Catering is a competitive field. Just do a quick Google search for #catering companies in your area and dozens, if not hundreds, of companies will come up. How do you make your company stand out from all the noise and competition in the field?
1) Study your competition. Most companies neglect this basic step. Educating yourself on your field is a lifelong process. Most companies will stop doing their research once they’ve gotten their first foot in the door. This is a rookie mistake. Leading companies are always looking at what their competitors are doing. How are they #marketing their services? What branding techniques are they using? What are there price points? This gives you the competitive edge to step ahead of your competition and allows you to remain the most innovative in the field!
2) Start a compelling blog. Now, almost every catering company has a blog. But is it interesting and valuable to an audience? Rarely. Putting out information doesn’t add to your #business if it isn’t of quality. Spend real time investing in your blog and put out content that actually helps your audience. Become an indispensable force in your audience’s life. If you’re going to spend the time to put out content for your business, do it right.
3) Network in the right places. Many caterers network within the catering community. While this is useful, #networking with other caterers doesn’t bring in new clients to your company. Network with people in other related industries. Get to know people in event venues, bridal shops, floral shops, golf clubs and other places within the events and hospitality industries. Every caterer should become very close with an event planner. These are the people that will be hiring you and bringing you the bulk of your new clientele. Get creative with your networking. Throw a launch party and invite people in the industries that can potentially bring you new business! Bring value to others and it will always be reciprocated.
4) Get personal. Other businesses are too vulnerable to show the backend of what it takes to run a catering business. But, we’ll tell you the most valuable secret to marketing in this decade: people like to see the “behind the scenes.” Use your hard work behind the scenes as a marketing strategy. Create a video channel and document the steps it takes to cater an #event. Tell your brand story and why you’re doing what you do. People, including your potential clients, develop attachments to businesses they can relate to!
5) Deliver your mail. Believe it or not, menu mailers are still effective. Most businesses have neglected direct mail for digital alternatives. Creating a visually appealing mailer and delivering it to offices and #corporate spaces can land you great business. Go a step further than everyone else and include a tiny gift while delivering your mail. This can be a simple food package. Go another step further and deliver your package by hand!
Author: Hager Eldaas