It’s that time of year when potential customers are starting to brainstorm their holiday plans. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to gain some annual customers – chances are if you impress them during the crazy holiday season they may just call you for another party in the future.

These four tips will help you to hone the craft of catering this season, and will hopefully help you to capitalize on the party-filled holiday season!

Offer Options

Since catering usually is not a “one size fits all” type of revenue stream, why not offer your catering services in multiple formats? You have to be unique and flexible in your offering. Ready yourself with all types of options such as on-site, off-premise, family style, buffet, plated and hors d’oeuvres only options for your customers. Not every customer needs the same choices, so offering them all will ensure that you don’t eliminate any potential business.

Create Your Catering Menu

Make sure you build your catering menu from items you already have in inventory as much as possible. To further this, try to offer as many applicable dishes off your standard menu into your catering menu. Offering your same core menu items in different packaging and quantities is a great way to build a base catering menu.

Identify Your Catering Staff

Review your staff and decide who is on your team currently that can be the point person for the catering. Make sure you select someone who is responsible, has great follow-up skills, is detailed oriented, and can think and make decisions on the fly. By having a key person who can handle catering business as it comes in along with other daily operational duties can really help your catering business grow quickly.

Market Your Catering

Drop off catering menus and samples to local businesses. Business to business sales is a multi trillion dollar industry for one reason…it works! Send your key catering person out to make “courtesy calls” to offices, manufacturing facilities, warehousing facilities, and other businesses with sizeable work forces. If you are willing to be flexible and build some custom catering options you would be surprised how many corporate functions you can land.

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