Catering is used for many different events such as weddings, birthdays, and business meetings. COVID-19 changed the way restaurants operate, but catering is a way for restaurants to continue serving their communities. Many businesses are learning to pivot their business models to adapt to these circumstances. We suggest a few ways to make your catering business successful, so read on to learn more.
Keep Things Sanitary
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 changed the world. Although the food industry has always prioritized sanitary work conditions, people are more observant about cleanliness than ever. It’s important that the employees and customers feel safe during an interaction. There are various steps businesses can take to ensure a sanitary environment. To start, make sure that employees are properly dressed. Employees should wear a clean uniform every day. A dirty uniform gives off the vibe that you don’t care about how your business is portrayed. It’s also important to follow the CDC’s guidelines. Employees should wear a mask when interacting with other individuals to protect themselves and others.
To keep things as sanitary as possible, offer serving utensils with the food. Since more than one person is likely enjoying this meal, it’s helpful to supply serving utensils. If you make hand-held food, consider individually wrapping each food item. This ensures that people aren’t touching all the food on accident. You might have to modify your menu or packaging, as well.
Make sure that the vehicle you use to deliver the food is clean, as well. Wipe down the vehicle after each use to ensure it’s clean. Make sure to transport the food carefully so that it isn’t spilling all over. It’s also important to make sure the packaging it clean and on correctly. You want to make a first impression, so make sure everything is clean and presentable.
Offer Great Customer Service
If you want a successful catering business, you must offer great customer service. Many different restaurants offer catering, so keep that in mind. You want to give customers an experience so good that they don’t want to go anywhere else. The key to good customer service is communication. Make sure you are communicating with the customer from start to finish. When they place their order, send them a confirmation email. This is an opportunity for them to see what they ordered. If there’s a mistake, or they want to modify their order, this gives them the opportunity to do so.
It’s also a good idea to communicate with them on the day of the delivery or pick-up. This gives them peace of mind that the food is on the way or ready to go. If you deliver the food, make sure that it’s delivered on time. Keep the food at the correct temperature until it gets to its destination. You want everything to arrive as it should to ensure that the customer is happy.
Make High-Quality Food
People choose restaurants based on their food. Customer service and price point play a factor, but the food is what brings people back. When someone orders food for catering, it’s because they love the food. You want to make sure that the food you prepare is high-quality. Aside from quality, you also want to offer some variety. For example, many people are vegetarian or vegan. It’s a good idea to offer vegan or vegetarian options for those folks.
You also should try to offer unique dishes for people to try. If you are hesitant to make something a permanent part of the menu, offer specials. You can change the specials daily, weekly, or seasonally. Specials are a great opportunity to see what your customers like. If people absolutely love the special you prepare, you might consider making it part of the menu permanently.
If you’re new to catering, consider making a menu specifically for catering. Some food items don’t travel well, such as a burger or sandwich. Consider offering something that does travel well. If you only sell single items, consider offering family-style for catering. The food should taste just as good catered as it does in the restaurant, so modify your menu as necessary.
Advertise Your Business
Advertising your business is one of the best ways to make your catering business successful. If you want to be successful, you must reach as many people as possible. Think about how many people currently eat at your restaurant—now think of how many people don’t. You can easily advertise your business to reach the people who aren’t customers yet. One way to advertise your business is in the local paper. Many homes get the local paper, so there’s a great opportunity there. Reach out and try to secure an interview. This would provide a space to talk about what makes your business unique.
Another amazing way to reach new customers is with social media. Social media is a free way to advertise. You simply make your business an account and post regularly. Put your username on your menu, so people can follow you. You can also pay for sponsored content, which reaches even more people. On your social media, you can post about specials. You can also post about your employees or the history of your business. This is a great opportunity to connect with people and tell your story.
Offer Your Own Delivery
To reach as many people as possible, consider offering your own delivery. Third-party delivery services leave a lot up to chance. What if it takes too long to deliver? What if the food gets delivered to the wrong address? What if the delivery person accidentally drops the food on the way to the front door? Anything can happen. If you want to have control over how the food gets delivered to the customer, it’s best to do it yourself. This also allows you to deliver to anyone that’s interested. Some delivery services only deliver to customers within a certain radius. Offering your own delivery allows you to decide who can order.
At Emerald Transportation Solutions, we can help you find the ideal refrigerated delivery vehicle for your operation. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions, as we’re happy to help.