How to Grow a Catering Business

Starting a catering business is challenging, demanding, and competitive. And even more difficult than creating a catering business is growing your catering business. With an increase in competition, more than ever, catering companies are turning to online marketing, such as SEO or paid advertising, to help grow their operation.

Whether you're a full-service caterer or restaurant offering catering, here are five helpful ways to grow your catering business.

grow your catering business

Up Your Marketing Efforts

Long gone are the days when you could depend on a newspaper or magazine ad to bring you a plethora of new business. Sorry to break it to you! But, don't worry, the internet has proposed many unique ways that caterers can market their business online and reach many more people.

One of the most profitable, long-term strategies to grow your catering business is SEO for caterers. By having a well-optimized website, creating compelling content, and having other websites link to yours, you'll show up high on Google when people search for something like, "caterer near me." While SEO for caterers doest take some time to see results, like six months at the minimum, you will hold your Google rankings for a long time and reap the benefits long-term.

Ready to talk SEO for your catering business? Contact us to discuss!

Host Local Events

One of the best ways to build a relationship and reputation with your local community is hosting local events. As a caterer, your job is to help clients plan and produce events with great food and service. So, what better way to show off your skills as a catering company than by hosting local events with hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and more?

Invite local businesses, party planners, and residents to an event where people can network, exchange business cards, and try your food. If you put out a good product and invest in your business, you should see a solid ROI from local events.

Start a Referral Program

People love money! Who doesn't? So, another great way to grow your catering business is to create and implement a referral program. If you have happy clients that you've done an excellent job for, they'd love to refer you to their friends and family as well; you have to ask!

By implementing a referral program into your catering business and telling clients that, "If you refer us to a new client and they book with us, we'll pay you a $500 Amazon gift card", you'll be surprised by the number of people who begin to refer you.

Now, you know what you're willing to pay out as a reward and what works for your company. But, implementing a referral program where clients get paid for referring new clients is a great way to help grow a catering business, and most caterers aren't doing this!

Leverage Paid Advertising

Many catering companies will turn to their social media pages and post pictures of a recent event or a new entrée and get upset when it doesn't bring in a new client or lead. The truth is, that's not really what organic social media posting is for. It will help strengthen your brand and grow your brand awareness, but it really won't generate leads for you.

Instead, caterers should spend their time and money investing in paid advertising for their companies. With paid ads, your goal is to generate leads and bring in new business for your catering company. Whether you decide to try yourself or hire a skilled marketing agency for caterers, you can run paid ads on Google and Facebook and start bringing in new leads predictably.

Get More Reviews

You wouldn't believe how overlooked this one is! If you work with a client and do an excellent job for them, ask them to leave you a review on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or wherever you want. If they are really lovely clients, ask for all three! But, Google reviews will hold the most weight for your local SEO presence.

Getting reviews is a crucial marketing strategy that many caterers don't do, but that can help your company attract new business. When people are searching for a caterer online, more often than not, they'll go and read through the reviews from previous clients. Only having a few reviews or none looks just as bad as having a couple of bad reviews. Granted, you want to try and get as many five-star reviews as possible, but we can't please everyone.

Ensure that you're contacting your clients after every event you do, asking them to post a review. But, because being a caterer keeps you busy enough, you can use a reputation management software to do all of the busy work for you. It's an excellent investment to generate more reviews because it's one tool that will help you generate, manage, market, and analyze online reviews.

Use a CRM

The catering business, by nature, tends to use outdated strategies, technology, and systems to operate their businesses. And it's a shame because something like a CRM, which stands for customer relationship management, is a fantastic tool that can help organize and grow your business.

If you don't already use a CRM, it's time to start using one. A CRM has many features, but for a catering company specifically, you'll be able to manage personal and business contacts, track your sales pipeline, send automated texts and emails, view your marketing analytics, and much more.

Whenever we work with a client, we give them free access to our custom CRM that comes with many robust tools and features.

If you'd like to discuss working together, contact us here.

Grow Your Catering Business with the Dillon Ross Group

Earlier in this post, we discussed how much of a factor digital marketing, like SEO, plays a role in the success of a catering company.

To generate inbound leads organically from Google without having to cold call strangers, direct mail your neighbors, or place ads in the paper, is one of the most liberating feelings as a catering business owner.

So, if you're ready to grow your catering business and take it to the next level with the addition of SEO marketing, get in touch with us, and let's set up a time to speak.

SEO agency for caterers