Even if you put everything you have into your food business, it’s not always easy to get the right kind of attention. How do you stand out in the food service business, which is full of competition, and still have time to do what you love?
Try out these important business marketing ideas and watch as customers come running in.
1) Make a good website
Your website should be a strong tool for making sales and getting new leads. Share helpful blogs, news, and ideas to be seen as an expert in your area. Hire a developer who can make your website more focused on making sales.
If you can’t afford to hire a web designer, you might want to use a tool like FoodStorm that has a Website Builder that anyone can use to make their own site. Your catering website can have more than just content and style. It can also have self-service features like ordering and payments, which will save you and your customers time.
Use pictures and videos to get people’s attention. Include pictures and videos in your emails, blogs, and social media posts to get people to share them. Share videos of how to make recipes, useful advice clips, staff introductions, and videos of catering events.
2) Make your site mobile-friendly.
About half of all internet data in the world comes from mobile devices. If your business website is easy to use on a mobile device, it will be much easier for buyers to find you. No matter where they are, it will be easy for your customers to see your content, place orders, pay you, and talk to you. A lot of your leads could be looking for your business on their phones, and if your website is mobile-friendly, you’ll give them the best experience possible.
3) Add online shopping right to your website
With the right “all-in-one” option, you can automate your sales processes, such as letting customers place orders online. You can easily change orders, update menus, and add new things to the menu right away. Simple things like automatic order confirmation, quick and easy quotes, and easy downloads of invoices can make a big difference for clients and help make the backend run more smoothly.
4) Use digital marketing to its fullest ability
Digital marketing or marketing on the internet gets people to visit your website and talk about your food business.
Search engine optimisation (SEO): Share useful, up-to-date material with key phrases and words to drive free traffic to your site. Use SEO to move up in search engine results.
Social media: Make a name for yourself and share news, updates, photos, videos, and helpful tips. You can also buy tailored ads on social media.
Pay for each click. When you use pay-per-click advertising, you can focus on certain search results. You can promote for both local searches (like “Sydney catering”) and events, like “Christmas catering,” “office catering in Sydney,” and “wedding catering.”
5) Use reviews and customer feedback
Testimonials can help people trust and believe in your food business. Have a method for getting feedback from customers, like Google’s Customer review Tool. Show off great reviews on your blog and social media, and have a page on your website just for recommendations.
Check out the reviews and comments on external sites like directories of caterers and review platforms. If someone gives you a bad review, react in a professional and positive way so that people can see both sides. You can take customer reviews one step further by giving referral bonuses to customers who tell their friends about your business. This will also encourage customers to come back.
6) Hire a pro to take pictures
Don’t expect possible customers to be able to picture what they’ll be getting on their own. Spend money on professional photos and show off your best food. For a strong visual effect, only use high-quality photos in your brochures, website, menus, and other marketing materials. Think about what delicious dishes best represent your brand and what you want to be known for. Think about which foods look the best and what most of your customers want.
Images you share on Instagram and other social media sites should be the right size. Use labels so that more people can find your posts. Mix up your photos, movies, and stories with different types.
7) Give your food a great look
Make it a top priority to make your dishes look irresistible, both for pictures and videos and for the catering event itself. A plate of food that looks tasty sells itself by making you want to eat it. When customers want to please with their catering, the way it looks can be a strong selling point.
Here are some great ways to make a strong visual impression:
Centrepieces and featured items: Your meals should have interesting centrepieces or featured items.
- Use splashes of colour and different shades to make your food stand out.
- Odd numbers: Threes, fives, and other odd numbers help highlight things, whether they are dumplings, rolls, or meatballs.
- Drizzles: Add a little flair to your foods by drizzling on sauces, syrups, and other liquids.
- Smaller portions – The key to great photos and videos is to cut things up into smaller pieces.
- Quality catering boxes – they help make your catering food more presentable and upmarket as well.
8) Know the area you’re in
How can you sell with the right plan if you don’t know your market? Learn about the people you want to reach. Think about whether your target market is big enough to keep your business going. Think about the people around you. You could sell to offices, families, and private parties, schools, cafes, restaurants, community centres, and sports venues, among other places.
Do you focus on fancy food or more mass-market food? Maybe you work in more than one part of the business. Who do you want to work with in the places you serve? Find out how they think, what they want and how much money they have, and how you can best sell to them.
9) Make a plan for your business
With a business plan, you can see the big picture and then build your marketing approach from there. In a formal business plan, you list your goals, your value offer, your target market, and how you plan to reach those goals.
Do you specialise in a particular food, event or service? How are you better than your competitors? What do you do to make sure your customers get what they pay for?
Your value proposition is very important because it tells people what you offer them and why you’re better than your competitors. Include in your plan important things like market research, information on your competitors, a strategy for branding, and a budget. It should include details about your market goals and who you want to reach.
10) Brand your delivery van
Use your vans (or maybe transport bikes and scooters) to get the word out about your catering service, both to people in the area and to people further away.
Make sure your cars look great, are clean, and are in good shape. Include your website and phone number and put your logo in a visible place. Work with a brand expert to update your logo, graphics, and other branding materials if they are out of date.
Your branding consultant should be able to help you create the right graphics and put decals and wraps on your vehicle in the best places to get the most attention. Don’t forget to make sure that your vehicles, storefronts, brochures, and other marketing tools all match your brand.
11) Go out into the real world
Make a list of everyone you can approach directly with a personalised pitch: wedding planners, local golf clubs, sports clubs, art galleries and museums, exhibition halls, law offices, ad agencies, shared workspaces, banks, bridal shops, and families (for their private events). Prepare your pitch and do your study so that your proposal can stand out from the rest.
Talk straight to local businesses. Join area businesses and organisations that need help. Show them that your business is the one they should use. Give back to the community by giving free or low-cost services to people who need them.
12) Sign up to be a vendor at trade shows
Trade shows, workshops, and fairs are the best places to meet people face to face. Community meetings, farmers markets, and festivals are also great places to show off what you have to offer.
Make a tasty sample meal so you can give out samples at marketing events like fairs, trade shows, open days, and client visits. Make sure that your menu is easy to make and doesn’t cost too much, and that it looks good enough to please your target market.
13) Use your storefront to its fullest
If you have a storefront, it could be a great place to sell your business, so make the most of it. Use big, eye-catching signs to get the word out about your business name and what you do.
You can also use your windows by putting signs and choices in the right places. Use chalkboards and put brochures on tables and countertops. Sell branded items like coffee mugs and utensils that can be used more than once.
Monthly business card giveaways are a great way to get people’s attention and get their information. Regular tastings and open houses with treats and samples for approved leads are also a great way to get more people interested.
14) Keep in touch often
You should have a way to stay in touch with your current customers because getting them to buy from you again is probably much cheaper than getting them to buy from you for the first time.
When getting in touch, think about these ways to improve your messages:
Personalisation: Make your marketing messages more personal to make your customers feel like they are important and respected.
Add value – Don’t just send out sales pitches, but also things that are useful. For example, you can teach people how to buy and pay for things on your website. You could tell people interesting things about new foods.
Use more than one platform – Check out different ways to send messages, such as posts on social media, email newsletters, and real mail-outs.
Make yourself stand out.
In the food catering business, what makes you stand out is the quality of your service and how you tell people about it. There are many things you can do to reach your target customers, like improving your online profile and the way you brand and photograph your products.
Follow these important tips for selling your catering business, and you’ll see your sales go up.