Are You Winning Your Share of Off-Premise Catering Business?
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Are You Winning Your Share of Off-Premise Catering Business?

Some restaurant chains are setting internal goals to have 30% of their sales come from off-premise catering. What is your goal? Making your catering business a priority is a no-brainer with the current industry segment trends. Before we share some helpful tips, here are some interesting industry stats:

  • 41% of businesses order catering at least once a week
  • 57% of healthcare sales representatives order catering more than once a week
  • 51% of businesses order breakfast catering once a month or more

Beyond business, catering to consumer targets are big opportunities as well, especially for special events, such as graduation, game day and holidays. Here are six insights to boost your sales to compliment your bricks and mortar business:

  1. Assign someone who is responsible for catering – You will never achieve your goals unless someone is accountable for growing your business. Assign or, ideally, hire someone who has catering experience.
  2. Develop a catering menu with images of your “bundles” – No office manager or pharma rep. wants to disappoint. Bundle your menu offerings, for example a fried or grilled chicken buffet or a breakfast sandwiches and wraps bundle with photos of the food. Also keep in mind that some industries, such as construction and healthcare prefer “build your own buffets” for their employees.
  3. Place your catering menu everywhere – Add a navigation button to your website and make your catering menu clickable for online ordering, as well as, a dedicated number for phone calls. Make it a self-mailer requiring no envelope that hides the beautiful photography of your most popular items. Just place a stamp on the back and place an address label to your intended targets. Have a few near your order counter for pick up for general awareness.

  1. Make your marketing mobile – Not just mobile advertising, we’re talking the old-fashioned mobile of one-on-one visits in your catering vehicle to key business target office managers. Shake their hand and ask them to try your catering with a “first time discount” offer and bring along a snack from your catering menu.
  2. A special offer to the office manager – The office manager, or the HR staff are the gatekeepers to significant sales. Never hurts to give them a gift card for a dine-in occasion at your restaurant with every catering purchase of over a selected dollar amount. They can choose whether to use that gift card themselves or use it for an employee giveaway.
  3. Make the experience unique – There are few things as bland as an aluminum pan with a can of sterno below. Build your brand with some inexpensive decoration that represents your brand and might be kept around the office long after the meal is thrown away. Don’t forget the one-of-a-kind flavor of Texas Pete® Hot Sauce PCs or 1.69 oz. plastic bottles to make your catering experience truly a hot item in every catering opportunity.

Catering has never been a better opportunity than during a surging economy when employers will pay to keep their staff in the office and engaged. Provide them with a robust menu that will grow your business.