Marketing Your Services to the Community
Marketing your catering services to the community in which you are based is an important part of running a successful catering business. Without effective marketing, consumers won't know that you exist and will be unable to hire you to cater their next event.
Reward Word of Mouth Recommendations
The most effective way that your catering company will get off the ground and become a successful and in-demand venture is through word of mouth recommendations. When a consumer has an experience with your catering company that he or she appreciates, that customer will be more likely to recommend your services to friends and acquaintances in the future. You can help this word of mouth advertising along by offering rewards to customers that recommend your services to others.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to offer kick-back rewards to your customers. If they recommend your catering company to a friend, and that friend hires you for an event, you can give the original customer a percentage refund on their original event. You may also choose to give customers discounts on their next catered event if they tell their friends about your services.
Create a Recognizable Brand
If your catering company is going to be recognizable throughout a community of potential customers, you must create a recognizable brand. Branding a company is one of the hardest parts of effective marketing. Your business will need a logo, website, business cards, flyers, uniforms that feature your catering company's logo, and other marketing products. When you cater an event, guests at the event will take note of the food you serve and the professionalism with which your employees serve that food. Then, when they need a caterer, they will remember your company and seek you out. If, however, you don't have business cards or uniforms that feature your logo and company name, potential customers will be less likely to remember who catered the event.
Of course, one great way to market your services to a community is simply to advertise your business. There are many different ways to advertise catering services in a particular community. You can take out an ad in a local newspaper, on a local radio station, or place your contact information in the phone book or Yellow Pages. You can also develop a successful advertising presence online by using social media, search engines, and even directing consumers to your catering website. Advertising must be a lifelong investment for your company; constantly communicating with potential customers will keep your business fresh in their minds.
Offer Comp Services for Community Events
One great way to advertise your business and also give back to the community is to offer complementary services at charity events and nonprofit events. Simply lending a set of dishes or preparing a complementary appetizer for a public event will help to create a great relationship between your catering company and the consumers in your area.
Starting a catering company can be a slow process, but by using these small marketing endeavors, you can increase consumer awareness and build up a list of returning customers.