From home cook
to catering pro:
3 expert secrets
Home-cooking businesses are on the rise, but how do you build a successful enterprise from your own kitchen?
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In this article, we share three tips from experienced home chefs: start small and grow from there, focus on word-of-mouth marketing, and make it authentic by telling your story.
Discover how these home cooks turned their passion for cooking into thriving businesses, and let them inspire you to achieve your culinary dreams.
Start small, and grow from there
Of course, thinking big helps. But to build a healthy home-cooking business, starting small is a viable option too.
A great example comes from Monica of Mamma Mudrikah. In a previous interview, she said, “I started with the idea of making homemade side dishes, beginning with atjar tjampoer (a sweet-sour vegetable salad). I prepared them in jars and was allowed to sell them at our local grocery store."
"Gradually, people asked if I could make a rijsttafel (a traditional Indonesian meal). I was initially hesitant about selling my food, but eventually, I took the plunge, created Instagram and Facebook accounts, and that's how things started rolling.”
As you can see, selling jars of atjar tjampoer was the starting point of her business. Now, you can order complete rijsttafels and other dishes from Monica's home kitchen.
Word-of-mouth advertising is the key to success
Collecting reviews and enthusiastic customers telling their friends and family about you — it may sound simple, and it is.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the best promotional tool for your home-cooking empire and doesn't cost a dime. Eva of Thuistoko Eva shared in a previous interview:
“The best advertising you can have is word-of-mouth. I use Instagram, but I don't have a schedule for when I post. If I take a photo, I want to post it immediately, which is impulsive and something I may need to learn from. Most of my new customers come to me through referrals or Instagram.”
Be authentic: tell your own story
You could use any random cookbook to make your catering business a success.
But you'll only take off if the business, your passion, and the dishes come from the heart.
In an interview, Kai from Sushi van Kai shared his insights:
“I recently discovered that Sushi van Kai is all about my childhood memories. Whenever we had guests, the entire table would be filled with various treats, including sushi and many other dishes like miso soup, somen, tamago omelet—basically everything.
"These are all dishes that I now have on my menu. I love making them, reliving those moments, and sharing them with people.”
Learn from the catering pros
- Monica of Mamma Mudrikah started by selling atjar tjampoer at a local grocery store. She then expanded her business to offer complete rijsttafels ('rice table') and other dishes
- The best promotional tool for home-cooking businesses is free and can be started today, both online and offline: word-of-mouth advertising. Eva from Thuistoko Eva gets most of her new customers through referrals or Instagram.
- Be authentic; tell your own story with your dishes. Kai from Sushi van Kai draws inspiration from childhood memories and shares them with customers. Passion and heartfelt dishes make the business successful.