Expanding your restaurant business into catering can help you reach new customers and operate with greater confidence.
These days, restaurants need more than one way of serving their customers. From dine-in to take-out and drive-thru, restaurants are maximizing their efforts to reach more customers.
Now that life is returning to normal, group gatherings are becoming more and more frequent. Offering a catering menu not only boosts your profits but also increases your brand awareness.
Let’s look at the benefits of offering catering and what you need to do to create a successful catering menu.
More Customers Means More Revenue
Catering an event opens the door to more opportunities for your business to bring in extra cash. Whether it’s a wedding, a business meeting, a party or graduation, large groups need a large amount of food to feed their growling stomachs. Also, everyone loves the convenience of delivery, so having the ability to deliver to these events is also a huge money maker and will only draw more customers to your business.
Offering a catering menu gives you access to more profit during slower business hours or days when your business might be closed, such as holidays. Some customers don’t like to cook for the holidays. This means, your business can step in, provide them with great food, and boost sales during less profitable times.
Increase Brand Awareness with a catering menu
Along with additional revenue, adding catering options to your menu provides greater exposure to your business. Capitalize on catering with branded materials such as signage, disposables, take away menus and delivery uniforms. The goal is to make sure your customers know who is catering their event.
When your restaurant offers catering, you’re able to reach more potential guests and convert them into regular loyal customers. Catering lets customers get a taste of your menu who may not have heard of your restaurant. Don’t forget to mention your loyalty program to your new catering customers. Let them know you are looking forward to serving them again!
Know Your Catering Menu Strategy
Consistency is important. Your catering menu strategy needs to focus either on plated dishes or buffet style. Plus, keeping the menu simple and offering one size of catering platters streamlines the cooking and packaging process.
Make sure to include a few top selling items off your restaurant’s existing menu. Reason being? As a restaurant owner, you already have established relationships with your loyal customers who would likely choose your service over working with a restaurant brand they did not know. Those who frequent your restaurant know their favorite menu items. So, when it’s time for them to throw a party, they know which menu items will be a sure hit.
If you have the space, enough staff, enough inventory, and delivery capability, there is no reason why your restaurant should not add a catering menu.
Need Help Getting Started?
In this episode of Yelp’s Restaurant Marketing School Podcast, our very own Vice President of Marketing Andy Rosenbloom and Michelin-rated restaurateur Josh Kopel, unpack best practices for booking more and maximizing the profitability of your catering and event programs.
Ready to boost your profits and add catering to your restaurant? We are here to help you every step of the way. Dining Alliance members get access to food and non-food savings programs such as meat, produce, seafood, dairy, and linens. Even better? Our cutting-edge data and technology can provide you with purchasing insights into your business, so you can reduce costs and increase efficiency.
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