Many successful restaurants boost their bottom line with a robust catering business. However, it won't succeed unless you promote the fact that you offer catering options.
Growing corporate catering revenue requires professional business-to-business (B2B) selling skills, as well as a quality product. That includes making it clear online & elsewhere that you are in the business of catering. This can be a difficult task.
Your employees may have no experience in selling catering services. But if done correctly, your brand's catering message can be used in every area of your business, making it easier for employees to effectively communicate these services to customers.
If 80 percent of your customers live or work within a 10-minute drive of your restaurant, your store's physical location can serve as a key marketing tool for your catering business. In addition, try incorporating these 10 tips into your marketing plan to help grow your business:
1. Earn customer confidence with predictable and reliable services across all service channels & locations for your brand.
2. Focus on a great experience. All of your customer touch points must make the ordering experience predictable and easy.
3. For multi-unit restaurant operations, institute a centralized order entry point. This will ensure that your clients receive a consistent, controlled, and positive experience from team members who know the subtleties of your catering offerings and services.
4. Hire "catering specialists" where possible. Efficient, accurate order entry is most important when it comes to catering orders.
5. Follow up after each catering order with a call from your catering leader. Each customer will feel that their order is important to you and that they are receiving personalized service. Any unresolved issues may be addressed and future business discussed.
6. Conduct surveys and provide rewards to entice customers to take the survey while the experience is fresh in their mind. Ongoing research can provide you with valuable insight into why certain areas are not performing well.
7. Engage your customers regularly. Staying in contact with your customers on a regular basis keeps your service in front of their mind. Hire a catering sales team to maintain relationships and pursue new ones.
8. Remember to contact infrequent customers. These customers order less than once per month, but their next order could be a big one. It can be easy to forget to touch base with them, but you need to stay in regular contact with these individuals, particularly around the holidays & other scheduled big events.