Being innovative will certainly help your catering business to thrive. There are several initiatives that could boost your catering business revenue. Based on our 10+ years experience in the marketing industry working with over 300+ clients, we have crafted below a summary of the actions you could look at to help you grow your revenue.
A catering that doesn’t make money can’t continue operating, we all know that, so what? Making food is easy; getting more people through the doors isn’t. Fortunately, new technology and creative marketing activities give you more ways than ever before to get that to happen, without necessarily spending large amounts.
1. A Real Social Media Campaign
While posting deals on Facebook can’t hurt, it can only go so far without a strategy. You must give it the time and effort it deserves for it to truly work in your favor. Create content that your target market will like and share, post pictures of famous or happy customers, and hold contests. Use the PPC (Pay-per-click) functions of facebook and target your clients directly. You can segment it by interest, such as wedding, functions, events, etc. Target this market with PPC and follow up on the leads. Treat it like a real marketing campaign. Run it lean and strategically.
2. Events and Special Deals
Events and special deals can get people to give your catering a shot, which can result in more return customers. Ladies’ Night, for example, is a classic bar event wherein women pay less than their male counterparts, or hold a “Bring Your Daughter to Eat” Day, offering special deals for daughters eating with their parents. Think of your target market and what commonalities you can use as the basis of a theme. Create a special based on the theme and blast social media with it. Some will go viral, some won’t. On the long run it will pay off. The aim is to capture new long standing clients for your catering business.
3. Use Geofilters on Snapchat
Millennials love taking pictures of everything they do, and that includes eating food. To use this to your advantage, apply a branded filter to any snaps taken. This increases your exposure, as your brand, catering, and location, are all now visible on Snapchat.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing remains a powerful force. Many people still check their email first thing in the morning, and many students use it to keep track of projects and reports. Creating a mailing list can get you more attention than you think, and keep customers updated on your latest deals and menu items. Select a good newsletter sending system. ‘Categorise’ your subscribers and send them interesting campaigns, including the Events and Special deals discussed on item 2 above. We have connected the Flex Catering to several email marketing system including Mailchimp and Edge Connect. Hence, when the customer subscribe on the website, it will go automatically to the correct group in the email sending system.
5. Offer Delivery
Not every catering business can get into deliveries, but those that can, should. On-demand culture is everywhere, and it’ll do your profit margins some good. If you can’t afford staff to take on deliveries, there are many services that can delivery for a fee. If you can afford that, go for it. Make sure that it clear on your website and people can select the delivery date and time.
6. Give Back to the Community
Sometimes, giving back to the community is also a marketing initiative. Events where you give a percentage of that night’s profit to a charity or to a school can net you a lot of goodwill. Blast the newsletter to your subscribers and post it everywhere on social media. Run a content outreach and send out press releases to local media, mainstream media and bloggers about the community activity. They get a story, you get the link back which may translate into higher Google rankings. Higher Google rankings means more customers. You get more customers, people get fed, and the charity gets money — everybody wins.
7. Snail Mail
Snail mail may be slow, but people still crack open envelopes to look at the feast inside. It’s an affordable and effective campaign you can use to deliver promos or coupons to both existing and potential customers. Done correctly, it can net you a lot of revenue. There are companies in Australia charge a fee per mailbox delivery, residencial and commercial. It is cheaper than you think and impressively some people nowadays like to receive some paper material.
8. Getting in Touch with Influencers
Influencer marketing is alive and well, and can serve many catering businesses, no matter the size. By tapping local celebrities or personalities, you can borrow their authority so you can promote your catering. Food bloggers, for example, can improve how your service is viewed, should they give it a positive review. Reach out to them. Let them know about a new deal or a new menu item they’d be interested in, and offer to give them a free sample. Depending on how strong the blog is you might even pay for a write up and get a link back to your website.
9. Text Messaging
Most people spend much of their day attached to their phone, so why not take advantage of it? Text-message marketing is invaluable and can get more people through the doors. If you’re worried about the logistics, there are services that can make it easier to handle rewards and the like. Flex Catering can be integrated with a text messaging system.
10. Optimise the Metas in your website
The website is the central location and where you should drive all the initiatives. It is in the website that customers will place orders, subscribe to the newsletter, find your phone number, call you, check your menu and much more. Most marketing initiatives ultimate aim is to grow website rankings, traffic and brand awareness. Hence it is very important that the website is optimised for Google ranking and customer navigation experience (also known as UX). The Flex Catering software becomes your website and you can enter all your metas for all pages including the product pages. In addition, Flex Catering has all the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tools necessary to optimise your chances of winning online.
These aren’t the only things you can do to get more revenue for your catering business, but it’s a good start. Think about what your core audience wants and appeal to that. Reach out to them and keep improving your food offerings. Measure the results of each campaign, learn, improve and run the campaign again. Just keep your doors and your mind open.
For any further information about Flex Catering and how we can help your catering business processes and marketing please contact us. We will be happy to hear from you.