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For Locals, Expats and tourists in the Philippines.
Get Into The Catering Business

Get Into The Catering Business

One great example of a home business that anyone with interest in food and parties is the business of catering. Just arm yourself with a sizable capital not less than P100,000, an assistant cook, at least 3 waiters, a couple of helpers, a driver (unless you can drive) and your on your way to income galore.

Here’s a Q&A with a friend-entrepreneur who decided to make use of her cooking abilities.

Q: How do you plan for your menu?

A: Initially, I inquired from other caterers. Then, I tried to come up with m own menu. It is important to highlight your specialty. But you have to be flexible too in order to meet your client’s preference and budget.

Q: How much effort does one put into this business?

A: Like any other business, you have to give it your full time. Catering needs your personal touch and attention all the time. Even if you have a cook to assist you, you are still the one in charge of the kitchen. Even if you have waiters top serve the guests, you will have to be there to attend to the needs of your clients.

Q: You mentioned “personal touch” but what if you have to cater to different events in a day? What do you do?

A: It is really hard when you have two or more events in one day. You have to exert extra effort, especially of the events are scheduled at the same time. There was one time when I had two events to cater on a Saturday evening. One was in Quezon City and the other in Pasig. I asked my partner to attend the one in Pasigs while I attended the one in Quezon City. But during the affair, we were in constant communication (thanks to cellphones!). It is really hard but at the end of the day, you find yourself fulfilled. It is rewarding!

Other caterers I know, they have people to contact to whenever events overlapped and they find it difficult to go to all those catering parties for the day. What is important is that you have someone to take your place if you cannot be there. That someone should be able to answer the questions of the guests, be there to build contacts for you, someone who could really represent you and our catering business.

Q: In terms of profit. How much do you earn from this business?

A: With all the effort that I put into this business, the returns are quite rewarding. Mark up can be around 50%. But you cannot actually save much because as I mentioned, the moment you earn from a particular event, you definitely used a big part of your earnings in buying additional things you need to upgrade. You spoons and forks or plates and glasses would not last forever. Expect some of them to get broken or be misplaced. But taking everything into consideration, you really earn quite an income from this business.

Q: Any advice for those interested to enter into the catering business?

A: If you don’t really have much investment to put into it, it is advisable to start small, that is by the order (per shaffing dish). Just try to build contacts first before going into a full-blown catering service. In my case, it was my friends who became my first clients.

You must also maintain the quality of your food and service. No matter how big your business gets, your personal touch is still important. The quality of your food is very necessary. You must also continue to update yourself with trends in the catering business. Enroll in cooking classes from time to time.


  1. Jason


    My name is Jason. I am going to be eventually moving to the Philippines and soon to be married to a lovely lady there. I did alittle catering back home in the US with a pull behind trailer that had a cooker built on it just for the small business I had. I had a few side items , but the main meat was chicken and pork BBQ which I like to think I can do well. I was wondering if you could give me any greater detail about the complete way to get started in the Philippines..I really love to cook and so does my soon to be wife and some of her family. I will be living in cebu and any advice would be appreciate. Thanks Jason

  2. radley calderon

    hi,.. i suggest you to visit La union.. and baguio.. its’s a beautiful place and lots’s of costumers , love bbq.. specially ” inihaw”.. a side from chicken and pork you can also fry the intestine of a chicken.. try it it’s delicious.. and put some sauce on it.. try it and taste it.. you’ll heavenly love it.

  3. flip

    hi, i do catering, and i love to cook, but my husband wont agree much with it, accdg to him e look messy myself coz i smell kitchen….. well, its where the money is!
    indeed catering service is rewarding, ROI is very visible. getting tired for about 3 days in every event is not bad if u earn 50% of it right?
    as for Jayson, Cebuanos love to eat, plus ur a foreigner who can offer a difrent twist to every event, it will sure hit the markeT!

  4. arias

    catering is definetly good business when you have the right clients.i’ve worked in the restaurant business for a long time and i’ve worked with cateres too.seen all their custumers. i’ve been doing this for at least 20 years and as an empoyee i’ve been doing pretty good money., in the 50s to 60thousand a year. w/ no stress like my bosses. and i’ve been thinking to go in to the business my self since the cooks are pushing me into doing the business our selfs. and they’re the kind of cooks that no matter where we go to cater the custumer always come to tell them how wanderful every thing was. i’ll get a morning job in some club and have all evening off for the catering business and we will cook out of my house.

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