You may be new to the catering business or perhaps you are simply interested in stepping up your marketing efforts. Whatever your situation, the following tips will help you to build key relationships with local people and businesses in your area and take your catering business to the next level.
Hit the Road
It’s time to get out of the shop and into the streets and mingle with your customer base. Numerous opportunities abound for you to build brand awareness for your local catering. Set up at local festivals and events. Or rent a space at farmer markets, flea markets, art events, or where ever hungry people gather. There are also services online to create greater awareness like EZ Cater. These kind of services are poised to take up increased market share as more customers are looking for quick solutions.
The key is to get your food in the stomachs of as many potential clients as possible. People may have a hard time remembering names and faces, but they will always remember where good or unique food comes from.
Your first priority is to have a website. It is your branding hub and a springboard for all your other online marketing strategies. You’re in an industry where customers are very social online, sharing content and discussing food experiences with their friends online. What better way to take advantage of that than with social media. It’s time you became a social media star. Then get on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Instagram. Reach out to prominent individuals and businesses in the local area through Facebook and Twitter.
Keep your accounts updated and fresh. Keep a blog. You don’t have to be a journalist to provide people with useful information. Blog about the industry, about your food, or about events you’ve catered. Provide helpful advice to those that are planning events or looking for advice. Using a blog to help others will make you the local authority and someone they trust.
Don’t downplay the importance of Facebook and Twitter. The more effort you put into these activities the more you will get out of them. Keep your Pinterest, Flickr, and Instagram updated regularly with fresh and interesting images. Use your online resources to build relationships and establish your brand.
Touch Base with the Locals
Get in touch with those businesses that are associated with catering. I’m talking about networking with wedding planners, event planners, and bridal shops, to name a few. Stop by their businesses and introduce yourself and what you have to offer. Ask to leave your cards or brochures in their shops, perhaps even offer to give a discount to their clients if they refer you.
Use your food to get into the minds of local businesses that have the potential to use your services. The old saying is still true; there is no better way to a person’s heart than through their stomach. Take some of your food along and give them a taste of what you’re capable of. Yes, freebies really make a difference with catering. Work on building real relationships with these businesses in your local area. That way, your name is sure to come up when the subject of catering is mentioned.
Trisha Jefford has worked a variety of jobs across the food service industry from waiting tables to working as a personal chef. She is a wife and mother of two wonderful girls. Trisha currently blogs and writes for EZ Cater a site specializing in helping you find the perfect corporate caterer.
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