What's Needed to Run a Successful Catering Business?

There is more to running a successful catering business than making delicious food – though let's be honest, that part definitely helps!

What's Needed to Run a Successful Catering Business?
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What's Needed to Run a Successful Catering Business?

There is more to running a successful catering business than making delicious food – though let's be honest, that part definitely helps! When it comes to running your own business there are a lot of moving pieces to navigate and all too often we see entrepreneurs spending more time in the kitchen and less time finding solutions to help foster growth. In this month's blog we want to highlight a few tips to help elevate your catering business to success.

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Unparalleled Customer Service

When it comes to choosing a catering service, customer service is ultimately what makes you stand apart in the crowd. When you're not in the kitchen, make sure you let your excitement and passion for what you do shine through to your customer. They should be just as excited about your services as you are about their event. Aside from showcasing your passion, communication is the real key to customer service. Make sure you are keeping the customer updated every step of the way as their event draws near – and more importantly make sure your entire team knows exactly what is expected to ensure there aren't any surprises down the road.

Easy to Understand BEOs & Payment Options

Getting paid for all of your team's hard work and getting payments on time are essential for any business. So, make sure you have a good system for invoicing your clients in place. It all starts with an easy to read BEO that highlights both your brand and your menu options, as well as easily displays a la carte items. Your BEO should also include images of your package options so your customers can see exactly what you have to offer and are more enticed to sign. Give your customers the ability to sign the contracts from any device and it's as easy as Ready. Set. Book. Once they're booked your customer should have secure options to pay through ACH, credit/debit cards or for certain events the ability to set up payments.

Streamlined Team Management

Once the event date has been set, internal communication kicks into full swing. Having a system in place that can easily manage employee scheduling and routing, as well as inventory needs, is crucial for your success – after all, with no staff it would be impossible to showcase your talents. If you're still using excel and a mixture of text messages and snapchats to staff your events you're wasting time and money. With a little bit of automation you can easily manage schedules, send event reminders and help solve routing hiccups with built in google maps to help your team get directions when they need it most. With proper team management strategies in place you can save time (and money) but also ensure your customer has a positive experience along the way.

Whether you are new to the business or have been catering for years, finding new ways to organize your efforts is the easiest way to improve efficiency, cut costs, and provide the best customer experience.

Professionalism At All Costs

Whether you're starting your own home-based catering business or are an established catering professional, hiring a caterer is one of the largest costs for most events and as such your customer typically has high expectations. As such you want to ensure that every interaction they are having with your business is professional and exceeds their expectations. It starts with being sure you are including clear and consistent branding on anything the customer sees – emails, websites, social media, invoices, payment reminders, etc. but continues with making sure that communication channels are open and accessible. The customer should be kept in the loop every step of the journey & throughout the event. Having a customer portal where they can jointly manage their event takes all of the guesswork out of "what's next" and keeps everyone on the same page – just make sure it loads quickly and can be accessed on the go or else you will just create more headaches for your customers.

Whether you are new to the business or have been catering for years, finding new ways to organize your efforts is the easiest way to improve efficiency, cut costs, and provide the best customer experience.

Naomi Sherman
Naomi Sherman

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