Holiday Catering Ideas & Tips For a Thriving New Year

It’s about time to deck the halls. Holiday party season is here! Which means it’s one of the busiest times of the year for you. A busy season now can mean a thriving, full calendar for 2015. Here are a few holiday catering ideas and tips to make sure the hard work you’re putting in now can help you all through the next year.

Stay Organized
Whether this is your first time catering for the holidays or you are a veteran one of the most important tips we can give is to stay organized. Your organization will help you put the best foot forward with current clients and will help turn them into repeat clients. Don’t stretch yourself too thin with too many events either. It is better to do a handful of parties perfectly than do ten subpar events. Keep on top of orders, supply needs, and prep work, whether you do it by hand with a written list or with software like Total Party Planner. This will help insure you execute flawless events and create pleased and returning customers.

Brand Your Business
You’re going to be serving your food to large, bustling crowds of people enjoying their company holiday parties with cocktails in hand. They may not fully remember from the e-blast who is catering their soiree. Make sure you give them every opportunity to associate your brand with your delicious appetizers. Be sure that your servers and yourself have shirt and/or aprons with your logo and company name on them. Also be sure if you are serving a buffet to have your labels branded with your logo. Be sure that when Mary in Accounts starts looking for caterers for her daughter’s wedding in the Spring she recognizes your logo among the sea of local catering websites and remembers how delicious your food was.

Make Connections
It’s hard to get out of the kitchen during the main event. You’re making sure things are running smoothly in the back and food is coming out just as you had planned. Be sure to take a few minutes in between servings to pop out into the cocktail hour and ask guests how they are enjoying their food. Guests love meeting the head chef and putting a face to name. This is also a great chance to meet potential clients for the upcoming year. If people rave about your food when you introduce yourself thank them and ask them to consider you for future events. Be sure to bring business cards and to keep a few in your pocket to handout to those guests who know of an occasion off hand that they’d like to consider your business for.

Ask for Reviews
It is rare that people hire any kind of service without a suggestion from a friend or reading a review online. Make sure that the people who sing your praises in person reiterate their love of your food and service online. Send follow up emails to those who booked you services, thanking them for an opportunity to serve them and how much you appreciate their business. Include in your email your gratitude for their review along with the links of the review sites. We suggest picking two to three sites to drive traffic to. Include links or icons to those same sites on your website so people considering you in the future can see how highly past customers rated your services.

Consider the parties you are catering over the holidays as a trial run for your future customers. You never know who will have an event that needs to be catered in the next 12 months. Make your holiday catering calendar work to fill your 2015 calendar.