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How to Run a Catering Business in Canada

Enrich your catering business in Canada by implementing these practical tactics

Catering businesses come in a variety of sizes and niches. For any prospective company owner, running a food business in Canada is an exciting (and challenging) prospect. Catering businesses must comply with federal, provincial, and municipal rules to work and operate legally. Popular areas where catering businesses should focus on include:

  • Annual corporate night-outs & tradeshows
  • Friends & family gathering
  • Wedding reception & engagement setups
  • Parties and hangouts

In 2022, the caterers industry in Canada will have a market size of $ 3.8 billion. Taking your fair share from the catering business, like any other business venture, requires careful budgeting and preparation, and it will bring some difficulties. Learn how to manage a dedicated catering business in Canada and set yourself apart from the competition.

Ways to become more successful

Despite the adverse economic repercussions of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Canadian catering industry is predicted to grow in revenue. Finding new ways to boost sales has gotten more complicated in recent years, but traditional and new ways of thinking strategically will always have a positive impact. 

Rethink, rebrand & reinvent the current offerings

It is not for the faint of heart to work in this sector. While passion drives food-lovers to pursue their ambitions, financial margins, market conditions and competitors can have an impact on those dreams.

  • Work-on touch-free ordering and payment solutions
  • Selling goods that aren't currently on your menus or focus more on ready-to-cook meals
  • Customer loyalty programs should be offered or upgraded
  • Implement or upgrade your website, as well as develop a user-friendly delivery app
  • Try out different menu options with the option of customization
  • Make the transition from a physical to an online menu card

Calculate the stock and manage your inventory

What counts most for any food business to survive in this competitive market is properly handling orders, menu items, and inventory management. You should consider the following:

  • Data forecasting, order planning reports, and automated inventory management through integrated software like SAP. 
  • Regulate which food items will be used and which will linger on the shelf the longest
  • You can precisely determine how much of your materials and supplies are used at a particular time if you stick to a timetable

Always conduct consistent market analysis

In 2022, the caterers industry in Canada is predicted to grow at a rate of 3.9 percent. For example, as the economic climate improves and private sector employment rises, corporate demand for catered events will likely increase in the future years.

Caterers will profit from increased private demand as per capita disposable income rises, encouraging customers to spend more on weddings, parties, and other catered events.

The catering industry will continue to widen its offerings by offering creative meals and beverages, as well as employing sustainable, locally produced ingredients. An expanding life cycle stage and consumer expenditure are the key positive variables affecting this industry.

Industry facts

  • The restaurant sector in Canada is a vital element for every community member, with over 97,000 restaurants, pubs, and caterers operating across the country.
  • There are no prominent players in the catering industry, and the market share is over 5%.
  • In 2019, the restaurant, bar, and caterer industry generated $79 billion in yearly sales, 1.5% of the country's gross domestic product.

Stand out with an appealing marketing strategy

Currently, you should be utilizing social media platforms and maintaining a website if you work in the catering industry. Additionally, LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for entrepreneurs to connect with and communicate with corporate clients.

Share your company's behind-the-scenes operations to become more transparent. Invite the top chef or a few of your chefs to participate in a Q&A interview, either on video, by webcast, or via email.

You could also tap into influencer marketing, by inviting popular 'foodies' to your events. Offer them free samples or services, and ask them to review you in return.

Funding your business for growth 

Financial assistance is available to food and catering enterprises through federal, provincial, and municipal government initiatives.

  • Fund for Sector Initiatives
  • A program meant to assist industry sectors and organizations in developing workforce training programs, resources, and standards.
  • Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN)
  • The CFIN initiative is aimed to support innovative product and process development, food ecology sustainability, and flexible and efficient supply chains. Each application is entitled to up to 50% of eligible expenses or $2 million in cost matching funds.
  • District Ventures Capital
  • District Ventures Capital invests in Canadian firms with an original product and has established considerable market momentum

Considering your options when exiting

Follow these basic guidelines to create the excellent exit strategy for your catering business.

  • Obtain a company appraisal. You'll want to understand how to conduct a business valuation when you're arranging your exit strategy. Strategists can assist you in determining the value of your firm. It will help manage expectations for prospective purchasers
  • Consider the path that lies ahead. Do you still want to have some say over the company? Do you just want exit it for good? If you're leaving a long-term business, measures like succession planning or management buyouts can help you maintain consistency and stay connected to your company during the transition.
  • When planning your departure strategy, think about all the possible outcomes and establish contingency measures as needed. Think about what you'll need to do if your company sells for less than you expected. Select the appropriate offer from the right buyer, who will nurture and grow your business once you've exited. 

Megan Kelly

About the author

Megan is the Content Manager for Dynamis and researches and writes for She is an expert writer and aspiring digital marketer.


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