Running a catering business can be incredibly rewarding if you do it well; it’s a great way to cook as much food as you can while maintaining control. Many people see catering as a stepping stone towards being a cook in a kitchen or even a head chef. If that’s your plan, then a catering business is a great way to get a lot of experience cooking various dishes. It’s also a great way to get experience cooking in a kitchen environment. Catering is slightly different from restaurant cooking. Specifically, you are going to be cooking in larger quantities all at once with a catering business. It will help teach you some of what goes into running a restaurant as well.
However, for many people, the catering business is the goal itself. It’s a great way to see various places, meet a bunch of different people, and visit many different events. You’ll constantly be going to different parties and events, which is great fun for many people. Also, if you love to cook, you’ll be paid to do what you love. Many chefs actually prefer catering because it gives them an incredible amount of control over the different moving parts of their operations. That increased control comes with increased responsibilities, though. For example, you have to take care of your linens. When trying to get a business on its feet, caterers often forget their linens, but that’s a serious mistake. They’re incredibly important and shouldn’t be neglected.
The Importance of Linens
When restaurateurs refer to linens, they’re typically talking about any kind of cloth that you’ll encounter in a restaurant setting. This includes tablecloths, napkins, and place settings. However, it also refers to things like aprons, chef coats, and hand towels. These are the visible and less visible elements of running a catering company or a kitchen. You and your staff will need to be dressed appropriately, and you’ll also need to be able to supply your guests with a certain kind of experience.
When it comes to linens, that experience means creating a kind of pop-up restaurant. That means you can throw together a certain kind of effect at a moment’s notice that makes your guests feel like they’re in a restaurant you’re running. You do this in a variety of ways. Linens are a big part of this. For example, if you have to cater an anniversary party for two people at a city park, you need to be able to create a certain kind of feel. You’ll probably show up a little while before the guests show up to survey the area. You’ll then throw tablecloths on all the tables to create a unified look. You’ll also probably put down some place settings, roll up silverware in cloth napkins, and place them all at different tables. You’ll want to make sure your linens are clean and pressed. They also need to be the same designs, so that you have effectively turned that park into a restaurant with a unified look and feel.
The place settings aren’t the only concern, though. You need to make sure that you and your staff members are in clean, fashionable uniforms. Much like the tablecloths, you need to be sure that you are all unified in your look. You’re trying to project the feeling of a mobile restaurant; looking the same is important for that.
How to Find Great Linens
Finding great kitchen linen is a matter of doing your research. Many caterers buy their own tablecloths, aprons, coats, and so on. They’re taking on extra amounts of expense that they don’t need to. Hiring your linens from a professional service is a great way to get quality linens at a lower cost to you.
When you buy your linens yourself, you have to spend a bunch of money to get the linens in the first place. Then you have to pay to wash them; sometimes, you have to wash them as often as every day. You also have to make sure that they are all being well maintained. If they start to fade or fray, you’re going to have to pay again to replace them. That’s going to be a very big up front cost, a big maintenance fee, and costs to replace material frayed by all of the washing. There is a better way, though.
When you hire your linens from a professional service, you greatly reduce your up front costs as well as your operating costs. You don’t have to pay all that money buying your own linens. You can pay lower rental costs to get the linens you need. With a quality company, you don’t have to worry about washing your linens either. The company that leased the linens to you will also offer washing services. They’ll come pick them up, launder them, and deliver your new linens.
This has practical as well as environmental benefits. Instead of washing the linens yourself, you can send them back with the service that will wash them in massive, professional machines. These professional machines are designed to wash the largest loads possible while using as little water and energy as possible. They do this for cost saving reasons, but they also have environmental benefits.
When your linens are being washed by a professional service that uses as little energy and water as possible, you’ll reduce the carbon footprint of your company. You’ll also benefit from those cost saving measures. The company will pass those savings along to you.
You won’t have to replace your linens when they get worn out. Since they are being washed by professionals, they’ll wear out less often than if you washed them yourself. Moreover, the company won’t always send you the exact same linens. They’ll send you the freshest, cleanest ones they have on hand to match what you have already ordered. You won’t ever have to pay to replace them, which will end up saving you a significant amount of money.
Hiring linens is one of the best ways to help get your catering business off the ground.