It’s hard to believe, but Technomic says 41% of restaurants still don’t have a catering plan. If you were one of those, you are missing out on a $6 billion business that is growing at 6% each year.
The holiday season is an obvious time for catered dinners, but catering is a 365 day opportunity. Here are six tips on growing your business:
- Scalable Delivery Is A Cost of Entry. According to Technomic, 80% of catering decision-makers on the business side are not likely to order from a restaurant that doesn’t offer delivery. With nearly half of businesses ordering catered food to their office at least once a week, your plan must include delivery, whether the food arrives in a small van or a large truck for banquets.
- Keeping Your Catering Menu Easy. Hold times for hot or cold items are an essential part of your catering menu plan. Your catering menu should also be easy and executable at scale. Thus, it will likely be different than your regular menu. The good news for office lunch catering is that it can be prepared and delivered ahead of the lunchtime rush.
- Is Your Website Ready? From corporate decision makers to consumers, exploring or ordering catered meals starts with a great digital plan for online ordering. Consider adding a catering landing page to your website, optimize your site for search engine catering keywords and add a callout to your site’s homepage that includes a noticeable button for clicking to your catering landing page.
- What About Your Packaging & Condiments? From SternoTM cans and aluminum pans, there are all new demands for equipment, packaging and condiments when it comes to catering. Customers expect a turnkey experience that includes beverages, disposable utensils and plenty of portion control condiments with their order. Take an inventory of needed items for any scale of catering and figure them into the price. (include images Red Gold PCs.)
- Get to know your pharmaceutical reps and office managers. Did you know that 60% of all catering orders are business-to-business according to Technomic. Operators looking to grow catering should connect with prime customers in their delivery area. Whether it’s a dedicated catering salesperson or a restaurant manager, that brand rep should visit nearby offices and get to know local pharmaceutical reps who are ranked highest for office catering orders.
- Think About Breakfast & Beverages. Did you know that only 6% of restaurants offer catered breakfasts? It is a huge opportunity for business and for getting the most out of the square footage of your kitchen. Another area of interest? Beverages. About 46% of all catering orders include beverages. This is a much higher percentage compared to home delivery and beverages offer a significant profit margin.
Don’t be one of the 41% who miss the opportunities that catering can provide. Make plans for 2020 being your year to reap one of the fastest growing dayparts in our business—catering!