There are many things you need to think about when you have your own catering business. Firstly, you need to decide on the type of food you’ll be offering and the market you’re aiming at. And then of course, you need to work out where you will be located and whether to pay the rental on a permanent location or to invest in a food truck and travel around to pop up locations and events.
One thing’s for sure, and that is if you want your catering business to be a success you will need to stand out from the competition and we’ve got a few ideas to help get you started.
Be Your Own Advert
There is nothing wrong in blowing your own trumpet; if you want to make your business a success it’s important to shout loud and proud about it and so that means creating some hype with marketing.
Depending on your budget, there are different ways you can approach your marketing strategy. Obviously, you can get some leaflets and posters printed out to get you started, but let’s face it everyone does that, so it’s not exactly going to make you stand out. What do you do when you get a leaflet posted through your door? You might give it a quick glance, but probably it just ends up in the recycling, am I right? Money wasted in our opinion.
If your catering business relies on the use of a car, van, food truck, converted shepherds hut, or any other kind of vehicle you have, your new advertisement method right there. Check out this website to see the various options for vinyl wrap and car detailing. Get your vehicle emblazoned with your logo, pictures of your food, your menu, your branded colours and company name. You will then be advertising your business every time you take your vehicle out and in fact even when it’s parked up outside your house. It’s time to have some fun and get creative, just remember not to miss out all those vital details like your company name and contact details and make it clear what you offer, so that anyone who sees it knows what you do straight away.
Choose The Right Packaging
There are so many different options for food packaging these days. No matter what food you sell, it needs to be packaged correctly. By which we mean that it should be fit for purpose i.e., hold the food, without leaking; be airtight, for health and safety reasons and to avoid contamination; and be labelled correctly, indicating any potential allergens along with a complete ingredients list and nutrition breakdown. Food labelling in particular, is a legal requirement and you will have to comply with the correct industry regulations. Ideally, consumer packaged goods should also be easy to open and show the food contained within. This is usually a job which happens during the food manufacturing process of which you can learn more here. However, in your instance, if you are making the food to order, you will need to think about the purpose of the packaging even more so. For example, if the food is being taken away and consumed at home, it will need to be contained in something that keeps the food hot and doesn’t leak. If on the other hand, the customer is intending to eat the food as soon as it’s ready, they will require packaging that acts more like a plate. So again, spill proof but also accessible to eat from and be sturdy enough to cope with cutlery and movement.
Consumers are also far more environmentally aware these days and will be looking out for packaging that is sustainably sourced, recycled, recyclable, or reusable. Consider offering incentives to customers who use their own cups or bowls, which not only reduces your costs but will also allow you to reduce your prices a little, which will set you apart from your competitors.
Make Sure Your Finances Are In Order
We all need to work to our strengths, and although you are clearly a culinary wizard (you do own a catering business after all!) finances and numbers really might not be your thing. But this is a business, and for a business to run smoothly, legally, and profitably, it is essential you have your finances in order.
To ensure your accounts and tax returns are filed properly and on time it’s worth using an accountant, such as Gram Tax Accountant small business accountant toronto, who will know exactly what they’re doing, leaving you to focus on the jobs you enjoy and are good at.
Whilst the state of your accounts won’t directly affect how you stand out from the crowd, it will make you more organised and therefore give a better, more professional overall impression to your customers, which in turn will set your business apart from your competitors.
Serve The Best Food
It’s time to get honest. If you do all of the above, amazing. Your catering business will look the part, you’ll have your finances well looked after, and your marketing game will be strong. But ultimately the best thing you can do to make your catering business stand out from the vast amount of competition is by serving the best food.
If a customer is served tasty, good quality, reasonably priced food, they are far more likely to come back and it is this repeat custom that will help with your continued and future success. Plus, as we all know, word of mouth marketing is everything. If you build up a reputation for serving the tastiest tacos, the most delicious doughnuts, or the most sumptuous sushi, everyone will be talking about you. Before long, you’ll have people queuing for miles to try out the food they’ve all been hearing about from their friends.
The competition is strong, so it won’t be easy. But if you implement these four tips into your business strategy, you’ll be able to make your catering business stand out from the crowd in no time.