Posts Tagged ‘catering’

Leveraging Holidays and Special Occasions to Boost Sales

December 21, 2012

Holidays and special occasions such as graduation parties, birthdays, and weddings represent special opportunities for restaurants to significantly boost their sales. Whether you offer full-scale, private party catering or simply provide easily available digital gift cards, offering promotions that parallel with holidays and special occasions is a savvy marketing technique worthy of pursuit.

In-House Catering for Large Groups

One method many restaurants use to diversify their revenue streams and tap into the holiday cash flow is to cater to and host large groups of people in-house. This can be done either by sectioning off a portion of your establishment or by making it available off-hours for private rental.

While it’s true that space for meeting and eating is popular any time of year, it is especially sought after during the holidays. Businesses and individuals alike are looking for a place to host their holiday functions, and it would be folly not to market to those groups if it is within your capability to do so.

Cater for Private Parties, Offer Extended Holiday Delivery Hours

As more and more people entertain at home, restaurants have to shift the way that they offer service. In-home, private catering is in high demand, especially during holidays and special occasions. One method of increasing sales for private catering is to station a catering representative at the door of your establishment to greet guests, hand out menus and promotional materials, and gather business cards. Encourage guests to sign up for catering service early by offering discounts and incentives for doing so.

Extending your holiday delivery hours is another method of tapping into increased holiday sales.  Many people who may not be interested in full-scale catering might instead be interested in having food for their holiday feast delivered right to their door. Extending your delivery hours during the holidays can be a simple way to accommodate that desire.

Gift Cards Mean Business

Gift cards are an additional way to tap into holiday sales and are especially appealing to last-minute shoppers. It is estimated that approximately 5 billion dollars was loaded onto restaurant gift cards across all sectors in 2011. Since gift cards are one of the most requested holiday gifts, creating a holiday gift card incentive program is a smart way for restaurants to tap into that market.

Further illustrating the viability of using gift cards to leverage holiday sales is the fact that gift cards can now be offered digitally. This means that customers can instantly receive the gift through their mobile phones, email, or social media creating the perfect last minute gift. Digital gift cards are also nice because they can be promoted long after the window for booking holiday parties or buying the physical gift cards has closed.

All of these techniques can help diversify your income stream and leverage an increase in holiday sales. Offering carefully timed holiday promotions along with compelling incentives that encourage customers to buy or book in advance is a smart way to ensure that  your business receives a piece of the proverbial holiday pie.

Increase in Catering Viewed as Good News for Restaurateurs

January 7, 2011

Are you finding that some of your regulars have decided to abandon the dining out scene? If so, you may want to consider expanding your catering offerings. That’s the advice we’re seeing lately from some of the nation’s restaurateurs who are seeing an uptick in the number of their customers interested in having affairs catered at home.

Consumers Like to Eat at Home—With a Caterer

While the Great Recession is slowly receding into the background (we hope for good), the reality is that the unemployment situation in this country is still quite stark. Conspicuous consumption is considered something a bit gauche. Therefore, we’re finding that even those who can afford to host dinners at restaurants are looking to entertain more at their homes.  The empathetic effort is out of respect for those suffering during hard economic times.

Restaurateurs Adapt to Changing Times

Many restaurateurs known for adapting to the tastes of the public have begun offering their wares to their customers at home or wherever it is that they want to have their parties entertained.

Why Restaurants Are Increasing Stock of Chafing Dishes

 In order to make the transition from people coming into their restaurants to bringing the food to people’s homes, the business of home catering has improved and widened. Once relegated to rubbery-tasting, roasted chicken, it is now a booming industry where restaurateurs are reporting seeing a significant uptick in the number and variety of their requests for home orders.

Other Trends in Catering

Another interesting trend that we’re seeing is that some customers are asking for partial catering. They might decide to prepare a certain number of their own dishes at home and then supplement this with food from professional chefs. Thus again saving a few dollars while offering restaurateurs the chance to offer their wares to a new public. The bottom line: if you want to survive through a recession, be flexible and make sure your customers have all the options they want.