Whether your passion is cake decorating, making savoury treats, food blogging or if you want to start your career as a personal chef, your home kitchen is where it all begins. And, if you want to take it a step further and make a business from it, there are three things you need to consider before you begin: the right plan, the right training and/or licences and the right equipment.
Register your business
A typical business plan might include your target market, your skills, your particular niche, or how you might go about furthering your skills. But, whatever else it might contain, it must include registering your business at least 28 days before opening (this includes taking over an already established business). When you register your food business, you can’t be refused and the service is free, unless your business makes, prepares or handles meat, fish, egg or dairy products that supply to other businesses. In this case, you may require approval by a local authority rather than registration, you can check whether this applies to you here.
FoodGov states that you need to register if you sell, cook, store, handle, prepare or distribute food. Or if your business serves customers directly, this includes;
- Cafes, restaurants and takeaways
- Nurseries, schools and care homes
- Distance selling - mail order and food delivery (includes online)
- Catering businesses run from home, B&Bs, mobile catering and temporary businesses
- Pop-ups, food vans, food stalls and marquees
- Companies involved with food distribution/supply from an office
Once registered, your business may be inspected by the local authority. By making sure that you follow the advice and guidance for your food business, you can be prepared for inspections which will help you on your way to achieving a Level 5 (the best) Food Hygiene Rating (find out more)!
Food Safety & Hygiene Training
So, you’ve registered your business and you’re ready to go! Well, not quite. Have you thought about the food hygiene training you might need? How you can operate the highest food safety standards? or, how you can make sure you’re working towards full compliance with food safety legislation?
Which training do I need?
We offer 3 levels of Food Safety Training here at iHASCO. The Food Standards Agency state that:
If you are responsible for developing and maintaining a business's food safety management procedures, you must have had suitable training on food safety and hygiene to do this.
It is important that anyone who works as part of your business has the appropriate training, regardless of how often or how much contact they have with the food. You should also keep records of any training that you and your staff undertake, including refresher sessions (which may help your Food Hygiene Rating too!). Check out our blog Do I need Level 1, 2 or 3 Food Safety & Hygiene Training? for a more in-depth look at which training will best suit your business.
More training you might want to consider
While Food Safety & Hygiene Training is a necessity, there are some other training courses that you may want to consider to help you run a successful and safe business from home.
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. It is a legal requirement for businesses that produce, handle, retail or distribute consumable products to implement HACCP as a food safety management system. HACCP training focuses on the prevention of contamination and working to keep every ingredient contaminant-free throughout its lifecycle and reducing the risk of contaminated products making their way to consumers.
Food Allergy Awareness
Food businesses need to tell customers if any food they provide contains any of the listed allergens as an ingredient (FSA). In our Food Allergy training, you will learn about the 14 major allergens, preventing cross-contamination and what the law requires of you as a Food Business.
Health and safety training
As you start your food business, you should also consider the Health & Safety responsibilities you now have and some of the legal responsibilities that follow. All businesses/employers have a legal duty to protect their employees from harm in the workplace. We have a wide range of Health and Safety Courses to help you to work towards legal compliance. Some of the courses included in our Mandatory training are; Fire Awareness, Health and Safety Essentials, online Food Hygiene Level 2 course, and Manual Handling.
You may already have much of the equipment you need, but as your business grows and the demand becomes higher, you will need to consider bigger and better equipment, and what that will cost.
As you start to get an influx of orders and you realise that your kitchen might not seem as big as it once did, you will also need to make sure you have the right quantity of equipment e.g. cake boxes or serving platters, and you might want to consider signing up to a wholesale cookware shop/website to get the most out of your money!