Category Archives: Business

How to Start Your Own Catering Business in Dallas, TX

How to Start a Catering Business

So you want to learn how to start a catering business? Starting a catering business is an interesting prospect for many people who either love food or are already in the catering business. It also attracts a lot of people who are looking to break into the restaurant business but aren’t ready to take on the risk. Take the following statistics brought to us courtesy of Bizfluent into consideration: the average profit margin of catering businesses is 10-12% whereas the average profit margin for actual restaurants is just 4-7%. These numbers indicate a great opportunity for people interested in starting a business.

But there is a lot to consider if you are thinking about starting a catering business in Dallas, TX in particular. In the following guide, we will be talking about the first basic steps you need to take, the kind of equipment you will need, and what foods you can legally cater in Texas.

What Equipment do You Need to Start a Catering Business?

Depending on the kind of food you plan to provide to your clientele (foods ready for office lunch hours, formal event-goers, etc.) you will need certain types of equipment. Take a look at the following breakdown:

Guest Equipment

If you plan on catering guest events (weddings, corporate events, etc.) you will need portable chairs, tables, linens, beverage dispensers, serving trays, and utensils. Be diligent about estimating the expected turnout so that you have enough supplies for everyone.

On-Site Cooking Equipment

Catering companies are formed by the types of food they provide. If you plan to serve food that can be prepared in a home or commercial kitchen and transported, you won’t need on-site cooking equipment. But if you plan to cook food on-site you will need food pans, holding cabinets, commercial induction ranges, cold food tables, etc.

Serving Equipment

In most cases, you will need chafing dishes and buffet serving materials like tongs, ladles, and trays. You should also know that most of the aforementioned equipment can be bought or rented. Pricing can vary, but when you buy or rent in bulk, you get a discount. This is especially true if you’re a regular customer with a catering license.


The biggest item here is a catering van that can transport refrigerated or heated food. Ultimately, your entire business rests on your ability to transfer food to the destination. Without transportation, catering is never going to work out.

Get the Proper Insurance

Even if your catering business is small and operated out of your home, don’t assume that your current insurance will cover everything that can happen. From workman’s compensation insurance from your employees to liability insurance, you need to be properly covered. 

In the case of catering businesses, general liability insurance for commercial businesses should cover everything. But be sure to talk to an insurance agent who is familiar with food services in Texas. Also, be sure that your vehicles are properly insured. 

Create your Menu

When you are creating a menu for your catering business, you need to plan carefully. You must first identify your target market. Will you be catering to offices where lunch items like sandwiches, soups, and salads will be common fare? Or do you plan to cater special events where the menu is going to be more varied? Planning your menu with your clientele in mind is essential because you don’t want to waste money investing in materials and equipment that don’t suit your operations. 

There are some other considerations based on where you stand right now. Take a look at what we mean:

  • If you Own a Restaurant – If you want to start a catering service as an extended arm of your existing restaurant then you can’t simply offer the same menu you do in your establishment. That’s because your kitchen probably produces a lot of dishes that can’t be transported. Instead, you should think about the dishes you can make in your existing kitchen in bulk that can be easily and healthily transported.
  • If you Don’t Own a Restaurant – If you don’t have access to a commercial kitchen and plan to operate out of your home kitchen, the principle is still pretty much the same: create a list of foods that you can make en masse that can also be transported easily. But if you can, do try to rent out commercial kitchen space to expand your menu. Using a commercial kitchen will also enable you to legally offer more foods which leads us to our next section.

What Foods can you Legally Serve?

If you plan to run your catering business out of your home kitchen, your options are going to be very limited. That’s because Texas is very restrictive on the foods that you can legally serve out of your home kitchen. You are pretty much relegated to dry baked goods, dehydrated fruit items, coffee, candy, and condiments. But if you use a regulated commercial kitchen, your horizons will be broadened substantially.

Get your Catering Business off the Ground

We hope you have found this ‘how to start a catering business’ guide helpful. For more helpful resources and professional business guidance, become a member of the thriving community here at DFW Biz Pros today.

COVID-19 Resources for Dallas Business Owners

Covid-19 Resources (Blog Cover)

The ongoing pandemic has hampered many businesses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and in other areas of the state. It is an uncertain time but business owners can take heart knowing that their plights are not going unnoticed. Several organizations have stepped up in a variety of ways to help business owners all across Texas get the assistance they need to weather the storm.

This may not seem like the most hopeful time to be a business owner, but there are COVID-19 resources available to you that you should know about. Today’s post is all about the COVID-19 resources you may be able to take advantage of. As always, you can reach out to us here at Dallas Fort Worth Biz Pros for a wealth of business resources or if you simply have any questions. Believe it or not, some businesses are actually thriving during this time. We can help you thrive too. But to start with, be sure to take a look at this list of COVID-19 resources for Dallas business owners.

  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan – As a result of COVID-19, many small businesses have suffered economic injury – be it through broken down supply chains or simply a lack of customer patronage. The U.S. Small Business Administration is making $2 million available to private non-profit organizations, co-op agricultural organizations, and small businesses that qualify for financial assistance. The fund is intended to provide organizations and businesses like these the operating capital they will need to get through the pandemic intact. You can find all the information you will need about this fund at the Texas Division of Emergency Management website.
  • The Dallas Commerce Map – This resource will be useful for any business that is operating in a limited capacity during the partial shutdown. The Downtown Dallas Open Merchant Map is essentially a listing for businesses offering delivery, pick-up, ones that are still open in a limited capacity and ones that are practicing social distancing. Being listed on this map will help consumers find your business. This resource was made available by a private Google user and you can be listed on the directory by filling out a questionnaire
  • The NACD Cyber-Security Resources Center – The NACD website offers a treasure trove of useful resources and information for employees and employers during COVID-19. One aspect of your business that you can’t afford to overlook during these times however is cyber-security. Unfortunately, many tech-savvy opportunists are exploiting the pandemic and launching malicious cyber-attacks ranging from keylogging to device hijacking. To help business owners and employees safeguard themselves from such attacks, the NACD provides many different cyber-security resources on their website.
  • The Department of Labor Fact Sheet – The U.S. Department of Labor has initiated the Family First Coronavirus Act which provides paid leave for certain employees and their families affected by COVID-19. If you are a private business owner with fewer than 500 employees or a public employer, you may qualify for this paid leave. This coverage is currently valid through December 31, 2020, and you can find out if you qualify and other important information on the fact sheet.
  • Facebook Grants – Facebook is putting up a total of $100 million for small businesses with between 2 and 50 employees, that have been adversely affected by COVID-19, have been operating for at least a year, and are in or near an area where Facebook operates. The grant comes in the form of either cash awards or ad credits on Facebook. You can see if your business is eligible and apply for the grant here
  • Dallas Testing Site List – Last but not least, it is important to keep yourself and your workforce aware and healthy. If you are in the Dallas area, be sure to familiarize yourself with the location of your nearest COVID-19 testing site. The Dallas City Hall page has a full list of operating testing sites in the city.

We want to be a valuable resource for you too. Please feel free to reach out to us here at Dallas Fort Worth Biz Pros for all the latest COVID-19 news and resources to help your business not only survive, but thrive.

How to Brainstorm a Business Name

Brainstorm a Business Name

So you’ve got your business all planned out. You have your supplier, you have employees and a solid model. But what about a name? The fact is that a lot of business owners leave naming their business to the last minute because there are so many other pressing matters to attend to. But choosing an effective business name is just as important as offering an outstanding product or service. Inc eloquently explains how your business name is the first thing people see and it makes an impression on customers. Your business name also represents an opportunity for you to tell your customers what you’re all about. 

But everyone goes into a business venture knowing exactly what they want to call their company. So today, we are going to be helping the burgeoning business tycoons out there who are struggling with conjuring up a name for their company. In the following post, we are going to be detailing some brainstorming tips for coming up with an effective and unique business name. If you would like more help or resources for your business, feel free to get in touch with us here at DFW Biz Pros. In the meantime let’s go over some tips to help you brainstorm a business name.

Play Word Mashup

We had a client who managed an event/workspace near Dallas. She owned the space and rented it out to startup companies who needed temporary office space, people looking for a space to host a cooking class, corporations that needed space for team building events, and the like. We loved the name she gave her business: MuchRoom. 

It was a play on the word “mushroom” but it also excellently conveyed what her business was all about. By mashing up a couple of different words MuchRoom immediately evokes a tangible image in the customer’s mind while at the same time suggests that the space will be adequate for whatever event or purpose. Not only that, but names like MuchRoom also automatically afford branding opportunities. As you can imagine that particular client’s company logo was a stylized mushroom. 

The great thing about mashing words up is that you can take an image or idea that is already established and make it into something that helps sell your business.

Think About Nicknames

A lot of business owners struggle with coming up with a company name because they feel they are not creative enough. But even if that is the case, creative forces are all around you. For example, did you grow up with a nickname? If so then someone else has already done the creative work for you. Use an appropriate nickname or common family name for your business name. You can tweak the nickname so that it tells your customers what your business is. 

When you brainstorm a business name with your partners, employees or whoever is helping you in your endeavor, try going around the room and asking everyone if they had a nickname growing up and if so, what it was. You are likely to hear some interesting names that get your creative juices flowing.

Consider Language

Did you know that 43% of the population is bilingual? That means that there is a good chance that you or someone helping you brainstorm a business name knows more than just English. Think about what your business is and what it does. Come up with a handful of words in English that sum up or relate to what your business does. Then translate those words into a foreign language. This is another great way to draw inspiration and you don’t have to necessarily commit to the direct translation. Again, you can tweak the foreign word a bit to make it more creative, evocative, or just easier for Americans to pronounce.

Using foreign words as your business name is a great way to elicit intrigue and curiosity about your business in the minds of your customers.

Utilize Acronyms

This is a super simple way to brainstorm a business name. Try taking the first letter of your first name and your partners’ first names. You may immediately come up with an acronym that gracefully rolls off the tongue. 

Acronyms are also a great way to stylize and shorten a company name that you already have in mind. For example, Jared and Sons Plumbing can be shortened to JAS Plumbing. The owners of this business could get a bit crazy and draw inspiration from that acronym and call their business Jazz Plumbing. In any case, toying with different is at least a good jumping-off point.

Include Pets

There are more pet lovers out there today than ever before and many brands use their pets for their company name or as a mascot. Think about the names of your cats, dogs, fish birds or whatever kind of pet you have. Again, you don’t necessarily have to use the exact name of your pet as your company name but you can play with it until it matches the nature and feel of your business. 

You don’t even have to use your pet’s name at all. Just think of how your pet acts or what makes him/her unique. Come up with a few adjectives that describes your pet’s personality and see if anything sticks. And who knows? You may find it favorable to use a picture of your loveable pet as your company logo. Who isn’t drawn to a cute picture of a dog or cat?

No matter what brainstorming exercise you use, remember that your business name should be memorable so that you stand out in your customers’ minds. And have fun with it. Brainstorming could be a very enjoyable practice. Remember that creativity and inspiration are all around you. These are just a few tips to help you brainstorm a business name but if you want more resources for commercial success, contact us here at DFW Biz Pros. We are committed to our community and eager to help grow your business.

Financial Resources

Own A Business? Six Ways To Mitigate Your Financial Risks And Liability

While we know the basic profit/loss financial business structure, these experts deliver unique business advice that you can begin implementing tomorrow. Find out how these professionals achieved financial success in business, and what you can do to raise your profit levels. READ MORE.

Free Webinar: Easy Tips for Analyzing Finance Data for Better Business Outcomes

Get tips from professionals about how to analyze your financial data for the best outcome possible for your business. ENTER HERE.

Business Management Advice and Resources

Top 16 Small Business Management Apps of 2018

These new, innovative apps can not only help keep you organized but can also save you time, money, and stress. Find out which ones are best to start using in your business. READ MORE.

Management Today

While nuances are different, management itself hasn’t changed for thousands of years. Find out how to effectively manage using these four self-categories for better results. READ MORE.

Employee Retention Updates and Advice

HR Lesson From DC Drama: Should You Require Staff to Sign NDAs?

HR departments are being much more careful about the information they let slip out the door. Many companies are even opting to have new employees sign a non-disclosure agreement. Should your company be on heightened alert?  READ MORE.

Data-Based Strategies To Recognize, Reward And Retain High-Potential Employees

Spotting high potential employees in your business may not be as easy as you thought. Many past benchmarks are flawed and inconclusive. Here are some tips from the experts on how to spot and keep a great employee. READ MORE.