Catering is one tough business to crack.
The competition is immensely powerful and just being the best chef or having the most decorated platters won’t cut it in this industry. According to a report by IBIS World, the USA market size, measured by revenue was $13.4bn Caterers in 2020. To be able to stand out among the other caterers, marketing is a must.
The right marketing strategy can amplify your revenues and sustain a profitable business.
If you’re planning on plating up your catering business, here are 13 innovative and contemporary ideas that are proven successful to help you boost your food service.
1. Know Your Audience
The catering business is a service that is dependent on its quality. Taste is highly subjective and can differ from person to person. It is of utmost importance to know your target audience before commencing a food venture.
And once the targeted audience is decided, a background check is a must. It can range from their dietary preferences to religious restrictions. To attain the ultimate satisfaction of your customers, it is necessary to determine your prospective crowd.
2. Give Your Business An Official Website
In this Internet age where everybody finds everything online – from daycare to electronics, even groceries, your business must get digital and have an authorized presence on the net.
Having a website for your catering business can help create brand awareness. With an official website to its name, your audience will understand its legitimacy and can result in the growth of your potential customers.
Making a website is not as technical as it was earlier. There are many website-builders like
..and many more, which can help you start your website hassle-free.
Note: While WordPress is extremely useful for creating a website, it is also vital to have its security.
A good website can turn itself into a successful sales and lead generation tool. Your website should also be mobile friendly for enhanced user experience. Content posts like blogs, recipes, staff-introductory videos, previous catering service reviews should be included to make a quality website.
Catering businesses have a powerful tool of appearance that can be used in their favor. Photos of an elegant food platter can attract many new customers even before knowing the food. Food photography skills can prove to be a boon in this industry like a decorated dish that brings potential and strong leads for the business.
Set your website and catering business apart from your competitors by having a customized logo for your company. A logo can help in easy recognition and brand awareness. Investment in a graphically and visually appealing website and logo always proves to be fruitful, efficient, and productive.
3. Collaborating With Influencers
Influencer marketing is an upcoming strategy in marketing. Influencers already have a huge amount of followers on social media and other online platforms. Working with an influencer to promote your food business can directly target their set of audience.
Ranging from content blogs to review videos, brand awareness can be achieved. Their content is uploaded on various social media sites which can help in gaining more traffic to your website.
4. Digital Marketing For Flourishing Business
A successful website only works when digital marketing is done substantially.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term which includes strategies like content writing, graphic designing, Google Ads, Local SEO, and many more
For your targeted audience to find you on the SERPs, it is essential to rank on the top. This can be achieved systematically through tools like local SEO-friendly content, local map ranking, and local business listing.
By securing backlinks from another website increases the credibility of your web page and Google pushes your site at the top.
Guest posting can form a community of bloggers using their expertise to get instant traffic to your website. With the enhanced exposure, social media shares are stimulated which leads to the attainment of qualified leads. Using these tactics can form a community online that can help in building your food business and become a part of a network.
Google Ads is a required investment in digital marketing. You are only required to pay Google when a user clicks on your business ad. This technique is cost-effective and also proven to be successful for a local business.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a keyword-based digital marketing tool. Even though it might take some time to efficiently use it to get traffic and page views, it is crucial for the long-term development and marketing of your business. Keywords related to food or catering business can be used in the content in a free-flowing manner which makes a pleasant and informative read for your audience.
Once your website is well accustomed to SEO, you can invest in Pay-per-click (PPC) which is a great tool in reaching out to your potential customers. PPC is a fantastic tool, especially for new websites to convert viewers into paying customers.
Google Analytics is like a treasure of information; more like a report card for the working of your website. The various features of Google Analytics can help you understand the audience’s usage of your website, the page views, traffic, etc. through which you can make an informed decision about the future working of your website and optimize accordingly.
5. Email Marketing for Building Customer Relationships
Sending personalized emails to your existing and/or potential customers is a justified and an economical way of building customer relations. Emails can be sent to a list of customers through email marketing automation and service platforms like Mailchimp.
These emails can contain special offers, prices, menus, and even links to your website and social media platforms which can enhance the relevant traffic.
Email marketing can also be done to get the reviews and feedback from your customers regarding the catering service, the taste, hospitality, hygiene, and costing. These reviews are precious when formulating future decisions for your food business.
6. Social Media Presence for Better Reach
Social media platforms help your quality content in going viral. But a lot of work and strategies are required in being a highlight on social media. But if smart techniques are used, it can prove to be a highly efficient investment.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. can help your catering business build a community of your present and future customers. One can be in a constant connection with your suppliers and other complementary businesses like florists, bakery, event decorators, etc. These relations can be very helpful in getting new clients and makes it easier to get different job opportunities.
Facebook Business Manager can help in accessing all the advertising and marketing activities. It can help in creating a business page for your company, manage the Facebook Ads with detailed reports of their performances.
LinkedIn is another great platform for showcasing the work of your catering business, the process, the progress, the staff, the achievements which can build a portfolio to land new job events.
Presentation is pivotal for a catering business and this can be used on platforms like Pinterest which is an image-sharing platform. Quality photos of food items, recipes, previous catering events can be uploaded which can help create your brand and reach more and newer audiences.
YouTube is a fantastic video-sharing platform where you can have your food channel for your catering business, showcasing your unique recipes, staff introduction, success stories, etc. YouTube Partner Program helps in monetizing your channel after having fulfilled certain criteria.
Instagram is useful for getting exposure to your catering business. Hashtags have proven to be advantageous for a wider reach. Qualitative content and beautiful photos can help you go viral for an extensive influence.
7. Productive Referral Marketing
A referral marketing strategy can build a credibility pyramid of your customers and their connections. Once you’ve successfully established a strong relationship with your existing customers, you can engage them in referral programs. This strategy can be made persuasive with attractive headlines and effective offers that can benefit the business as well as your customers.
Referral marketing software can help simplify the process. Refer-a-friend helps in generating brand awareness for your catering business, higher retention of a customer, boosting sales, and earning more revenue.
The holiday season can encourage the referral marketing strategy. For example, the Christmas Referral scheme for the entire month of December. Not only does this promote your catering business but also creates a positive atmosphere for your customers.
8. Landing Page for Pitching to Your New Customers
The landing page is a specific means of bringing awareness to your content and business. It helps in promoting the company through call-to-action, and even accumulating the data of your customers like their names and e-mail address to increase conversions.
Through this marketing strategy, you can form a landing page for frequently asked questions (FAQs), bookings for future events, gift cards for the customer, etc.
They can be made for engaging by posting blog posts like, “5 things necessary for a catering business”, or “3 ingredient recipe for a quick dinner” that can increase page views.
The information collected through these landing pages can be useful in informing potential customers about new offers, discounts, updated menu, and prices, etc.
9. Find Potential Customers
To grow a catering business, it is essential to search for future clients and customers. This requires a study of your audience.
Always be on a lookout for new event venues that might be in a search for a catering business. Agreements with such event planners can help establish a long term business relationship. Food tasting can be held or complementary dishes can be provided to maintain a connection with your prospects.
Emailing your past clients can also help in landing job opportunities. You can offer them special deals or exclusive food items to gain future business.
Setting up Google alerts can help in looking for clients searching for a keyword related to your catering business. You can also keep a check on potential clients like couples who recently got engaged or soon-to-be parents through social media or past events who might require your services in the future.
10. Print Advertising
Even though this form of marketing is considered to be conventional, advertising in newspapers and magazines can prove to be efficient for local catering businesses.
An enticing ad copy for your food business, with engaging headlines and attractive photos, can help your business receive more job opportunities.
Print advertising can be done through newspapers, brochures, or pamphlets. Relevant information about your catering business like contact number, address, etc. should be mentioned for your customers. Business cards can help in generating word-of-mouth.
11. Affiliation With Local Restaurants and Businesses
Your catering business can grow by having a tie-up with a few well established local restaurants. Your best dishes and food platters can be leveraged for marketing your business to their customers. This increases your audience and also promotes your venture.
Local companies and businesses also need a catering service for their employees’ lunch requirements. Partnerships with such clients can ensure a stable and long term job opportunity.
12. Feedback and Testimonials for Future Clients
A systematic way of securing your clients’ reviews can help your future customers in making an informed decision. It not only builds up credibility but also promotes your business.
A separate page can be dedicated to the testimonials on your catering website for more visibility. Highlighted reviews on social media sites can help in increasing the client base. And constructive criticisms can always be appreciated in improving future activities.
13. List your Catering Business Online
Online directories can be an efficient investment in searching for a new client base.
Listing your food business online can help reach customers faster, enhanced exposure, and more visibility.
Potential clients can reach out to you through these directories and land successful job prospects.
We understand that the food business is an extensive field with a lot of competition. To survive in this industry, your catering business not only requires great taste, warm service, customer relations, and presentation skills but also the right kind of marketing.
Establishing an occupation of catering isn’t difficult if it is begun with the right strategies of marketing. Networking is an essential need for a food business to grow. With a mix of both- in-person and digital marketing, you can guarantee the success of your catering business.
Conquer the food business by marketing it and bring people together through the joy of food.