Tips to prepare for consulting services

Establishing a food service social enterprise is not a linear process.  However, to benefit from Catalyst Kitchens consulting services, organizations need to have certain elements and budget in place. We hope these guidelines will help you take those next steps.

Identify your main goals for establishing a social enterprise and job training program.  The Catalyst Kitchens model is focused on training for entry-level jobs in food service, along with personal and life transformation.  Staying focused on the intended outcome of your program will help guide your decisions in what is a large and complex undertaking.

Conduct market research to determine the viability of your intended foodservice social enterprise operation.  Is there an unmet demand in your community? Can you partner or collaborate with others already doing the work? Here's an example framework for market research.  Note: Catalyst Kitchens has no affiliation with this resource.

Partner with organizations or individuals with expertise in job training, fund development and food industry allies.  Other potential partners include churches, soup kitchens, missions and social service agencies. These partners will help to provide essential social services for your trainees as well as referrals, employment support, life skills training, etc.

Identify funding sources. After determining your revenue goals and projections for the launch and growth of your program, look for start-up/capacity-building funds to help you get there.  Funding partners in your community include local government, businesses, and individual donors and foundations. A Catalyst Kitchens consultation is centered on feasibility and initial strategy.

Apply for 501c3 status if you haven't already. To establish yourself as a non-profit, see steps to get started. You might also consider a fiscal sponsorship. Note: Catalyst Kitchens has no affiliation with these resources.

Identify a space to operate your kitchen and program. Chances are, there’s unused commercial kitchen space in your community that could host your foodservice operations.  Ensure that it’s available to you at the times you need it and has enough space, equipment, and storage capacity for your needs.