Whether you’re just starting out and you seek to kick-start sales from zero, or indeed if you might have had to adapt a bit to account for a different business environment we’re all forced to operate under, here are some handy hints to help you promote your catering business.
Establish direct order channels
Whatever else you might be doing to promote your business, the one thing you have to make sure of is that you have established direct order channels. What that means is that if someone needs your services, whether just to take up delivery of a certain dish you sell or if they need your catering service for an event, they should be able to complete the order in just one step. So prospective clients should either be able to pick up the phone to place the order (or make a query about a quote), or they should be able to complete their order through some kind of online portal.
So be sure to print flyers, as this traditional method of marketing still works for this kind of business. Hand out business cards to anybody that has hands…
Run or host an event
Nothing demonstrates your ability to offer good catering services quite like actually doing so! If you are hoping to run a 6 foot party sub business, for example, you need to be able to show your ability to host an event that includes the product. If you have to forego your regular profit just once or twice, in the name of getting your offering out there, so be it! Options are aplenty with regards to how you could go about approaching this practical portfolio building exercise, such as offering conference catering to a big business summit that’s coming up in your area. Events like this have lots of guests, so even if you don’t manage to make a profit, you’ll still have advertised yourself as a quality caterer to hundreds if not thousands of people. Taking opportunities like this to showcase your catering service will mean many of the guests who attend will be interested to know your details for the future.
One of the best ways of creating customers in the catering business is by giving out free samples and then establishing channels for paid orders, going forward. It works like a charm, because prospective customers subsequently know exactly what they can expect should they go ahead and “re-order” from you. Gift fruit baskets and samples along those lines work wonders to introduce prospects to your array of offerings.
Partner up with corporations
Knock on enough doors and your catering business can be set for life, as you target corporations to partner up with. Corporations are always happy to delegate catering services to dedicated professionals, so your catering business could make a killing covering corporate do-s for which you might even be satisfied catering to without displaying your branding.
Get a website created
Everything mentioned above as part of what you can do to promote your catering business should be accessible through one central platform at the very least. That would have to be a your specialised catering website, through which prospects can get information, get in touch with you to place an order, get a quote, view your service catalogue and generally just get a good idea of what you have to offer.