How to Succeed as a Wedding Caterer
If you’re like most caterers, your schedule is pretty hectic. Research shows that the average catering business will work a whopping 306 events per calendar year, meaning around six events per week. The majority of these events, at over 70%, are weddings.
Of course, these statistics aren’t true of every company, and it’s safe to say that some businesses struggle to attract more brides and grooms. If this sounds familiar, how can you work toward success as a catering company for wedding events?
We’ve got you covered! Let’s take a look at a few essential steps for making your brand stand out, attracting clients, and more.
Consider Your Pricing With Care
The prices for your services and amenities can be a dealbreaker, especially when it comes to events that are as budget-focused as weddings. While a bride and groom may be willing to spend extra for top-tier service, overpricing your work can lead to fewer clients in the long run. Worse, underpricing can make it harder to stay in business!
Your pricing will depend on your location as well as the type of wedding experiences you offer. Many companies will offer variations according to the number of guests, the types of meals and service, and even the venue.
Your best bet here is to do a competitive analysis of other companies in your area. What are they charging for their services, and how do their offerings compare to yours? What kinds of pricing tiers do they offer, and how do they differ according to the menus and ingredients?
Find the Right Team
It’s no overstatement to say that your staff will make or break your business. Bringing on staff members who have a good work ethic and the right skills can make a huge difference. In some cases, it’s even better to hire for fit, work ethic, and personality over skill and experience: training can make an excellent employee out of the right hire, but it’s impossible to change the attitude of a low-performing employee.
As you grow, consider drafting a formal training plan that can help your team expand their skills during onboarding. This may involve shadowing, paid training periods, and an overview of safety procedures.
Invest in Your Food and Equipment
If you opened your company on a budget, you may be tempted to cut corners when it comes to your ingredients or cooking tools. However, if there’s one thing you should invest in, it’s your food.
Because your food is your main product, each dish should shine—and it should be easy for you to make with the equipment you have on hand. Though many companies secure financing for this step, you may not always have to. Companies like fedproducts.co.nz, for example, offer a huge range of cooking, storage, and food prep equipment at fair prices to help you make the most of your menu.
If you need to start small, begin by creating a set list of options you know you can prepare well. Once you grow, you might want to set yourself apart from other wedding caterers by offering custom menus according to the clients’ preferences. This offers a unique and exciting experience for each guest.
Market Your Brand
If you’re hoping to stand out, marketing yourself is key. Each catering event is an opportunity to network with potential future clients in attendance!
However, you can’t stop there. Depending on where you’re located, there are a few key ways to get in front of more potential clients.
First, consider attending bridal shows. Often, this will mean preparing food samples in advance, and you’ll need to look into fees for renting a booth. However, these opportunities allow you to network with a host of new faces in a short time.
Next, make the most of social media. Photo-friendly sites like Instagram are great places to be, as they allow you to post mouthwatering pics of your food while engaging with prospective clients online.
Beyond social media, be sure to create a website that uses local search engine optimization to help you get found in your area.
In addition, consider offering word-of-mouth referral deals, such as a discount for clients who refer new business to you. This can be a great way to build and maintain good relationships with the brides and grooms in your area.
Last, make the most of customer reviews. Encouraging positive online reviews on popular third-party sites like Yelp, Angi, and Facebook can help you get found online. It’s also an easy way to show evidence of satisfied customers!
Consider Special Needs
These days, making accommodations for guests with special needs should be a must—but it often isn’t. For you, this can be a great opportunity to shine.
Make sure you have options for meals that accommodate a variety of guests, including those on vegan, vegetarian, and paleo diets. In addition, be prepared to make changes for guests with medical or religious dietary restrictions. Flexibility with your dining experience can go a long way toward attracting a larger variety of clients!
Learn to Succeed as a Catering Company for Wedding Events
No matter where your business is located, it’s safe to say that you’ll have plenty of competition as a catering company for wedding events. Though it’s easier said than done, attracting more clients is the key to success—and the tips above can help you get there. With the right strategies in place, you’ll have brides and grooms lining up for your brand’s unique services!
Need more key tips on making the most of your business? Be sure to take a look at our other content for additional guides.