The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Caterer

So, you’ve loved food all your life, and have finally come to the conclusion that you want to have a job that includes food. You’re interested in becoming a caterer, but aren’t sure of the details, the benefits, nor the negative aspects. Becoming a professional caterer, while exciting and enjoyable for those who have a creative eye and a love for food, can prove to include working long hours and having excellent customer service and math skills.

While no training is necessarily needed, having an Associates or Bachelor of Arts degree in Culinary Arts would definitely improve your skills, as well as any restaurant experience as a server or manager. As a caterer, you can often work from home; it’s a great job for those who want to be self-employed, but keep in mind, the start-up fee is often $10,000+.

For those whom don’t want to start their own business, there are catering businesses that require both experience in the food industry as well as some type of culinary training, usually in the form of a B.A. or Associate’s degree. As a catering manager, you would oversee the entire facility, as well as work with each customer, planning their entire event, and contributing the best of customer service.

A caterer has to make sure that he or she works well with people and has great interpersonal communication skills because it’s imperative to the job. As a catering manager, you might also be asked to have computer experience, team-building skills, as well as distinct attention to detail. Especially if you own your own business, you must have an eye for detail, in terms of bookkeeping, new ideas for party theme, and scheduling of events.

There are actually different types of caterers, and pros and cons come with each specialty.

  1. Mobile Catering – This type of catering is the newest trend; food trucks are the latest trend in party catering. While being a mobile caterer has low start-up fees, this can be challenging, considering your limited space and lack of brand awareness. One must be sure to do plenty of social media advertising and marketing for the city (or cities) which the truck covers.
  2. Business Catering – This is popular due to the fact that it’s year-round, versus special event and mobile catering, which is limited to warmer months. Also, if you get in with a corporate giant, they usually stay with who they like, and you’ll have a consistent flow of income.
  3. Special Events Catering – This form of catering is for the creative type of caterer; you get to show off your artistic skills. They provide food for weddings, anniversaries, and any type of event in which you can show off your innovative culinary abilities. However, you must be able to be laid-back and accept constructive criticism.

When it comes to entering the catering industry there are pros and cons, but if you have the right skills and abilities, and the love for event planning, becoming a caterer is just the right niche for you.

Mindfulness and Meditation


Mindfulness is not just a way of thinking about others and their state of mind, but it can also be used a form of meditation. Using Mindfulness Meditation allows you to focus on the moment, becoming aware of your senses and what you are feeling right then and there. When you are able to focus just on that particular moment, there is no need to try to interpret things or make judgments about how you feel.

You are simply present.

If you have ever studied Eckhart Tolle or other spiritual teachers, you realize that the present moment is all that actually exists. The past no longer exists, and the future has not yet come. So focusing, being mindful, of the moment, can help you relax and eliminate stress.

Think about all the time we spend planning for, or worrying about the future, thinking negative thoughts about the past, worrying about all the things we need to do – pick up the kids from school, make dinner tonight, pay the bills, etc. All those things are draining and can even be exhausting. When you are able to be mindful, you are able to put those things away, and focus your attention on the present moment, which reduces your stress and anxiety. Mindfulness meditation can be very powerful!


For years, spiritual teachers and their students have been practicing meditation, and espousing its benefits. Now, thanks to advances in modern science and medicine, there are actually many clinical trials that scientifically back up these claims. It is amazing that for hundreds of years people have known that meditation works, but there is always a certain percentage of the population that needs to know how and why before they will believe it.

There are so many studies now that provide empirical data as to the how and why of meditation, and its effects on the body and brain. Those studies are so diverse that they need to be in a separate article on their own. But suffice to say that the overall evidence of these studies show that meditation is effective for reducing stress, anxiety, pain, depression, and even a host of “medical” conditions and disease.


There is probably no such thing as too much meditation, especially if you are struggling with any of the issues previously mentioned. Studies have shown that there are certain times of day when meditation may be more effective than others. Those times are when the brain is emitting certain waves that enable it to be more receptive to suggestion and meditation. Books have been written on that topic alone, but for our purposes, for most people that time is before you go to bed, or right when you wake up in the morning. During those times your brain is emitting the proper waves and producing the proper chemical to allow the mist benefits from meditation. But as Dr. Joe Dispenza says, “There is no such thing as a bad meditation.”

The best way to develop your mindfulness meditation routine is to practice, practice, practice. Do so, and you may be truly amazed with the results.

Recession Proof Your Interior Design Or Decorating Business

If you make your living as an interior designer or decorator the current economy has got to be hurting your business. When the economy is slow, many people who might otherwise hire an interior designer or decorator are forced to move such a ‘non-essential’ service to the bottom of their priority list. If you haven’t felt the pinch yet, brace yourself as your business could take a drastic nose-dive during an economic recession. Nobody really needs interior design services, especially in have-not times.

There’s also the fact that so many of your days are spent on the business-side of design; negotiating with contractors, waiting for deliveries to arrive, billing, gathering quotes, and so on. This is all time that doesn’t directly generate revenue for your interior design or decorating business, and when client billings are already meager, this can really hurt your financial situation.

Maybe you’re one of the many trained interior decorators who have ended up working in retail for a 100% commission. If the economy gets worse and you’re working purely on commission, where does that leave you? Even in good times, if you work for 100% commission you might as well be your own boss and have the freedom to market yourself to new clients rather than being tied to any one store.

When I decided to take the reigns of my life back and do something that would allow me to profit from my creativity, I considered a career in interior design. I struggled with that option countless times across a 20 year period when I was unsatisfied in my work. I researched, and even interviewed, many interior design schools in my “former life”; but for some reason I never took the step to enroll. I decided with my BA, MBA and a couple decades of experience in business, being in a classroom for two to four years with kids 20 years my junior was not something I wanted to do.

Never mind tuition costs and the tremendous loss of income while you’re a student. Then who knows how many years of working experience as a designer or decorator would be needed after graduation to really start earning money. I wanted to unleash my creativity and love for decorating, but I definitely needed to start making money as soon as possible. So, I started my own home staging company.

As soon as my business was launched, the money was coming in. Within my second year as a home stager I was making up to $10,000 per month. Compare that to the median annual salary of $36,150 a year for an Interior Designer according to this year. I’m very happy I trusted my instincts!

If you’re an interior designer or decorator and you aren’t making enough money, consider adding Home Staging to your service mix or switching to a more profitable career as a Home Stager altogether.

Here a few ways a home staging business can be more profitable than an interior design business:

o As a home stager you get the opportunity to work with different types of people than you would as an interior designer. Generally, only very high income individuals hire interior designers, which limits your target market. Home stagers work mostly with clients in the middle to upper income level which gives you a much larger percentage of the population to market to, and increases the number of projects available for you to work on.

o Home stagers enjoy a higher volume of projects than interior designers because each one is so short in nature. One interior design project might take months to complete (especially when you factor in the wait times to have upholstery done, or furniture delivered), but the average home staging project takes only a few hours or days. There’s no way I could have decorated hundreds of homes within a couple of years as a new interior designer, the way I did as a new home stager. With such quick projects, a home stager is able to complete (and get paid for) a significantly higher number of projects per year than an interior designer who often has client work on hold through no fault of their own.

o When the economy is slow, people eliminate the non-essentials. Interior design or decorating isn’t really high on the “essential items list” especially when choices need to be made about what to give up, and there’s no real deadline to redecorate or renovate a room. In uncertain times, interior design moves way down on the priority list, while home staging move up. No matter how slow the economy is or how much the real estate market has declined, there will always be people who absolutely have to sell and move by a certain date. Divorce, job relocation, job loss, mounting debts, a death in the family or a birth often get people to put their house on the market even if it isn’t the best time to sell. When a homeowner is desperate to sell their house, a home stager will often be involved since the seller stands to make a handsome profit from their services. When people have less time, less money or less equity in their house, they need a home stager so they can get whatever they can out of the sale of their home! As a home stager, your creativity and talent for decorating will serve you well in slow economic times and slow real estate markets.

I especially love the amount of creative freedom I get as a home stager. Because my clients know I’m decorating their home to sell and not for them to live in, I am able to execute my creative vision without their interference or taking their taste into consideration. I can’t imagine wasting hours sitting with a client who can’t decide which color they want for their bathroom, or which fabric to pick for their drapes. My clients don’t care what I choose as long as their house will sell quicker because of it. Besides that, my home staging business is extremely profitable which every entrepreneur wants.

If your interior design business isn’t doing as well as you hoped, it’s not too late to make a change towards living a more creatively fulfilling career that is also more profitable. Do some research into the home staging field. It’s a career that is virtually “recession-proof”.