Restaurants are often plagued with an inevitable, rotating cycle of slow business versus high restaurant traffic. Business owners search for ways to balance these periods to help ensure adequate restaurant profit at all times. Event catering is a great way to start. It has a major advantage of allowing business owners to choose when to take on events, increasing restaurant profit and workload, while exposing guests of the event to the culinary skills of the kitchen staff, thereby providing restaurant marketing. However, at times of high restaurant traffic, even catering can make running a restaurant and catering service simultaneously a very hectic task. By staying organized businesses can manage wearing both hats.
Catering Ideas for Restaurants
Many of the event-throwers who will choose a restaurant as their catering service will be drawn to the idea by their observation of the restaurant’s menu and staff’s culinary skills. Therefore, some of the same dishes should be offered on both the restaurant menu and the catering menu. However, as with all event catering, style of plating and event type will have to be taken into consideration. If the event is a Bar Mitzvah or a sweet sixteen, for example, dishes that will appeal to young, amateur palates should be offered, whereas for an executive event, gourmet delicacies are more likely to be accepted and enjoyed. Similarly, an executive event will often have a higher budget per plate than wedding catering, defining the possibilities for the catering menu.
In terms of restaurant staff, those with excellent plating skills should be present at the event if food is being served by individual plating. Though this may be seen as a downside for coping with restaurant traffic in-house during the event, since event catering is a great restaurant marketing opportunity, the quality and presentation of the food is crucial. Businesses hoping to increase restaurant business through event catering will likely have to hire more staff for each shift, allowing some workers to focus on the event, while others handle restaurant traffic. The increase in restaurant business and restaurant profit will make it worth having more staff on shift. During slow restaurant traffic, cooks and chefs will be able to make the most of their shift by preparing foods that are the building blocks of the catering menu. For this reason, having adequate freezer and refrigerator space is crucial for juggling both event catering and running a restaurant. By drafting lists of responsibilities and requirements for both the restaurant and event catering, employees can stay on top of preparing and executing both components of the business.
Though event catering can be a great way to increase restaurant business while upping restaurant profit and restaurant marketing, it is important for chefs and restaurant owners to know when to say no. When restaurant traffic gets extremely high, event catering may get in the way of providing the highest quality service and food in a restaurant. When saying yes, however, staying organized and having more staff on shift for preparations can help event catering raise restaurant profit and increase restaurant business in the present and the future.