I was probably about eight years old when I came up with a brilliant business scheme. I made a cafeteria in my bedroom. Using food from the cupboard, I made several different options to choose from. The only dish I remember right now is the canned corn that had been heated up and buttered.
Anyway, I set up a buffet in my bedroom, called it something profoundly creative like "Anne's Cafeteria," and--get this--invited my parents to dine there and charged them a market-standard fee to do so. They thought this was hilarious. Eventually I realized that they were laughing because I was charging them to eat food from their own cupboard. I found it pretty funny, too, but I still charged them, and they still enjoyed a nice dinner.
However, this week I realized: Wait. Isn't that what catering is, really? People buy food. Then they pay you to cook it for them. Sure, you're usually responsible for going out to get the food for them yourself, but don't you think if this eight-year-old had had the means to get to a grocery store (and up-front capital), she would go buy the canned corn for her in-house operation? I think yes. Does this mean I could tell a potential client that I've been catering since 1978?