Catering Sales and Marketing Strategies for the New Year
As we enter into a new year, now is a crucial time to start planning and implementing for a successful New Year. The best marketing strategies are going to give you stable and continuous growth, rather than quick-wins that fade out after a month. Since some of these strategies are more of a slow burn, take this time to set yourself up for long-term growth!
1. Review Generation
Reviews are going to have a huge impact on your business; generating consistent, positive reviews will increase your online visibility and build trust with prospects. However, getting clients to leave reviews is easier said than done. You can start with a simple solution: try asking your clients right after a successful event! You may need to gently remind or guide them to actually follow through with the process, but asking is the first step. If this strategy isn’t cutting it, try a review generation tool like ReviewJump which helps to filter out negative reviews and encourage positive reviews.
Facebook is a great place for caterers to try and get reviews. Most people are going to share photos of events on social media—if you can get those clients to leave reviews it’s going to have a huge impact on anyone who comes across your page. Your prospects can see real, live, happy people enjoying your events and leaving rave reviews! Reinforce this on your website with testimonials, so prospective clients see positive feedback everywhere they turn. Now is a great time to start generating some excellent reviews, since many caterers are coming off of their busiest season.
2. Helpful and Engaging Online Content
Online content plays a huge factor in your visibility on the internet. The more helpful, interesting, and engaging content you create, the better. Not only does this indicate to search engines that your website is useful, but it also gives you a great way to stay top of mind with potential clients. Creating videos, blog posts, and locally-focused content will attract the kind of clients you want to reach and give you tons of material to share on social media. Learn more about the kinds of content you should be producing here.
3. Social Media Promotions
If you haven’t started using Facebook Ads to promote your catering business, the time is now! Facebook has some really amazing (and somewhat invasive) targeting options and the ads are quite affordable compared to other online advertising options. Facebook allows you to target your ads to people who have recently become engaged, are friends with people who have recently become engaged, have “liked” catering or restaurant websites, or have a general interest in food and events—and that is just the tip of the iceberg. The targeting options are really endless, and reaching these types of audiences will put you in front of people who are in immediate need of your services, as well as folks who may need your services in the near future.
4. Organization Tools
The biggest key to increasing efficiency and sales in catering is to utilize tools that will set you up for success. Staying organized will not only give you and your staff clear direction, but it will improve communication across the board leading to better events, fewer mistakes, and attainable goals. Google Calendar is an excellent time management tool that can keep you, your staff, and your clients on the same page. StaffSmart is staffing software that intelligently manages staff, pays accurately, and reduces admin time. Social Tables allows you to diagram events, determine and plan seating, and check-in guests from one platform. All of these systems integrate with Total Party Planner, where you can manage your entire catering business. Having the right tools in place to capture leads, communicate with your team, manage your menu, track tasks, and keep your business running smoothly will make for happier clients, more referrals, better reviews, and more money in your pocket!
Will you be attending Catersource 2018? Join us for CaterSlam Sunday, February 18 at 9:30 am, and be sure to stop by booth 712 to see what’s new with Total Party Planner!