A lot of eateries have closed down because there was no passion. People think of catering as very lucrative so everyone runs into catering – mechanic, battery charger, everybody.
In the end they close down. Catering is very lucrative, but you need passion to sustain your drive. It’s not about the money, it’s about the passion. It’s not that Ugandans don’t start businesses. It’s that most of them have no passion and want to make millions the next day. It doesn’t work like that. There’s a process.
You must have passion. Don’t go into it because you think it’s the easiest way out.
Get materials. Get on the internet and read. Some people might not teach you because of their attitude. Some people might come to learn from you and after learning they just zoom off when they are supposed to work with you for a while and offer value. You see the same person replicating your recipe and you can’t sue them.
Buy cooking utensils you can afford and rent those you cannot. Put back your profit from every job you do into your business till you must have gotten all the equipment you need to execute your jobs.
Start small, look for family and friends and start with them. Don’t accept a job for 300 people when you haven’t catered for 20 people unless you want to contract it out to another caterer.
Always try to create more value. Look for things you can add, extras. It creates value for people and you’ll get more businesses from there.
There is one thing that works for me. Appreciate people. Pay your workers well. If you want the best out of people, treat them well.
We use people and we don’t appreciate them. Learn to appreciate people, both your customers and people who work for you. I pay people based on what they do for me.
I look forward to the time I start paying per hour. It would make people work hard and earn their pay. Also, keep a cheerful disposition. Smile. Be cheerful.
Always keep your word and don’t settle for less. If a customer orders 50 plates of food, I don’t make 49 because only 49 people showed up. I make 50 because that is what the customer paid me for.
Don’t cut corners just to make more profits. We do a lot of things here because we think customers don’t have their rights. Customers have rights.
Accept only what you can handle. If I have a job and another job comes, I tell the second person: I have a job. I don’t accept two jobs at the same time and in the end, disappoint the two of them. Let your word be your bond. You’ll go much farther. If you can handle only five, don’t start with 10. Food business is largely marketed by referrals.
Always be time conscious. Allow yourself to grow. While you bring in workers, don’t relax like a boss. If you are not a part of your business, your business will collapse.
Till today, I still cook my foods. Even if I have a large number of workers, I will still get very much involved with the cooking process to make sure things are done the right way.