The holidays are a great time to start or boost a catering business. Whether is corporate parties or people who don’t want to cook, there are plenty of business opportunities available.
Whether you’re starting from home or using catering to extend your existing restaurant business, you need to know how to market your catering services. Here are several catering promotion ideas that are sure to boost your holiday sales.
1. Office Visits
Everyone needs to eat, and offices and corporate complexes house a lot of hungry mouths to feed. Reach out to local companies in your area that might need your catering services and offer them a few samples from your menu.
Even better, offer your free samples at lunchtime to get feedback about your food. offices are always on the lookout for new menus to serve their staff, so this could go along way to establish relationships with potential customers.
2. Free Publicity and Word of Mouth Referrals
If you’re new to the catering business reaching out to family, friends, associates to introduce them to your business can be a great way to get some first-time clients. Start spread the word about your business by asking for referrals. Happy clients will refer more of their friends and family to the business while they themselves can become repeat clients. During the event, take time out to give out business cards, mingle with possible customers during the after-party. The best part? This type of publicity is completely free!
3. Local Vendor List
This can be a directory of various event centers, conference rooms, and outdoor spaces for catered events. These directories have sections for preferred events caterers, photographers, make-up artists, amongst others. Being affiliated with them allows you to be seen by a large audience of potential clients.
4. Partner with Other Local Businesses
Try to look for “complimentary partnerships”, which are businesses that provide similar services but are not competitors, like party rentals stores or florists. Networking with these vendors can go a long way in helping your business grow.
If possible drop some flyers in their shops for potential clients to see them, have them market your business when a client asks for suggestions for food services caterers.
You can also try reaching out to other local restaurants who may have similar clients but don’t offer catering services. You can approach them for a partnership or a managerial role in setting up the catering arm of their business.
5. Personal Branding
In this digital age, you have to make an effort to maintain a strong online presence. Try connecting with local food bloggers to contribute guest posts to their sites to create a community of loyal followers. Establishing a presence as an industry leader will give your business more authority and brand recognition.
Try creating profiles on Instagram and Pinterest for sharing quality pictures to increase your visibility to fellow food lovers. To market your business, always share your best works on these channels, which is bound to pull lovely reviews and comments from clients and food critics.
The Importance of Having The Right Insurance for Catering Businesses
Do you have insurance for catering businesses? If not, it’s something you should consider. What if an employee got injured on the job, or a client got sick after eating your food? If you don’t have insurance you could be held responsible for the damages, which will put a dent not just in your wallet, but your reputation as well.
Here are some basic policies caterers should consider:
Liquor Liability: Serving alcohol is inherently risky, this policy will protect your business against claims associated with alcohol-related accidents.
Commercial Auto: Running a catering business means transporting your food and equipment to and from venues. This policy pays for the cost of repairs and damages that result from auto accidents.
Workers Compensation: If you have anyone on your payroll it’s likely you’ll be legally required by your state to carry this policy. Workers Compensation will pay for medical bills and lost wages for employees injured on the job.