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Catering to Each Other

Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

Catering is often a stressful business — and marriage brings its own stresses too. How do couples cope when they decide to go into the catering business together?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Get up and go to work with your spouse, spend the day working together, and come home together at the end of the day. This might sound like a little too much of a good thing, but couple-run companies are a familiar feature in the business world, from modest bed-and-breakfasts to multinational corporations. In theUS, 43 percent of small businesses are listed as family businesses; of those, over half are run by spouses, according to the National Federation of Small Businesses. That means that there are at least 1.4 million husband-wife businesses in theUS.

Catering is one of the most popular fields for spouses who choose to go into business together. Economically speaking, there’s a good chance of success, as the catering market is not dominated by major companies, leaving plenty of room for smaller businesses. And as far as human resources go, catering involves many different tasks, from the obvious cooking to planning, money management, and room design. This allows couples to split the responsibilities according to their particular skills, experience, and abilities. And that often makes for a successful partnership and business.

However, when business partners are also life partners, problems can arise. How does the couple manage their finances? Building capital can be tough, especially if the business is looking for outside investors, as potential backers are often wary of investing in couple-run businesses. Staffing can also be more difficult, as many job candidates are nervous about getting involved in family businesses.

How does the couple figure out the day-to-day logistics of integrating work and family life? How does spending work life and home life with the same person affect the relationship? To answer some of these questions, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of catering couples.


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