When it comes to events, weddings and parties, the one thing that people cannot miss in their planning is food. That is probably why the catering business always seems to be in demand. As long as there are events for people to celebrate, the need for catering businesses is always going to be there.
According to “India Food Service Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2022-2027 “, a research study conducted by IMARC Group, the food service market in India is expected to grow by a CAGR of 12.50% during the years 2022 to 2027.
As new catering businesses are being set up in every corner possible, the extra competition may pose a threat for new businesses that do not have a strategic business plan to start and grow their business.
If you’re someone who wants to start a catering business, you do not need to worry anymore as we enlist some of the key marketing strategies that you can implement in your catering business to make it stand out from other similar business models.
It is marketing that helps to find your customers, and let them know who you are and what you have to offer so that they could reach you to satisfy their catering needs. It is therefore essential that you focus on marketing your catering business in an effective manner in order to give it maximum exposure and increased sales.
Market Strategies For Your Catering Business
The type of marketing strategies used by businesses differ based on the type of product or service they offer, their target audience, what they aim to achieve, etc.
Many people think that they can use the marketing strategies of one type of business for another type and get similar results but that is not always the case. For example, you cannot use the marketing strategies used for a restaurant for your catering business and hope to succeed in a similar manner. This doesn’t work since the target audience for both businesses is quite different from each other.
Hence the marketing strategies used to attract those different sets of the target audience should also be different.
Strategize Your Catering Business
The following are some of the key ways to strategise your catering business to attract more of your ideal business based on what they are looking for and what product or service you can offer them.
1. Based On The Catering Business
Here are a few marketing strategies that you can implement directly in your catering business to increase sales, and customers, earn profits, etc.
Local Marketing Is The Way To Go
When it comes to a catering business, the place you are located could be your biggest source of marketing. Set up your catering business in a place where people might visit often or the footfall of people is more. Make the existence of your business known to these people through a large signage board that has the name of your business, your logo and brand design.
Give out pamphlets, visiting cards, etc to people walking by and also to businesses that might need your catering service such as event management companies, wedding halls, etc.
Give Your Catering Brand A Refreshing Look
Branding is one of the most powerful marketing tools out there for any kind of business. Know who your target audience is and give your brand a look that makes them feel connected with it. Use colours that resonate with what you have to offer in your brand name and logo.
An Effective Website Is A Must
Websites are a powerful medium to get more sales. Having a professional website that is designed to drive sales and generate leads can be a great tool to get more customers that want your catering service.
Hire a web designer to create a website that matches your brand with easy to navigate user interface. Enlist all important details of your business including your name, business address, menu, pricing catalogue, etc to make it easier for people to get to know about your business.
Post testimonials of people you have worked with, pictures of your food, blog posts on relevant topics, etc to attract the attention of your target audience and get more sales.
That One Menu Item Can Make A Difference
When it comes to a catering business, food is the hero of the company. Having at least one mouth drooling food item instead of a couple of food items that are average on the palette helps to drive more repeat customers.
Design your menu in such a way that the type of food you offer is unique when compared to foods offered by other catering companies. The food could be of different cuisine, have a different style of cooking or presentation, be nutrition oriented, use only organic ingredients, etc.
Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads
Running digital ads is an effective way to gain customers from across different places and not just from your local crowd. Google, Facebook and Instagram are potential online places where you can find your desired target audience.
You do not need to worry about creating ads on your own from scratch or spend a lot of money to hire a digital marketer. Use Zocket to create hypertargetted Google, Facebook and Instagram ads for your business within minutes without having to go through any hassle or struggle.
With just a few clicks you can create ad campaigns that draw the attention of the right kind of people, increase conversion for your website and analyse your ads to optimise the content based on its performance. Zocket helps you create the right ads that help to take your business to the next level.
Use Social Media
Social media platforms are used by people of all kinds on a day-to-day basis. Hence it is very important that you make your presence online known through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
These platforms help you connect with your target audience directly. You can post pictures of your food, the event that you’re serving at, customer feedback, etc on your post to let customers know what you do with your business.
You can also collaborate with other businesses such as event managers through social media to grow your business.
Focus On Repeat Business
Businesses usually need to spend more on getting new businesses than on retaining existing ones. This is because new customers may not know who you are and may struggle to trust you while existing customers already know about you and may not need much incentive to hire you for your catering service again.
Here are certain ways by which you can get more repeat customers:
- Give people a discount if they hire you for more than one event
- Create an email newsletter list and send out tips to event organisers around holidays or periods where the frequency of events being hosted could be more like during Christmas, New Year, etc
- Give your loyal customers free samples of your new menu
2. Based On Your Customers
Here are a few marketing strategies that you can apply to your customers to get more sales.
Build Trust With Your Clientele
Building trust is not an easy task but it is trust that will help customers choose you over other catering businesses. Hence your business and brand must be built around creating this trust amongst the potential target audience.
Be upfront about your business and what you have to offer. Know your customers and design your service around what they want. Make sure to deliver what you promise. This way people trust your business and spread the word about it to more people who might need your catering service.
Don’t Lose Out On Walk-in Customers
In general, for a catering business, most of the order booking happens through the phone or their website but that doesn’t mean that people won’t walk into your catering office to book their order.
Always have your staff trained on how to handle walk-in customers. Let them know about what possible questions that clients may have for them and how to answer them. Having well-trained staff members lets your customers know that they are dealing with professionals and that they can trust you to handle the catering for whatever event they need the food for.
Reward Customers Who Refer Others To Your Business
Even though getting repeat customers is great, you need to get new customers in order to expand your business to other territories. You can do so by asking your existing customers to refer your business to other people. Whenever you manage to successfully book an order through referrals, you can reward the customer who referred you through a voucher, gift card, etc.
Tastings And Open Houses
Hosting tasting and open houses is a great way to book multiple clients at a time. You can look for businesses that are about to host events, couples that are about to be married, etc and let them know about your tasting event.
You can line up the dishes that you offer with your catering service and let them have a taste. Once people have a taste of your menu they will be better able to decide if they want to book an order with you.
Further, you can give out pamphlets, brochures and visiting cards to let people further know about your business.
A Vast Menu Filled With Different Varieties To Choose From
Having a static menu can be quite boring sometimes especially when fifteen other catering businesses offer the same type of food. With such a limited menu, your potential customer list is also going to be limited.
Instead have a large menu that includes different types of food like traditional and regional food, snack items, western culture foods, hors d’oeuvres, etc. This way you can cater to a large set of audiences and for different types of events.
Why Partnerships Are A Good Idea For Catering Businesses
A catering business is usually hired for an event and hence may have to work along with other companies. This might be quite beneficial for a catering business. You can partner up with even management and organiser businesses so that every time they are booked to organise an event and that event requires food, they can hire your services and vice versa. This way you can get more businesses with lesser marketing expenses.
A catering business is a little bit different from other food service businesses since people do not walk in every day to get one meal of their food instead catering businesses have to deal with bulk ordering and people only look up caterers when there is an event. This does not mean that catering businesses earn less than any other food service business.
They can earn more in a day with the right marketing strategies and campaigns. So, if you’re a catering business owner make use of the best marketing strategies and implement them with Zocket to strike more deals!