Now I was fully committed I've brought my catering van to start my small business, however I was still not sure if I had made the right decision. My vehicle still looked unsightly so I decided with some help from my friends to paint the catering van in a bid to improve it’s appearance.
We spent a few weeks cleaning and painting the van and also made sure all the equipment was working satisfactory. I also had the gas lpg &electric safety checks done to make sure that all the equipment was working safely on the vehicle which is very important. At the end I got a test certificate for both LPG and electric appliances.
After all the painting was complete it looked amazing, what a difference a bit of paint makes it looks like a totally different catering vehicle. It was still old looking but it stood out from the crowd and not in a bad way either, see for yourself.
Everyone was excited for me but I still had to practice the cooking side of the business. With that being said, I invited around some friends and family, brought some food and started my first COOKING session in the catering van.
It took me a little while to get familiar with the equipment and soon grasped the basics and was really starting to enjoy the whole cooking experience. At this stage I was feeling quite confident in my basic abilities and so practiced further by cooking burgers, sausages, eggs, onions and some chicken.
People were really enjoying my cooking and it gave me great satisfaction and a confidence boost to see this. I was nearly ready to start my small catering business and all that was left to do was to purchase some insurance (public liability insurance )and take the food and hygiene test which was not at all difficult.
I found out that the test was a series of multiple choice questions and answers where you would have to learn and know general questions like temperature for reheating food, food rotation, fridge temperatures etc. Most of the questions are common sense and easy enough to remember. If it’s something that you have to take…don’t worry as it’s really easy.
The time was getting nearer for me to actually start my own small business and attempt to make an income. It was fine cooking for my children, family and friends but now I was going to be cooking for a living and the reality of this to be honest with you was daunting to me.
I really didn't have a site/location to trade from or a specific place to go to, but I did have a place in mind that I could try out and gain more experience from. It was a remote location with no other food service providers locally. I anticipated that my customers would be mainly from the huge truck depot opposite where I was planning to park and also there were other industrial warehouses located within the immediate area.
It may not be perfect location but I needed to get this started and besides how would I know unless I gave it a try. Stay with me and go through to the next chapter to see what happened next My first day of trading and What a Start!