Weddings, business conventions, and other important events are bigger than they have ever been. This is just one reason why the demand for catering has grown substantially over the past 10 years or so. The consumers of the 21st-century expect a different level of service than what may have been once provided, however, and these expectations are causing catering companies who are resisting these changes to lose their market share.
The Characteristics of a 21st Century Catering Business
A website, mobile app, and knowledgeable support from a customer service agent are all must-haves for a successful catering business today. There is a number of other key details which must be fulfilled; not to surpass the competition but to keep up with it. First and foremost:
The customers of today expect any business they have a relationship with to be accessible. This means providing:
- Specialized Catering Software: The software offered by a company should provide immediate answers to the most commonly asked questions a customer may have, provide real-time delivery estimates and scheduling, and offer suggestions as to how the business can reduce costs or enhance the experience
- Mobile-Friendly: In addition to having a website, the catering company should be mobile-friendly. The app a catering company creates for customers should address all of the important questions as well as making ordering or contacting customer support a breeze
- Offer an Online Menu: Many catering companies have seen success in offering an online menu where users can pick and choose how much of one item offered will be available at an event
Another suggestion is for catering businesses to invest in sales software of their own which is also mobile friendly. By having access to your schedule and sales figures immediately through an app, owners will be able to immediately advise potential customers when they are available for an event and determine how many events they must be at in order to remain profitable.
Having the Right Tools Available
Catering is more than just presenting a delicious meal to a number of individuals present at an event or conference. It is all about creating an experience. This is why companies which specialise in offering catering products, such as Pattersons, offer such an array of crockery and cutlery options.
The tea cups you offer will have an impact on how the food or the event is presented. The plates you have can either enhance the atmosphere or take away from it. For this reason, it is recommended that catering companies have, at the very minimum, three sets of different styles of dining materials on hand when starting up. As you expand, grow and get a better understanding of what your target demographic wants, you can add to your collection.
Regardless of whether or not you are mostly serving the elderly or are cleaning up the messes of 20-somethings in college dorms, one thing is for certain: you need to take your advertising online. Every business which is considered legitimate today has a website, and every business which knows what is best for them will have a free social media site advertising their promotions, deals, and make it known that they exist.