If you plan to turn your catering skills into a profitable business, you’ll need a strong plan to get it running smoothly. A management plan helps you outline your business’s structure and how it will run. 

With this plan, you can organise your objectives and prioritise tasks to avoid a messy start. 

This guide will cover how to create a management plan for a catering business, including: 

  • Goals and objectives 
  • Roles and responsibilities 
  • Organisation 
  • Marketing strategy
  • Operations strategy 
  • Financial strategy 
  • Timeline

Goals and objectives 

The first step to outlining how you’ll manage your catering business is to define what’s important. So, create short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals for how you want your operations to work and grow over time. 

Turning those goals into clear objectives with detailed pathways will help you achieve them. 

To make your objectives work, use the SMART method, meaning they’re:

  •  Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based. 

For example, you may want to create a system and best practices to offer new catering clients quality and timely services. From setting up consultations and building menus to delivering food on the day, you’ll need standard processes. 

Creating a standard process could be a short term objective to iron out in the first month of your business. Be sure to list everything you need to decide on and include.

See also: How to achieve your business goals

Roles and responsibilities 

Defining your roles and responsibilities is another essential aspect of the management plan for your catering business. Since you’ll manage this business independently, it may feel overwhelming to wear many hats. 

But, if you outline what you need to do and separate your responsibilities into different sectors, you can more easily handle the workload. For example, you will likely be doing the cooking, transport, client management, marketing, and financial management. 

So essential tasks don’t split through the cracks, you may want to invest in business management and project management tools like Google Workspace and Trello. These tools help you better organise your time, juggle business and client obligations.

Key tip: One person businesses can be difficult to manage, but separating your job into different roles can clarify your responsibilities. 

Assess your strengths and weaknesses 

In this aspect of the plan, you might also want to assess your strengths and weaknesses concerning your business. You may feel comfortable organising large catering projects and delivering them on time. But, financial management might be a bit more challenging for you. 

With this information in mind, you can create a plan to strengthen the necessary skills, such as attending an introductory small business finances course. Plus, you could plan to outsource your weak spots, such as hiring an accountant, as your operations grow. 

Partnerships and collaborations 

If you plan to benefit from partnerships or collaborations, describe that as well. For example, you might partner with a food supplier for your catering business or collaborate with an event planner to earn more clients. 


Once you define your roles and responsibilities, be sure to outline your organisation in the management plan for your catering business. In this section, detail how you’ll run your catering services, including best practices, processes, and necessary equipment and supplies. 

Clearly outlining your to-do list will help you structure your typical day, month, and quarter. So, fill out a calendar and create timetables that guide your operations. 

This section also considers how you’ll organise and manage your catering business’s supply chain. What food and beverage will you need, and which reliable supplier will you use? Since making, storing, and delivering food is time-sensitive, you’ll need to stay organised and prompt. 

Key takeaway: With a clear understanding of what you need to do daily, it’ll be much easier to manage and organise your workload.

Marketing strategy 

Alongside your organisation, consider your marketing strategy. This strategy guides you as head of marketing. Start this section by outlining and developing your brand identity. A strong brand will help you be memorable to potential clients. 

You might then decide to focus on building a compelling website and social media presence for your catering business. Then, you could list your services on freelance or event service sites, like Add to Event or Feast It

Financial strategy 

Your financial strategy is another essential thing to consider in your management plan for a catering business. How will you stay on top of your financial management, including your funding, budget, and bookkeeping

This section outlines the money you need, the money you spend, and the money you hope to earn. List your regular expenses and use your market research to define profit estimates and sales goals

Then, consider what management practices you’ll put in place. For example, you’ll want to open a business current account to separate your business finances from your personal ones. This account will help you better track your expenses and avoid mixing them up. 

Then, you can stay on top of your finances with the right accounting software. A tool like Countingup, which combines a business account with accounting software, will simplify your money management by bringing it all in one place. 

With Countingup, automatic expense categorisation, using HMRC approved labels helps you stay on top of your catering transactions. The app even lets you create and send unlimited invoices on the go. Even more, the app offers cash flow insights and tax estimates to save you time and let you stay on top of your finances from wherever you are. 


Finally, be sure to create a timeline for your management plan. Creating a plan for your business management will only work if you give yourself time-based tasks. Plus, focus on how you’ll organise your calendar to structure your time well. 

Establishing clear deadlines will help you stay productive and remain aware of what needs doing. 

Key takeaway: Time is money, so use yours wisely.

Simplify your catering finances with Countingup

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business. 

Start your three-month free trial today. 

Apply now.