In 2019, investing in off-premise dining is more important than it has ever been. According to Modern Restaurant Management and ezCater, 44% of of total restaurant sales stem from off-premise dining.

While many restaurants are improving their delivery and takeout solutions, another large component of off-premise dining to look at is catering. Here are a few ways to help improve your catering business.

Partnerships. Partnering with a local business brings in a variety of benefits to your catering efforts. The first major benefit is consistent business gained from a partnership. Let’s say you’ve partnered with a local company to cater lunch for its employees every Friday. This partnership nets your restaurant catering business that you can consistently prepare for. Additionally, your catering business will be gaining exposure from the employees who are eating your food every week. Next time they have an event to cater, they might just think of you.

Refine your catering menu. You may have the impulse to put your entire lineup of cuisine on your catering menu. That’s probably not the best idea. Instead, you want to keep your menu tight, simple, and focused. Not only is it easier for your customers, it’ll be easier on your kitchen (especially when producing food in bulk).

You need to make a number of considerations when choosing what’s right for your catering menu. For example, how long will the food stay good for? Keep in mind travel time plus the duration the food will be out during an event. How will you handle pricing? Do you charge by weight or by the person? In order to create your ideal catering menu, these questions need to be answered.

Train your staff. Here’s what you don’t want to do for your fledgling catering business. Don’t send your staff to catered events, fully expecting them to know what they’re doing. Serving customers inside a restaurant and working catered events are two entirely different beasts. On top of that, there may even be different expectations for different kinds of events. Take the time to educate your current staff, if not hire entirely new staff for catering purposes.

Leverage exposure. The power of exposure cannot be understated. As I mentioned when discussing partnerships, the more you cater, the more exposure you’re going to get for both your catering business and your restaurant. Anytime you’re catering an event, you want to make the absolute most of potential exposure. That means making your presence known. Brand the packaging that your food is served in. Make sure your catering truck proudly displays your restaurant’s logo and contact information. Do whatever you can to ensure people remember your restaurant.

Build Your Catering Business With CoGoBuzz

Want more people to know about your catering services? Start getting the word out with CoGoBuzz. Our fully-featured digital marketing service promotes your catering services straight to customer mobile devices automatically.

Leveraging state-of-the-art WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, our service promotes both in-store and out. Through WiFi, CoGoBuzz displays an interactive landing page on your customers’ mobile devices when they login to the HotSpot. We produce full customer profiles and integrate them with your favorite marketing list. You’ll be able to segment your audiences, and pinpoint who might be interested in your catering services. Through SMS, you can send automated text messages at specific times, and enroll customers in your new digital text-based loyalty program. You can remind your customers that you’ve got catering services, all with a simple text message!

Check out the rest of our website to learn more about CoGoBuzz!

Does your restaurant offer catering services? Let us know in the comments!