enjoyed visiting the artisan chocolatiers in the city and sampling exotic varieties. For a short time, I worked at a raw vegan chocolate factory in Queens where I developed a best-selling flavor.

Then I adopted a homeless pit bull.

selling-dog-themed-chocolate-and-donating-all-profits-to-animal-rescue

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Sarah Gross Feoli, on starting Rescue Chocolate ($12,000/month) full story ➜

5. Start a food truck ($18M/year)

Jeffrey Mora from Los Angeles, California, USA started Food Fleet over 9 years ago, a food truck.

  • Revenue: $1,500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

We started the food truck business in 2012.

We kept finding it very difficult to find locations to operate. We had a booker that we used to find our locations but fell short and we let her go. I took over our booking and found that most people did not want to book just one truck, not only that they were upset that most of the time the trucks didn’t show up or were late.

We learned the real need was not only helping the trucks but providing a turnkey service for the corporations. This was a game-changer for us, we were really struggling financially.

how-i-took-food-trucks-corporate-and-built-a-18m-business

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Jeffrey Mora, on starting Food Fleet ($1,500,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a mobile catering business ($360K/year)

Corbin O'Reilly from San Diego started Tap Truck USA almost 5 years ago, a mobile catering business.

  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 12
  • Location: San Diego

Initially, the business idea was just that. We researched some other mobile bars but wanted to fine-tune something that spoke more of the character of Taylor and me. Taylor has always been a craft beer enthusiast. My family history actually owned a dealership for about 70 years, so love for classic cars was in my veins.

Taylor and I did the bodywork on our first truck ourselves. We enjoyed sanding it all day and listening to Drake and Future Songs. So the 1952 Chevrolet panel truck was named Bae. She has been to the Hollywood sign, to Palm Springs, and over San Diego and orange county. We learned a lot from this first truck build, what to do, and probably more importantly as an entrepreneur what not to do.

Our validation really came in launching the truck with the feedback we would get. If you are a fan of vintage Americana, Craft brews, or classic cars then you are a fan of Tap Truck. Seeing people's eyes light up at the sight of Bae was a huge relief that we might be onto something. Still, a favorite of mine is when you hit a certain part in the reception where all the groomsmen want to see under the hood!

how-two-friends-started-a-30k-month-business-selling-craft-beer-from-vintage-trucks

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Corbin O'Reilly, on starting Tap Truck USA ($30,000/month) full story ➜

7. Start a food blog ($180K/year)

Mason Woodruff from Austin, Texas, USA started Kinda Healthy Recipes over 4 years ago, a food blog.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

I started the blog in 2014 while wrapping up a degree in nutrition. Instead of pursuing a postgraduate dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian, I started a personal training business. The blog was a side project and portfolio for freelance writing until 2017 when I decided to take the leap and work on it full time.

Perfect is the enemy of good. If I’d waited for perfection to start, I’d still be waiting.

While the blog was only making a few hundred dollars per month at that point, I’d read a ton of success stories and saw huge potential in blogging. So I quit everything else, cashed in enough savings to give myself a 6-month runway, and started publishing as much content as possible.

how-i-started-a-15k-month-food-blog-for-fitness-enthusiasts

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Mason Woodruff, on starting Kinda Healthy Recipes ($15,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start a consulting business ($2.4M/year)

Michael Zipursky from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada started Consulting Success® over 12 years ago, a consulting business.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

My cousin Sam and I had run and sold several businesses before starting Consulting Success®, working with clients like Panasonic, Dow Jones, The Financial Times, Royal Bank, and more. We were at a good place with our consulting businesses. However, we wanted to build a business that allowed us to work from anywhere — one that gave us the freedom to travel the world and spend more time with our families.

We started Consulting Success® 11 years ago without a monetization plan, simply sharing what had worked (and didn’t work) for us in our prior consulting businesses. We wrote a lot of content about consulting: how to win clients, how to price your services, how to converse with your clients, etc. Our goal was to help up and coming consultants implement the best practices that worked for us.

how-these-cousins-started-a-100k-month-consultant-training-and-coaching-business

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Michael Zipursky, on starting Consulting Success® ($200,000/month) full story ➜

9. Start a food delivery business ($300K/year)

Marcia Wiggins from South Portland, Maine, USA started Cape Whoopies over 8 years ago, a food delivery business.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: South Portland, Maine, USA

Before Cape Whoopies was conceived, I was enjoying being the mom of two kids in high school, the wife to an airline pilot, and an aerobics teacher at my local gym.

When my kids had gone off to college and my husband was in the air, I had much time on my hands. There was only so much time you could spend at the gym, so with the newfound extra time I splurged in one of the things I always loved doing: making delicious baked things for friends.

My husband and I spend time a local restaurant as a hangout when he was home, so we would go to DiMillos and take our server friends whoopie pies. Why whoopie pies? I had tasted the Maine creation and thought, "good idea, not great execution".

building-a-200k-year-pie-business-from-our-home-kitchen

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Marcia Wiggins, on starting Cape Whoopies ($25,000/month) full story ➜

10. Start a candy making business

Examples of a successful candy making business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a candy making business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a candy making business ➜

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11. Start a backpacking meals business

Examples of a successful backpacking meals business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a backpacking meals business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a backpacking meals business ➜

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12. Start a transport catering business

Examples of a successful transport catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a transport catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a transport catering business ➜

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13. Start a wedding cake creation business

Examples of a successful wedding cake creation business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a wedding cake creation business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a wedding cake creation business ➜

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14. Start a donuts kiosk business

Examples of a successful donuts kiosk business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a donuts kiosk business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a donuts kiosk business ➜

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15. Start a seafood sales business

Examples of a successful seafood sales business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a seafood sales business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a seafood sales business ➜

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16. Start an ushering service business

Examples of a successful ushering service business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a ushering service business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an ushering service business ➜

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17. Start a cruise ship catering business ($6K/year)

Examples of a successful cruise ship catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a cruise ship catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a cruise ship catering business ➜

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18. Start a lunch catering business

Examples of a successful lunch catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a lunch catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a lunch catering business ➜

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19. Start a gourmet bakery business

Examples of a successful gourmet bakery business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a gourmet bakery business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a gourmet bakery business ➜

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20. Start a tv show program business

Examples of a successful tv show program business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a tv show program business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a tv show program business ➜

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21. Start a welfare catering business

Examples of a successful welfare catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a welfare catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a welfare catering business ➜

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22. Start a snack food kiosk business

Examples of a successful snack food kiosk business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a snack food kiosk business:

Learn more about starting a snack food kiosk business ➜

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23. Start a barbecue stand business

Examples of a successful barbecue stand business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a barbecue stand business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a barbecue stand business ➜

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24. Start a YouTube channel

Examples of a successful YouTube channel:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a YouTube channel:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a YouTube channel ➜

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25. Start a street food vendor business

Examples of a successful street food vendor business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a street food vendor business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a street food vendor business ➜

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26. Start a seafood grilling stand

Examples of a successful seafood grilling stand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a seafood grilling stand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a seafood grilling stand ➜

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27. Start an organic food store

Examples of a successful organic food store:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a organic food store:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an organic food store ➜

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28. Start a bread making business

Examples of a successful bread making business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a bread making business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a bread making business ➜

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29. Start an airline catering business

Examples of a successful airline catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a airline catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an airline catering business ➜

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30. Start a food equipment business

Examples of a successful food equipment business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a food equipment business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a food equipment business ➜

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31. Start a wedding catering business

Examples of a successful wedding catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a wedding catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a wedding catering business ➜

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32. Start a catering radio program business

Examples of a successful catering radio program business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a catering radio program business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a catering radio program business ➜

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33. Start a health catering business

Examples of a successful health catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a health catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a health catering business ➜

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34. Start a meat mart business

Examples of a successful meat mart business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a meat mart business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a meat mart business ➜

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35. Start a robot cafeteria business

Examples of a successful robot cafeteria business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a robot cafeteria business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a robot cafeteria business ➜

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36. Start an industrial catering business

Examples of a successful industrial catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a industrial catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an industrial catering business ➜

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37. Start a catering training school business

Examples of a successful catering training school business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a catering training school business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a catering training school business ➜

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38. Start a cocktail bar business

Examples of a successful cocktail bar business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a cocktail bar business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a cocktail bar business ➜

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39. Start a homemade gourmet food business

Examples of a successful homemade gourmet food business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a homemade gourmet food business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a homemade gourmet food business ➜

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40. Start a gourmet cookie making business

Examples of a successful gourmet cookie making business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a gourmet cookie making business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a gourmet cookie making business ➜

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41. Start a social event catering business

Examples of a successful social event catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a social event catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a social event catering business ➜

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42. Start a special event catering business

Examples of a successful special event catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a special event catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a special event catering business ➜

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43. Start an online cooking recipes business

Examples of a successful online cooking recipes business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a online cooking recipes business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an online cooking recipes business ➜

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44. Start an Instagram food channel business

Examples of a successful Instagram food channel business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a Instagram food channel business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an Instagram food channel business ➜

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45. Start a hotel catering business

Examples of a successful hotel catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a hotel catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a hotel catering business ➜

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46. Start a party rental business

Examples of a successful party rental business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a party rental business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a party rental business ➜

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47. Start a romantic catering business

Examples of a successful romantic catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a romantic catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a romantic catering business ➜

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48. Start an e-book writing business

Examples of a successful e-book writing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a e-book writing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an e-book writing business ➜

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49. Start a biscuit making business

Examples of a successful biscuit making business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a biscuit making business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a biscuit making business ➜

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50. Start a frozen foods business

Examples of a successful frozen foods business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a frozen foods business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a frozen foods business ➜

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51. Start a fruit mart business

Examples of a successful fruit mart business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a fruit mart business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a fruit mart business ➜

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52. Start a restaurant

Examples of a successful restaurant:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a restaurant:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a restaurant ➜

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53. Start a corporate catering business

Examples of a successful corporate catering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a corporate catering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a corporate catering business ➜

54. Start a pizza store business

Examples of a successful pizza store business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a pizza store business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a pizza store business ➜

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55. Start a baking competition organizing business

Examples of a successful baking competition organizing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a baking competition organizing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a baking competition organizing business ➜

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Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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