Catering is providing food and drink at a social gathering as a professional service. Many restaurants offer this service to increase income and boost their customer base. Catering has many moving parts, so it’s important to feel confident about taking on this challenge before launching large-order capacities at your establishment.
Do you have an established customer base?
As a restaurant owner considering moving into catering, one of the first things you should ask yourself is, “Do I have an established customer base?” When you cater, you should always provide a consistent experience with your in-house dining. Your customers know how good you are when they come in and expect that same quality when they choose you to cater their event, be it a Super Bowl party or a business meeting at your restaurant.
Offer package deals for large parties looking for carryout
With that in mind, offering party trays on your carry out menu is an excellent solution that allows customers to enjoy the delicious meals from your establishment in the comfort of their own home. It’s important to design a menu that appeals to large gatherings with ample options for salads, proteins and sides. Take Buffalo Wild Wings and Chick-fil-A, for example: they offer staple menu items (“trays” or “bundles”) that customers can choose from.
Do you have the resources?
Expanding catering services requires a comprehensive strategy to ensure success. Utilize existing loyal customer networks to create word-of-mouth promotions and gain new customers. Additionally, take advantage of digital channels like social media, websites, and email newsletters to market your new service for increased visibility on various platforms.
Print distribution methods, such as informational pamphlets, are also great for advertising catering. A well-crafted collection of marketing tactics is essential for catering to success and reaching a maximum audience.
Can you deliver?
Delivery is a huge part of catering. Can your top menu items be made in bulk without losing quality and be able to travel well? Food safety is essential to having a successful catering business to ensure no one gets sick. This means keeping hot and cold foods separate and placed in insulated bags to maintain a safe food temperature.
If your menu items can be made at the event venue, even better.
Can you offer additional services?
When catering for an event or special occasion, customers expect a full-service catering provider that directly brings all the elements of their special day to them. As a restaurant owner, consider offering catering services that include food and drink catering, tablecloths, silverware, and glassware to provide customers with the convenience of a one-stop shop.
If this is something you cannot offer yourself, partnering with another local business to provide those extra services is an option for meeting customer expectations and adding value to your catering service offerings.
Choose the right POS system with DCRS
It is no secret that restaurant owners need to be as efficient and organized as possible. With the right POS system, restaurants can quickly and successfully integrate online ordering for large parties or orders. This is an invaluable capability when catering to certain types of customers, such as business meetings or special events that require quick and accurate communication between servers, customers, and the restaurant staff. The ability to receive big orders through a reliable source not only extends customer convenience but also helps enhance overall customer satisfaction. Additionally, having a POS system that allows kitchens flexibility in their order tracking processes increases efficiency so that staff can consistently produce amazing dining experiences.