Catering Business Plan : The Challenges And How To Overcome With Applying ISO 22000

introduction to food catering

Food catering is a business that involves themself by preparing and serving meals and dishes including beverages for various types of events. This includes events, catering, holiday and short stay accommodation, camping, ground recreational vehicle or food truck, as well as central kitchen, hotel and canteen. Usually, food catering businesses offer a series of services to their customers. For instance, menu planning, food preparation, service, and cleanup. Their service is often customized so that they can meet the specific needs and wants of their client.

If expanding your business is one of your food catering business plans, then it is suggested to a food catering provider to apply for ISO 22000 in order to improve food safety, understanding business risk and opportunity, enhanced reputation, and better risk management.

The Challenges With Applying ISO 22000

In Malaysia, food catering businesses that have sales turnover less than RM20 million or employees less than 75 people are considered small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Sometimes, the businesses will face some challenges when implementing ISO 22000.

  • Limited Resources

SMEs usually are small in company size and have fewer resources such as financial, human resources, technology used, etc. The limited resources supported cause them cannot fulfill the standard of ISO 22000 and cannot expand their business internationally. This is because they want to overcome currency instability or economic fluctuation when expanding their business worldwide with limited resources.

  • Lack Of Expertise

When applying for ISO 22000 certification as one of their food catering business plans, it requires the business to manage the process from time to time in order to gain the ISO 22000 certification. However, these businesses don’t have a department or didn’t hire an expert to suggest, provide professional knowledge, design and operate a food safety management system that complies with ISO 22000. Hence, it will be a waste of money and time for implementing ISO 22000.

  • Lack Of Awareness

As the businesses are busy with handling customers’ daily inquiry, it causes them don’t have time to do research, understand, and be aware of the benefits of the ISO 22000 food safety management system. The lack of awareness about ISO 22000 influences their food catering business plan which cannot help them to boost their business size, reputation, remain loyal customers, and go internationally.

How To Overcome With Applying ISO 22000​

A food catering business can utilize a number of techniques to get around some of the challenges involved in applying for ISO 22000 certification.

  • Collaborate With Suppliers

Food catering businesses can discuss with suppliers that there was a collaboration within them, e.g. businesses contribute by bulk purchase of food ingredients while suppliers give a certain amount of discount or provide them high quality of ingredients that are safe to consume by end user. The discount or high quality food will help food catering businesses to save the costs and apply for ISO 22000 certification. The most important is, they will succeed in their catering business plan as fast as possible and become successful entrepreneurs in Malaysia.

  • Seek Assistance From Agency

When a founder wants to succeed in their food catering business plan, it is advised to seek professional assistants from ISO certification agencies that have expertise in ISO 22000. These agents will help your business to navigate the certification process by recommending their ISO Management Software so that you can manage and handle the process easily compared with traditional ways. Thus, the business will get the certification as easy as ABC without a complicated process.

Step 1 : Training & Knowledge Development

Businesses can approach the ISO certification agency and ask them to overview the business procedures so that it fulfills the ISO requirements. Moreover, provided to all levels of management so that that understand clearly how to manage the business to gain the ISO certification. 

Step 2 : Prepare Document Needed 

All the important documents need to be prepared, e.g. business policies, quality objectives, roles and responsibilities of the food safety team, process flowcharts, hazard analysis and HACCP plan summary, PRP implementation, etc. It is necessary to ready these document information and start implementing in the business before applying for external audit.

Step 3 : Carry Out Implementation

After analyzing and preparing, the organization shall start implementing the system into their business. Internal communication to obtain employees’ feedback by top management and external communication from consumer, supplier and clients are important so that they can continually improve the current standard that permits ISO certification. 

Step 4: Internal Audit

Conduct an internal audit with a competent internal auditor to ascertain compliance with the new standard operating requirements.

Step 5: Certification

Apply and conduct external audit after internal audit and management review was conducted. External auditors will verify and confirm that your company’s management system meets ISO requirements and submitted your record for certification review. Upon approval, you will be able to obtain your certificate. 


In conclusion, implementing ISO standards can bring challenges to catering business because resources, expertise, and awareness within this industry are limited. However, catering businesses can overcome the challenges by collaborating with suppliers and seeking assistance from agencies to gain benefit from implementing ISO 22000.

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