Offering Tastings Of Your Catering Menu to Gain New Business

John Cohen | October 11, 2017

A well-crafted tasting is one of the best ways to gain new accounts for your catering business.   Tastings help express your company, food, and other services to your potential clients. This is the time to showcase what sets your catering company apart from your competition. Tastings should be included in your budget as a part of your cost of doing business (they are an absolute must for your wedding clients)

Scheduling Tastings

One of the easiest ways to get tastings scheduled in the books is cold calling. Reach out first to those businesses that use catering on a regular basis. It also doesn’t hurt to use your catering software to reach out to current clients to ask if they know of anyone looking for a caterer. Happy customers want to see your business succeed. Attend local vendor events and offer complimentary tasting appointments.

Things to Bring to Your Tasting

First and foremost, bring the menu items that best represent your quality and creativity. Other things to consider bringing:

  • Information pamphlets
  • Menus
  • Pricing sheets
  • Order/account information forms (if applicable)
  • Decorative and setup samples
  • Photos of previous events

Consider Holding a Tasting Event Instead of Individual Tasting

An alternative to holding individual tastings is to host a tasting event and invite multiple prospects and current clients. You can use your own location if you have space or rent out a venue to hold the event. This is also a good opportunity to turn your tasting into a charity fundraiser by selling tickets to attend, selling raffle tickets, or inviting a charitable organization to hold a raffle at your event (and hopefully get you more publicity for your tasting in return). A tasting event also showcases your company in action while getting to sample your food choices.

Handling No Shows

It is frustrating when a scheduled prospective client does not show up for a tasting. Make sure to confirm your tasting appointment the evening before or the morning of the tasting to help avoid missed appointments. Another option, although risky, is to ask for a deposit for a tasting. There is nothing wrong with asking for a small deposit to help cover the costs if an appointment is missed but when acquiring new business this could possibly leave (*pardon the pun) a bad taste in their mouth.

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