How to Grow Your Catering Business
Growing your catering business is a challenge, regardless of whether you’re running a well-established catering company or a restaurant looking to get into catering. Fortunately, you build your client base and receive more orders when you formulate an effective marketing plan and keep costs low.
Discover the top strategies for expanding your catering business through reaching a wider audience, retaining customers and making smart business choices to increase catering revenue. Learn how to boost catering sales and grow your customer base.
Innovative Ideas for Catering Business Growth
Check out these innovative ideas for boosting catering sales.
1. Offer Referral Rewards
Acquiring new clients is essential for helping your catering business flourish. One of the most effective ways to source new customers is offering referral rewards to current customers. A referral program gives your customers rewards, such as a gift card or discount, for each new customer they refer that places an order.
Promote your catering company’s referral program by emailing each client after fulfilling their catering order to ask how everything went and whether they enjoyed it. When you send this follow-up email, ask them to send you a new customer referral as well. Let them know their referral may earn them a reward.
2. Host Tasting Events
It’s hard to get a good reputation as a new catering company if no one’s tasted your food. Solve this problem by hosting a tasting event. A tasting event builds relationships with potential clients while letting them try your menu items and witness your presentation skills.
If you’re interested in hosting a tasting event, start by creating a list of potential catering client leads, such as engaged couples and business leaders, and invite them to the event. Once they arrive, give them a brief overview of your catering services before explaining each menu item. Provide each guest with a takeaway menu, brochure or business card.
Get the most out of your tasting event by offering each attendee a special discount for the first event they book with your catering services. Capitalize on your guests’ great impression from the tasting event by converting them to sales.
3. Use Digital Marketing
An effective catering marketing plan must include multiple digital marketing strategies. You need a digital marketing plan to reach more clients, whether your catering business is well-established or just getting started. A good digital campaign increases traffic to your website and gets people interested in your business.
Some of the best digital marketing tools for catering companies include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO): The goal of SEO is to drive relevant traffic to your website. Ranking in search engines for search phrases related to catering earns your site more clicks from potential customers.
- Local focus: Use SEO to attract local traffic to your website by incorporating keywords and phrases specific to your area, region or town. Using terms that include your city’s name along with words like “gourmet catering” helps your company pop up closer to the top of the results list when people search for catering in your area.
- Pay-per-click: Similar to SEO, pay-per-click advertising allows you to target specific search results. The pay-per-click approach involves choosing specific words, such as your city’s name or certain events like “office catering,” and putting a bid in for higher ad placement on those searches.
- Social media: Social media is an excellent platform for reaching a broad audience and building customer relationships. Social media lets you share photos, videos, news, updates and valuable tips with your audience. You might also pay to run targeted ads on social media to find new customers.
4. Use Stylized Food
Running a catering company in the Instagram age means making your food look camera-ready. Consider that articles with images get 94% more views than imageless articles. Try to make your menu items look irresistible in the content you post online. This visual appeal stimulates prospective customers’ senses and compels them to choose your business to impress their guests with their catering.
Use these tips and tricks to make your food look more aesthetically pleasing:
- Centerpieces: Include some dramatic centerpiece dishes and visually attractive items on your menu.
- Drizzles: A drizzle of sauce, syrup or other liquified ingredients adds visual flare.
- Color: Incorporate splashes or color and contrasting hues to highlight your menu items.
- Odd numbers: For visuals of foods like dinner rolls, tacos or dumplings, use an odd number of the item to make the image more intriguing.
- Small portions: The secret to stunning food photos and videos is using small portions.
5. Target More Events
Increase catering revenue for your business by targeting events that traditionally use catering services. Make a list of potential clients to approach, including wedding planners, sporting clubs, shared workspaces, bridal shops, banks, galleries and museums. Customize your proposal to appeal directly to each audience you pitch.
Once you’ve prepared your proposals, go to local businesses and organizations directly. Tell them why your company should become their go-to catering service. Offer discounts or specials for businesses and those in need.
Next, partner with other local businesses like florists, hotels and boutiques to showcase your catering options to their event customers. Work out a deal where both companies advertise to each others’ customers to boost catering sales considerably.
6. Control Costs
Although it may be beneficial for your catering service to offer deals, don’t give too much away for free. If your catering company doesn’t turn a profit, expanding your business is impossible. Note all the costs for running your catering company and ensure you earn enough each month to offset these expenses.
Be careful not to underprice your food. The price of your menu items should reflect the cost of the raw ingredients you put into it, along with the hours spent preparing, transporting and serving it.
7. Try a Loyalty Program
Retain more customers and secure your growth with a loyalty program. A loyalty program offers repeat customers rewards like discounts, free additional items or more customization options. Your company’s loyalty program shows your clients how valuable they are and improve relationships with your consistent customers.
8. Rent Cloud Kitchens
Expand the reach of your catering company by using a cloud kitchen. Also known as ghost kitchens, cloud kitchens are commercial cooking spaces with state-of-the-art culinary equipment that caterers rent out instead of purchasing their own kitchen space. This cost-effective option allows catering companies to focus on making great food instead of finding the perfect kitchen space.
More specifically, the benefits of using a cloud kitchen for your catering business include:
- Expansion: Launching your new location from a cloud kitchen is an excellent choice to expand into an untapped region. Cloud kitchens help you offer your services to new locations as needed.
- Lower costs: Working with a rental kitchen involves far less overhead than paying for your own kitchen and allows you to pay for only the space you need.
- Convenience: If you’re catering for a large upcoming event and need commercial kitchen space quickly, renting a cloud kitchen is your best option for cutting down on your prep and cook time. Renting a cloud kitchen helps your catering company grow by allowing you to accept more last-minute orders and deliver exceptional food without hunting for kitchen space.
- Flexibility: Cloud kitchens offer hourly, monthly and annual rental rate options to give you the freedom to rent kitchen space when you need it and stop paying for kitchen space when you don’t need it. Pay for the space as much as you need during a busy season, such as Christmas, and save money on kitchen space when you receive fewer orders.
Expand Your Catering Capabilities With Revolving Kitchen
Revolving Kitchen helps you grow your catering business by providing top-quality commercial kitchen space for rent in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Revolving Kitchen offers clean, fully equipped commercial kitchen rentals as a cost-effective and convenient option for catering companies. Revolving Kitchen offers catering companies private kitchen space for both short-term and long-term rentals.