looking for strategies to help you attract customers for your catering business? Here are some great ideas to promote your business, attract customers and boost your profits.
It’s true that the catering business industry is very competitive, but whether you’re a start-up or a veteran who knows it’s time to expand, you can stand out from the crowd. Become a great caterer by following our tips to attract catering clients and make your business very successful.
The success or failure of a social, business or institutional event depends largely on having a good catering service. Hence, your company needs to have an excellent reputation that allows potential customers to give you and trust your services.
But, how can I get clients for my business?
Knowing your customers, defining your company’s style and relying on online marketing will allow you to achieve all your goals.
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- 1 10 key tips to attract customers for your catering business
- 1.1 1. Study your potential customers
- 1.2 2. Look for good suppliers
- 1.3 3. Keep up with trends
- 1.4 4. Present a competent and consistent menu
- 1.5 5. Take advantage of digital marketing
- 1.6 6. Don’t neglect offline marketing
- 1.7 7. Look at the competition
- 1.8 8. Create strategic alliances
- 1.9 9. Evaluate all actions
- 1.10 10. Stay ahead of the curve
- 2 Manage negative opinions on the networks about your catering company
10 key tips to attract customers for your catering business
In the catering service there is a lot of demand, but also too much supply. Therefore, you must take actions that will lead you to stand out from the voracious competition that reigns in this sector. Here are some key actions to attract customers for your catering company:
1. Study your potential customers
Before embarking on any strategy to attract customers for your catering company you have to be clear about your target audience. That is, there are catering companies that work only with corporate or institutional events where they serve large numbers of people. Others cater smaller events, such as weddings, graduations, birthdays, family reunions, etc.
Volume is not the only difference, other factors also come into play, such as the type of food. The style of your cuisine can also define the type of client that may be looking for your services: your buyer persona.
Spend some time defining the kind of customer that may be interested in your catering based on: the volume you offer, the formality of your menu, types of dishes (type of cuisine, dietary restrictions, etc.), prices, the distance you travel for delivery, whether you offer extras such as set-up and clean-up, etc.
2. Look for good suppliers
Part of the success of your business is to have good relationships with suppliers of raw materials and non-food supplies. Look for good agreements with companies that allow you to have the highest quality products at the best prices. It is also important that they offer you payment facilities and discounts.
Rely on Monouso for your disposable items: catering miniatures, take-away containers, reusable trays, etc.
3. Keep up with trends
Maintaining the essence of your catering business is essential to present a coherent image to the public, but don’t neglect the latest gastronomic trends. This is the only way you can continue to attract the attention of customers over time and not be left behind.
To do this, it is advisable to constantly investigate what new services the competition includes, what products and preparations are in fashion each season, the trendy dishes or the colors in trend.
In a catering business, customers expect to find enough variety to allow them to customize their events and meetings. Make sure you have an extensive and varied menu, attentive to seasonal foods, capable of satisfying their demands. Of course, always within the range of the type of food you do.
It wouldn’t make much sense if you specialize in American food to include, just to extend your menu, tripe or rib stew. Surely it has happened to you: you arrive at a restaurant and the fact of seeing several types of cuisine makes you suspect that they are not specialized in anything.
how to get customers? Go for a varied specialization and prepare possible changes within your dishes. If you have these proposals prepared in such a way that they continue to comply with the original price range, it will not upset the budget and your customers will perceive that you have everything under control.
5. Take advantage of digital marketing
Open your own website, register in catering service aggregators, keep your social networks up to date…digital marketing can be your great ally today to make yourself known to many more customers. Word of mouth is good, but do not waste the power of the network.
If you take into account that the majority of hospitality transactions (and not) are currently made online, not giving the importance it deserves to your online presence can be a big mistake.
Some actions that will go a long way to help you get noticed and improve your reputation are:
- Facebook and Instagram ads: catering and event advertising. They are a very effective advertising alternative, since they allow you to reach the audience that really interests you thanks to the audience segmentations of these networks.
- Attractive website with quality information. Update your website periodically with valuable content. Publish information and photos of the events you cover, so you can show the type of service you can offer. Don’t forget to add information about your dishes, your prices, etc.
- SEO on your website. In addition to attractiveness, I work on semantics to make sure you appear in the first positions of search engines when someone is looking for a service like yours in your area. For this it is interesting to have an active blog (once a month would be good).
- Network of links (linkbuilding): exchange links with parallel and complementary services that you do not offer such as venue rental companies, wedding planners, etc. (Perhaps from this contact may arise some future collaboration …).
- Register in Google My Business so that your business profile appears when someone searches for information about you. Make sure to keep your contact information up to date, your schedule and to answer all the client reviews you receive.
- Promote your services in your social networks: share with your community your menus, your elaborations, your offers, pictures, videos… all kinds of information that can attract their attention.
- Send newsletters to your customers. Take advantage of your customer base to send them periodic newsletters with your offers. Add a form on the web and promote your newsletter to get new contacts.
- Share videos of your company, both on your website and on YouTube, and on all social networks. They should be professional videos, with an eye-catching message to capture the customer’s attention.
6. Don’t neglect offline marketing
Everything you generate on your website can be used to create advertising brochures that you can then distribute by mailing or leaving them in local businesses.
Depending on your target audience it may also be interesting to hire a radio spot on the local radio station or sponsor the festival book. The objective is to make yourself known in the spaces that your potential client frequents. If you did a good study as mentioned in point 1, you already know where they are hiding.
7. Look at the competition
As we mentioned before, in the catering world there is a lot of competition, so it is convenient that you carry out a study on what rival companies offer. The aim of your research should be to compare yourself with them and try to match or surpass them.
By studying the competition (their websites, their networks, their newsletters) you will discover what you have that makes you unique and you will be able to enhance it in your communication.
8. Create strategic alliances
Establish contact with other professionals whose services are complementary in social celebrations, such as photographers, musicians, entertainers, among others. Make sure you get a handful of their cards or brochures, and leave them yours.
This allows you to offer good references to the client who needs it and also creates a back and forth alliance of recommendations between you and the rest of the associated companies.
9. Evaluate all actions
All the actions you implement to make yourself known should be analyzed once they have been running for some time. Evaluate their performance and study how to improve them if necessary.
This is especially important when it comes to paid advertisements, since if they are not working, you will have to change your texts, images or even widen the segmentation you had established.
10. Stay ahead of the curve
To attract more customers for your catering company it is also very convenient that you know all the festive events that take place in your town every year. This way, you can present your proposal in advance, without waiting for them to request your services.
For example, advertise your Christmas menus from the beginning of December or announce that you will have a special menu available for catering company meals. Make a basic calendar and mark important dates so that your business is able to create needs for your customers.
Manage negative opinions on the networks about your catering company
Another important point to attract customers with your catering company is to maintain an excellent online reputation.
If you deploy all your potential in point 5( digitalmarketing ), it is normal that you start to receive favorable and not so favorable opinions in the form of comments on your networks or reviews on Google or other aggregators of catering services.
Although no one likes to receive a bad review after all the effort and effort put into an event, you must manage this type of negative comments in the best way.
Answer all opinions: good and bad. To the negative comments you should answer politely and respectfully and try to learn what went wrong in order not to repeat the mistake.
Having said all the above, we believe that you are ready to start attracting customers for yourcatering business and succeed. Put all our tips into action and you will see how, with a quality service, your company begins to gain visibility and start getting customers.