About the Author

Founder of BizziEvents, Matt is passionate about all thing events and is on a mission to help event planners create exceptional events by reducing the time it takes to find incredible vendors.

How to generate more catering clients

You as a catering business owner, know that how much you spend generating new clients can make or break your business. Catering remains a vital part of any corporate or private event. Decor may not be remembered, but catering is something that is spoken about time and time again.

With so many options for advertising on the market, we have provided, in detail, 8 ways you can increase revenue and profits for your catering business.

8 ways to get more revenue and profits as a caterer

1. Contact Your Local Venues

If there is one thing we know, it is events. Often venues that host events have in-house catering, however not all do. Getting in touch with every wedding venue, corporate event venue and function centre will be a way to potentially get yourself added to a recommended partner list. If you have the ability, offer some of the venues free catered lunch, or take a leaf out of Gordan Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmare and walk around between offices with your catering and offer it out to the professionals at lunch time.

2. Reach Out Online

Find your local business chambers, facebook groups and businesses. Get in touch with all of them and offer them something small, like a discount. If you have a large city, you could go a step further and create an event and invite everyone to attend. Make sure you are following the event best practices, generate enough RSVPs and give people a reason to attend.

Your local online groups are how word of mouth spreads. 

3. Leverage Social Media

If the rise of billionaire social media icons is anything to go off, it is that you can make money leveraging social media. You don't need to be a super star, instead you should be thinking about what your customers would want to learn. 

Start small and post information about you and your business, before scaling up to behind the scene videos, instructional videos and even interviews and case studies. 

You don't need a $3,000 camera to get started, you have your phone and your experience.

4. Improve your Web presence

When was the last time you looked at your website through the eyes of a customer? Never? Well you better start now.

There are plenty of ways you can increase your web presence. Search Engine Optimisation is where your website is shown in the search results when people are looking for your services. How often you show, and on what page depends on your website. So make sure it is fast, has enough information about what you do, where you are and how you help, and ensure it works on mobile.

Consider writing a blog on your website, or include recipes that people ask you about. Provide additional support and resources that your customers might find interesting. If you are great behind a camera you could even film some instructional YouTube videos too! 

Google also has Google My Business, which can show your profile in the Google Maps results section. This is a free tool you can use to amplify your web presence.

There are also free sites where you can list your business and get it in front of corporate event planners. Sites like BizziEvents are dedicated to helping connect event planners with vendors like you faster, and are completely free to generate unlimited bookings.

5. Pay for Advertising

Chances are you are getting phone calls every day (and night!) from people claiming to be calling on behalf of search engines, or offering you special deals to manage your social media. While these businesses are often built off sales rather than great customer service, they do have a point. There are hundreds of ways you can pay for advertising.

The three types of advertising you can pay for include:

  1. Pay Per Exposure
  2. Pay Per Membership
  3. Pay Per Lead
  4. Pay Per Sale

Pay Per Exposure Advertising

This type of advertising will charge you on anything from placing an ad in an industry paper, to a view on LinkedIn, to a click on  Google. There are never any guarantees that come with this, besides you paying out a sum of money. Getting started in this type of advertising takes time, dedication and expertise that not many small businesses have. 

While we do recommend some blends of this form of advertising, you should be consulting professionals when investing in exposure based advertising.

Pay Per Membership Advertising

This is where you might pay to be listed on a website. For example you could pay to be on the white pages. This often comes at a cost to you and no guarantee of anything except you getting charged on time and potentially an auto-renewal contract. 

The only way you should be paying for memberships is if there is a great opportunity to get in front of your potential audience. For example, you could contact one of the Executive Assistant networks in your area or state and talk about advertising packages and sponsorships. This could result with you being connected with EAs in the area.

Converse to this, we do recommend you place your business on any revelant free website that is going to get you infront of the right people. For this, we recommend listing your catering business on the BizziEvents Platform for free. This will ensure your listing is in front of corporate event planners who are looking for anything from in-office catering, to conferences and product launch catering.

Pay Per Lead Advertising

This is where you list your services on a website similar to Bark.com. Bark is a website where public and professionals go to find anything from plumbers, to accountants to caterers. Joining Bark is free, however they work on a credit system, where you buy credits that are used to respond to public requests for help. BizziEvents has used Bark to find suppliers and to find clients and if you join using our link  you will receive 2 free responses

Our hot tip for pay per lead services: be quick when a lead comes in. If you respond first your chances of winning that new customer increase. If you are savvy with technology you can even use Zapier to automatically accept and contact each new lead that comes through.

Other pay per lead advertising can include affiliate marketers, however you need to be careful they are abiding by SPAM laws and obtaining their data from ethical sources.

Pay Per Sale Advertising

Often this will require you paying a set amount for every new business that is generated, or a commission. Some businesses might charge either you or your customer up to 25% of the sale amount as a finders fee. These types of businesses are often referred to as marketplaces, and unless you find one that offers unlimited free enquiries like BizziEvents, you are going to be risking unprofitable orders. 

6. Look into your own database

When was the last time you called someone who wasn't an active order? Chances are you might have some contacts who are no longer working at that business, or they simply forgot to give you a call and ended up with another caterer.

Call back every single person who has previously purchased with you. Have 15 minutes spare? Call someone. 

Beyond purchasers, contact everyone who ever enquired with you. Chances are if they hosted one event, they will be wanting to host another in the future. 

Who knows, you might even get a new referral out of it. 

7. Ask for referrals

Referrals are the underserving hero of small businesses. It is how we grew to what we are today and a strategy that is so simple anyone can do it. 

The steps to asking for a referral is simple:

  1. Speak to a client, prospect or ex-client
  2. At the end of the conversation or email, ask them directly about who you would recommend their service to
  3. Take notes, thank the person and contact the new referral

If you are uncomfortable, you can also offer a reward to customers who do this. Consider creating a discount just for top referrers or sending out a nice thank you card. 

8. Take Professional Photos

There is nothing that can detract from a business more than poor quality photos of your product. For social media your phone is fine, but for your product and service you need to consider everything from lighting, to the background, centrepieces and feature items and colour. Ensuring the photos you are using to promote yourself are high enough quality is paramount to getting more business. This isn't going to get more people to look at your business, but it is going to ensure those that do, are more likely to buy from you.

Consider when you use UberEats and see some food images are in low light, covered in oil or in a dirty background. Do you ever order from these places as a first choice? 


Generate more revenue on the BizziEvents Platform

Join hundreds of corporate event vendors who are listing their services.

Whether you support with conferences, in-house events, workshops or product launches, get in-front of more event planners to generate more revenue for your business.

Best of all, it is completely free for vendors to generate unlimited bookings. 

$0 Sign Up. $0 per Enquiry. 0% Commission.

As it should be.

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