In previous interviews with food truck operators, we have learned that there is good money to be made in doing private events and catering. So this time around we talked to Scott Fisher who runs a very successful catering and restaurant business in Beaumont, Texas.
Scott is the owner and creative culinary force behind Cater To You; an on and off-premise, full service catering, child care hospitality service, and restaurant management company. They have also recently launched a restaurant called the Green Light Kitchen that features an Urban Cultivator wherein fresh herbs and micro greens are grown in a state of the art indoor farm. Scott is a classically trained chef, who apprenticed under the wing of Certified Master Chef Fritz Gitschner. His food could be described as regional flavors prepared with traditional French technique.
The company started with catering and was later invited to take over the food and beverage services of a country club. It was also during this time that they purchased a mobile kitchen trailer on UsedVending.com. With the trailer, business almost quadrupled instantly since they were now able to serve a larger number of people in a variety of locations. "We can roll up to any event, no matter what the location is, and produce a turnkey event as if we were in our main kitchen. The trailer allows us to produce a better and fresher product since we can cook on premise. Due to this, the clients are also happier with the food we serve. We can say that almost 50% of the business we do come from catering jobs. Beaumont was a perfect place for an expanding or growing business."
Scott started looking for a food truck on classifieds websites but this didn't turn into any successful leads. He then found UsedVending.com where he was able to narrow down his search to his region. He further narrowed his choices based on the type of trailer he wanted, then finally identified the trailers he wanted based on his price range. - Never in a million years would I imagine that an online brokerage service like Used Vending would be so easy to deal with, - shares Scott.
"I found the trailer. Made an offer. The offer was kicked back. We then made a counter offer, and it was accepted. Bargaining took around half an hour. Then it took a day before the deal was finally closed and funds were secured. I paid the buyer in person and was so secure and confident in meeting the buyer and paying him in cash. The trailer was everything they told me it was. I inspected the roof, the Ansul system, and the exhaust hood. It was a very honest purchase."
Licensing and permitting was also a breeze, since their main kitchen was already certified and this also served as their commissary. So all they needed to do was get a food handlers certificate for their personnel and get the trailer's kitchen re-certified.
Like most husband and wife teams in this industry, Scott handles the kitchen while his wife handles the business side of the operation. He is very hands on in the day to day operation since consistency is one of the important qualities of a successful food business. "You may have finished cleaning last night's pots and pans at 2 am, and need to prep for the early breakfast service. Even if you had just a little sleep, you need to prepare and maintain the same quality of food you are known for." That is why they are taking their time in planning for the eventual franchise of the Green Light Kitchen. Scott wants to make sure that everything is top quality and up to standards.
Relationship building is also another important pillar in any business and Scott and his team would like to maintain and continue the great relationship they have with their catering clients. Customers are in turn also very loyal due to this relationship and even call him up for advice on what kind of kitchen equipment, plates, or table linen they should get for their homes.
Cater To You would be happy to serve a small party of just four and Scott actually admits that these intimate functions have been the most fun. Or they could also service an event that has 800 or even up to 1,500 guests. For bookings and inquiries you may reach Scott at via their website ctytx.com or their Facebook account.
Get Cater To You for your next event