Published on December 28th, 2017 | by Anica O0
Food Focus: 5 Tips For Marketing Your Catering Business
The quality of the food you serve is only one part of building a successful catering business. You can have the best tasting food with the most innovative menu in town, but if people haven’t heard about you, it’s going to be hard to stay in business. Fortunately, marketing your catering business doesn’t have to blow your budget.
Implement a Direct Mail Campaign
Think outside the box when preparing your campaign. Upcoming weddings are the obvious events to target, but you may be overlooking some dependable, reliable income in favor of these larger, but less frequent events. Many businesses have regular functions that would benefit from catering services. Business lunches, client meetings, and box lunches for staff during busy times are all lucrative options. Make a list of local companies, such as law offices, advertising agencies, and government agencies, and send them a targeted menu. Let them know your lunch options, minimum order, and how far in advance they need to contact you.
Host Potential Clients
Use that same list to host a catering open house. You can also send out a press release to local media and the Chamber of Commerce letting them know you are hosting this event. Prepare a sample of your lunch options and make sure you have plenty of menus and business cards for visitors. If you can host this event in a business friendly, easy to drop in venue, rather than directly in your shop, even better.
Strengthen Your Online Presence
Take an objective look at your website. It needs to be more than just a placeholder with your company’s contact information. Put your menus, options, lead time, and even prices, or at least price ranges. Have a Facebook page as well. Most importantly, monitor these tools. Check and respond to email and other inquiries quickly and professionally.
Use Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and other forms of social media do not replace a traditional website, but rather add to it. Post pictures of meals and events. Having existing social media set up allows others to tag your business in their functions as well. Maintaining a professional social media presence does not have to take a lot of time. You might want to look at other catering companies like Krisp Events and learn from their techniques.
Follow up events with short surveys for your clients. You can have these printed up or send through an online link. You don’t want to make this too involved or you won’t get much participation. Just a few quick questions about their satisfaction with the food and service is fine, along with a spot for additional comments.
As you can see, none of these marketing ideas will break the bank. They will take a little effort to implement, but will pay back dividends in both the amount of business you bring in and the quality of the clients you attract. If it seems overwhelming initially, start with one idea, and once you have it established, add another, until you have implemented a full marketing plan.