It may be just starting to feel like Fall, but let’s turn our focus to November, December and January for the sake of revenue. Here are some things to focus on now to ensure your catering revenue is robust at the end of this year and beginning of next.
Start the Dialogue Now
If you start marketing within the four walls of your restaurant and on your web page and social media now, you will greatly increase the amount of catering and holiday party business you will land.
Offer a Payment Plan
One of the main reasons people wait until the last minute to plan a holiday party is they are not sure they will have the money. If you start talking about catering now and offer a payment plan from now until the week preceding their event, it makes this expense more palatable. Just divide the total estimated bill for catering by the remaining weeks until the event to find their weekly payment to you.
Guerilla Marketing Works
There is a reason grocery stores and your food service distributor sample—it works! Take samples to every company that you would like to cater for. If you have office buildings, warehouses, factories or government buildings near your restaurant, these are all potential catering accounts. Spend a Friday afternoon dropping off samples of your signature meal items or desserts, along with a copy of your catering menu. Then, just sit back and wait for the phone calls to roll in.
Offer January and February Discounts
Most restaurants are slow during January and February. People are weary from the holidays both financially and emotionally. A way to beat the post-holiday slump is to offer special rates and catering options during those months. You don’t need to discount so deeply that it isn't profitable, just enough to lure your customers into delaying their event until January or February. This gives your customer perceived value and helps fill your restaurant during the off season.