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From Rookie to Rockstar: How to Start an Events Catering Business... the Easy Way.

Making tea at home for your bestie.

Simple enough, right?

Imagine your horror when you open your front door to find your bestie has not only invited 300 of their nearest and dearest along with them, but Mavis from next door is getting twitchy about the random queue of people trampling her begonias.

Wait. What?

Yep. 300 extra people.

But it’s all good because you’ve got this. You’ll just scale it up and make them all the same thing. Everyone’s happy, job done.

But you hadn’t banked on Uncle Joe wanting a green tea, Cousin Sally and her kids demanding gourmet crepes and Bill from round the corner ordering a full afternoon tea, complete with dainty sandwiches, scones and a doily.

We’ve all had at least one hold-on-to-your-pants type experience where something unexpected happens, immediately turning an under-control situation into pure, unadulterated CHAOS. It’s like leaving the lid off a blender. Or leaving a toddler alone with...well, anything really.

Let’s just say that’s a whole heap of regret right there.

But there is an important point in this seemingly obscure and pointless metaphor. If you don a pair of training wheels before your bestie arrives for tea, you’ll be better placed to deal with those 300-hanger-on’s. Even better - if you can learn how to juggle all those balls; multi-tasking like a demon; and make it look like you know what you’re doing, then you’re over half-way there.

But...if you go gung-ho too soon and jump in feet first, you’re going to fall a long way before you hit the bottom. And we’re not just talking about tea-time. This applies to everything, particularly small businesses. Unfortunately, the stats don’t lie - fewer than half of UK start-ups make it beyond five years (, 2019) and 20% of new businesses close their doors within just twelve months (The Telegraph, 2019).

Guess what?

We were that rookie at tea-time, juggling all the balls.

Not literally - because obviously none of our friends would be rude enough to invite 300 people to our house; and also, we can’t juggle - but figuratively. When the Mixing Jug was in its infancy we made a load of mistakes - some of them small (Ordering fresh oranges to arrive at 5AM for our giant orange juice machine) and some of them not so small (Undercharging for our epic drinks, making a teeny-weeny margin that was quickly absorbed by other costs such as travel, staff and electrics… not to mention our own time) Yes we can forgive newcomers for missing this one… your time has a £value! Imagine that. Otherwise, spoilers alert – you’ll need to find a job that does pay you… but wait, that was plan B.

We’ve been there, done it and got the #epicfail t-shirt. So, when we say we know and understand what goes into starting an event’s catering business, we really know and understand. And we’ve put all of that key knowledge and experience in one amazing place, wrapped it up and delivered it in a neat little box of training - The Mixing Jug’s Event Catering Academy.

Our first COVID-safe course ran in August 2020 - and without blowing our own trumpets too much, it was BLOODY BRILLIANT. And it’s not just us saying that, you can check out our testimonials right here. We also tapped up two key-note speakers - Andrew James, Chairman of The Catering Accounting Company and Corrie Jones, Founder and CEO of Untapped Digital, to give some amazing industry insight and share with us their genius.

Our Academy not only gives you the know-how to set up a successful business in event catering, but we’ll take you all the way through from your first baby-steps of planning your outlet, to securing the best possible events and ensuring your business soars. Not only that, we’re here to hold your hand even once you’ve flown the Academy nest. With fortnightly Alumni catch up’s on Zoom and access to our dedicated - and private - Event Catering Facebook Group, we’ll give you all the support you need to take your business to the next level. Did we mention our E-training guides? They’re totally free and available to download here.

You know the saying, knowledge is power? We pretty much invented that. Disclaimer - we didn’t invent this, but for the purposes of this blog, we’re pretending we did.

But know can have all the knowledge in the world, but it’s not going to get you very far if you don’t know how to apply it in an actual real-life situation. You know, with humans and queues and cappuccino’s and catering trailers and epos systems etc. We’ll explore all of that and more. We’ll tell you stuff that you didn’t even know that you needed to know. And not only that, we’ll help you navigate through the choppy seas of the festival landscape - from how to secure the perfect pitch and maximising customer volume, to referrals to industry leading suppliers and packages. We’ve got all the insider information, and we might even throw in a cheeky event lead too to help you get a foot in that all-important festival door....shhh, secret squirrel ;-)

We always strive to make our training a meeting of great minds - yours and ours - and we get as much out of our Academy training meeting you guys, as we know you will meeting us. Working together to be a better industry is for the greater good. We’re not interested in pitting ourselves against each other in a dog-eat-dog survival of the fittest type scenario. We love a bit of competition, but we’d rather work to share information than keep it to ourselves like knowledge-hoarders.

Strip it all back, and the reality is that starting a business is a bit of a gamble. In some cases, it can be butt-clenchingly risky, particularly where ££££ of investment is involved. Even more so at the moment (thank you COVID). But there’ll be less butt-clenching and more high-fiving going on if you invest in yourself as well. That’s just common sense.

Is the road to success paved with mistakes and dropped balls?

Probably. But if you learn how to juggle those balls like a pro, you’ll be giving yourself a better chance.

Now once you complete our training course, you think of running for the hills and hiding, our 3 months of following support by zoom calls will keep you on track… and if you still think it’s all a bit too much, well guess what… your training costs are 100% deductible against our leading franchise opportunities (Subject to successful application).

Simply put, we just want to help you get started, get running, be slick, profitable and love this industry as much as we do from the get-go.

Coming soon....

New course dates! Why not sign up for our e-newsletter and be first in line for a space.

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