Like most businesses, as a caterer, you’re looking to dominate your industry in a market filled with competition. In Toronto, when wedding season seems to last a few months, it takes a creative company to find new ways to generate revenue to ensure the “slow season” has a consistent revenue stream. Check out these 5 killer techniques you can employ to dominate your market.
Offer take-home catering to reap the benefits of a constant revenue stream during your low season
Take-home catering can be the solution you need to add a constant source of revenue throughout the year. With a culture that seems to be as fast paced as a NASCAR race, it’s not uncommon for consumers to pick up food from a restaurant, grocery store or a local catering company. What about those same consumers wanting to have friends over for a weekend gathering? By offering consumers the types of food they would pick up for a meal or a small event, you’re expanding your target market and positioning yourself as a go-to resource for meals and gatherings. Restaurants have expanded to offer take-home options – so why can’t you?
Negotiate an exclusive venue contract
In business, networking is an important facet of succeeding. The same is true with catering. Positioning your company alongside highly rated venues that suit your food style will not only help you gain more clients but also more industry contacts. Negotiating with a venue to become an exclusive caterer can be a competitive process but it can also help keep you busy year round. And while you will most likely have to pay dues to the venue, you have the added bonus of a venue’s marketing/sales staff spreading awareness about your catering company to all who want an event at their venue. To wet your feet with an exclusive catering contract, consider talking to new venues in the area as they may be more open to partnering with an exclusive caterer. Also make sure when searching for a venue you’d like to gain exclusivity with, to ensure that the venue hosts similar events to your culinary style – if you only cater weddings, and the venue only does corporate events for instance, your businesses may clash.
Launch a retail line of the food you’re most known for
Is there a hors d’oeuvre that leaves customers weak at the knees or a sweet treat that your customers rave about and order for their events time and time again? What about taking that best-selling item and launching a retail line with it? It’s a sure-fire way to expand your target market and broaden your reach to consumers who haven’t heard of your company before. It also ensures (assuming you keep the supply coming) that you’re able to have a consistent source of additional revenue. Restaurants have been doing this for decades and in our opinion it’s about time the culinary stars of catering grace consumers with their hit foods.
Broaden your footprint by offering educational cooking classes or team building for corporate events
Your most marketable skill (or that of your executive chef and culinary team) is your cooking skills. But everyone does not know how to cook. What about broadening your footprint in the market by offering educational cooking classes for the general public? It gets your name out there, provides value to potential customers and ensures your business and brand are first in their minds. Along the same lines of offering educational cooking classes, you could offer these as a form of team building for corporate events. Corporations are constantly looking for ways to build camaraderie that offers a new and exciting way to bond. Plus, they’re usually willing to pay more for the experience than a traditional consumer.
Promote attractive pricing for catering packages during the slow season for an uptick of weddings
Everyone likes a good bargain and with weddings costing a pretty penny (with the average price of a wedding ringing in at $27000), brides that aren’t set on a particular time of year would be more than willing to book in the off season to save money. Offering attractive pricing for catering packages during the slow season and promoting these packages can ensure you’re booking events during the slow season. Suddenly your business isn’t seasonal or cyclical in nature! To ensure you can offer lower pricing on catering packages, you need to ensure you have the best value on serving platters and other tabletop items.
Check out our tabletop catalogue detailing pricing, measurements and the serving pieces we stock to ensure your events are a success while not denting your bottom line.