Adding catering services to your restaurant business can be a lucrative opportunity to expand your revenue streams and attract new customers. While there are many ways to boost your restaurant’s reach, careful planning and execution are imperative to ensure success. To help you get started, here is a step-by-step guide to help you add catering services to your restaurant business.
Conduct Market Research
Begin by researching the catering market in your area. Identify the demand for catering services, the competition, and the target market. Understand the types of events that require catering services, such as weddings, corporate events, and parties, and assess the demand they create.
Develop a Catering Menu
Create a catering menu that complements your restaurant’s regular menu but is specifically designed for catering events. Consider offering various options to cater to different dietary preferences and restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and other special diets. Ensure that your catering menu includes attractive and visually appealing dishes that can be delivered and served efficiently.
Plan Catering Logistics
Consider the logistics of catering events, including transportation, staffing, and equipment needs. Determine if you need to invest in additional equipment, such as chafing dishes, food warmers, and transport containers. Develop a plan for staffing catering events, including hiring additional staff if needed, and create procedures for food preparation, packaging, and transportation.
Price Your Catering Services
Determine the pricing for your catering services based on your costs, overheads, and market research. While doing so, consider costs for raw materials, labor, equipment, transportation, and profit margins. Research your competitor’s pricing margins and ensure that your pricing is competitive while allowing for profitability.
Create Catering Packages
Develop catering packages to include different options for events of varying sizes and budgets. Consider offering customizable packages that allow customers to choose from various appetizers, main courses, sides, and desserts to create a tailored menu for their event. Your customers will feel confident if you clearly outline the details and pricing of each package in your marketing materials and on your website.
Market Your Catering Services
Use your existing marketing channels, such as your website, social media, and email newsletters, to promote your catering services. Create marketing materials, such as brochures and flyers – highlighting your catering offerings – and distribute them in your restaurant and the local community. Consider offering special promotions and discounts for first-time catering customers to incentivize bookings.
Train Your Staff
Provide comprehensive training to your staff on catering operations, including food preparation, packaging, transportation, and customer service. Your employees should be well-versed in the catering menu, portion sizes, and presentation standards. Train them on how to handle large-scale events and how to provide excellent service to catering clients.
Establish efficient processes and systems for your catering operations to ensure smooth and seamless execution of events. Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for food preparation, packaging, and transportation. Use technology, such as catering management software or online ordering systems, to streamline the ordering and tracking process.
Incorporate a Food Truck in Your Plan
Adding a food truck to your restaurant is an excellent way to boost your revenue stream and take your expertise to the masses. Food trucks have been generating a lot of buzz mainly due to their mobile nature, but they can also help restaurants promote their business in other locations and attract new customers.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Catering events are often special occasions, and providing exceptional customer service is crucial. Communicate clearly with clients about their expectations, preferences, and event details. Be responsive to inquiries and requests, and ensure your staff is professional, courteous, and attentive during catering events.
If you are thinking about adding catering services to your restaurant and want to expand your reach through a food truck, Size Ultimate Food Trucks can help. We offer the shortest build times and competitive pricing and can build food trucks that capture every expression of your restaurant. If you have questions about our services or want a quote, our team would be more than happy to help you.