Marketing is an essential element of any successful business and catering is no exception. How you market your company will be affected by the service that you offer, the clientele you wish to reach and how you envisage your company growing and developing in the future.
Catering company marketing needs to reach your target audience and encourage them to believe that you are the best option in your market sector. Following these simple ideas will help your create the image and customer response that you desire and aid in making your business popular and profitable.
What Does Your Sign Say About You?
Whether it is above a shop or on the side of a company vehicle your signage is often the first thing people see, and it should speak volumes about who you are as a company and what service you offer. It would be of little advantage to your company if your main product is hamburgers and you have pictures of carrots on your sign; similarly if you are aiming to cater children’s parties then balloons and clowns are more appropriate than a hanging side of beef. Signage should be, above all, appropriate, clear and memorable.
Are You Proud of Your Product?
Hopefully the answer is yes; in which case you need to let other people know why you are proud of this product and the easiest way to do this is to let them have a taste. By taking samples of your product to food fairs, exhibitions or even setting up your own tasting events, you are beginning to link people’s senses together. When they see you signage or logo they will remember the taste of your product, and this is some of the best advertising you can get; especially when they become customers and pass their positive experience on to their friends and family. Providing samples also lets you test new recipes or menu ideas and gain feedback quickly and honestly, as you will be able to see the customers’ reaction to the taste.
Does the Public Know You Exist?
You could have the greatest business idea in the world, but if people don’t know you exist you will never survive as a business. The key to advertising is knowing your intended audience and being able to reach them. If you are providing a product to the restaurant trade, then you will want to concentrate your efforts on advertising in trade magazines and taking the time to visit restaurants and talk to chefs. If your business idea is events catering then you will need a different approach; concentrating on working alongside other companies that provide events services, such as; marquee rental, entertainment and even clean up services will put you in the right place. You can also take a more direct approach and leave flyers at playgroups for children’s parties or at colleges if you want to take on sweet sixteen or graduation parties. Producing flyers also allows you to provide special offers and gain some understanding as to whether your marketing strategy is working.
Are You Connected?
The importance of being accessible in the virtual world of the internet cannot be over stated. Having a website allows you to keep you business fresh and up to date. You can easily provide customers with; information about your business ethos, its location, pricing, special offers and changes to your products or menus. A website can be a source for sharing information and tips with potential customers and other businesses, and adding forums, blogs and comments pages can give you a real insight into how well your company is being received. The web also allows you to reach a much wider national and international audience.
Possibly the most important element to marketing and growing your catering business is looking after your customers. A happy customer is the best type of advertising; they will return to use your business again, they will tell their friends and family about your services, and hopefully they will post good reviews on your website. Looking after your customers is key to your businesses future and should be easy to do; if you have a good, reliable product or service, excellent, friendly staff and are open and honest with the customer, it will be difficult to fail.