Not only is creating a delicious cuisine a challenge, there are many other aspects of running a business that must be tended to.
If you’re still building your company, these demands can seem overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are some long-time catering pros to look toward for inspiration on smart marketing.
Here are a variety of approaches that are being used to promote and market catering brands.
Begin with the Basics
Before diving into the newest best practices in today’s catering industry, let’s take a look at some of the basic strategies for marketing.
If you’re just beginning to build your clientele in the catering world, you should consider starting small, in order to establish your brand.
Some of the classic advertising options include print ads, sponsorships and TV commercials.
Depending on which avenue you take, remember that each has its own audience.
First, take into consideration your target audience. Once you have discovered your ideal clients, proceed with the tool that will reach them best.
Put yourself in the target audience’s shoes: how do they receive information best? This might lead you to go beyond the basics, taking into consideration social media platforms.
Utilizing Social Media
Once you understand your customers and their habits better, you can start taking advantage of technology and newer tools to reach them.
Well-established catering companies have a strong presence on the social media, posting photos of their products and services, while also engaging with current and potential customers.
Tech-savvy companies might even create their own app or partner with an app that allows mobile ordering and perhaps delivery.
Food photography has seen a huge increase across all users present on social media from your average joe online to restaurants and chefs.
These photos are an integral part of most social media platforms, and by inserting your business’s culinary experiences on social platforms, you can start capitalizing on their popularity.
Share the Knowledge
Today’s consumers love to learn things when they visit websites.
They want to educate themselves about where your ingredients come from or see recipes that the pros (you!) enjoy making and eating.
You should establish your company’s online presence with a website, of course, that includes your catering offerings or daily menu.
However, one of the first things to add next is a restaurant blog.
Readers can find helpful information there, and you can establish relationships that lead to more loyal customers.
If your success as a caterer continues to build, you might eventually consider getting involved with one of the national food services that match hungry customers with locally delivered food.
Sites such as Grubhub or Fooda have been growing quickly and adding more restaurants and caterers to their list of tasty cuisine providers.
If your company can handle the volume a delivery service might bring you, you certainly should investigate the option.
Many corporations and businesses have moved toward catering big luncheons and dinners, and these services are a great way to help you think outside of just catering large events and weddings.
This diversification can help bring your brand the awareness it needs.
These services are great options to keep in mind in order to build your clientele quickly and locally.
Look for Partnerships
Finally, many established caterers find great success by partnering with area venues for events.
If you can get on the preferred vendor list at local wedding venues, country clubs, hotels and event centers, you might see a huge increase in business.
Anyone planning an event at the venue will become familiar with your company name and may reach out to schedule a tasting.
Make sure you always do your best work at these locations, so you will be able to maintain relationships long term.
Ask the clients you meet at the events to share your name with anyone who needs creative cuisine for an occasion.
In order to run a successful catering business, you will have to push yourself and your team to become great marketing pros in addition to housing high-quality chefs.
By using social media platforms and finding new ways to leverage partnerships, your company’s name – and food – may be on more people’s lips.
Author Bio: Sarah Williams, a freelance writer who enjoys writing about food, the restaurant and hospitality industries, and the tech industry.