Anbody have any good ideas for Marketing your Catering Company?

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I will post results.....I love this board and all the support I've received through the years.
 
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Interesting model with the classes for group on. I think it could be doable.

How are the classes structured? Is it going to be just one set of dishes and everybody tastes or does everybody get a meal?

Hmm, I should ask my dad too. He's been getting cooking lesson gift certs for the past couple years.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
I'm typing very quickly here, for fear of a search-bot finding this thread and "love bombing" every C.T. member who operates a business with goopon sales pitches.

Look, I'd rather be called an idiot to my face rather than have it whispered and giggled behind my back.

Goopon and wannabees need you more than you need them.  Yes, sure every business needs customers, but the only reason people subscribe to goopon is becasue of the heavy discounts or freebies offered on their cellphones.  In every other business this cost, --getting the customer in the seat or in the store--, is part of the business's overhead.  But with goopon it is fobbed off on it's customers, with goopon snickering and giggling behind their backs.

How do read into the business practice of insisting that  a customer must drop his prices by 50% and then from that, give another 50% to them as the copst of doing business?  Arrogance? Scam artists? There's a sucker born every minute?   Definately no respect for the customer.

True, you can argue that a business can artificially inflate it's prices by 100% or greater in order to cover a goopon campain.  If I did that, the majority of my customer would drop me, telling me that I have no respect for them.

You can argue that doing business with goopon and the wannabees makes sense, that the demographics and monthly sales figures add up.sale.  And it probably is true, but I really don't want to discuss this point. 

But for me, it's like accepting a meal from someone who snickers and giggles behind your back, and keeps a straight face when they talk to you.....  
 
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
it's marketing.....if it brings new customers through the door it's as good or better than paying to be in a food show/event/whatever other marketing you pay for......because they came through your door, not ate your shtuff somewhere else.

snickering? really? 
 
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it's marketing.....if it brings new customers through the door it's as good or better than paying to be in a food show/event/whatever other marketing you pay for......because they came through your door, not ate your shtuff somewhere else.

snickering? really? 
I beg ti differ. Groupon, as well as other coupons, is advertising, not marketing. As long as one clearly understands the financial impact, coupons may, or may not, be an effective form of advertising, but coupons are not marketing, IMHO.

If discounting you price by 50% and then paying someone else another 25% to distribute the coupons makes sense to you, then Groupon, etal, may be an effective approach for advertising. The results are the same as a "buy one, get three free" campaign as far as the return to the seller.
 
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Joined Aug 19, 2003
Back to the original question which was about marketing strategies. The C.T. board has provided several ideas for marketing. P.McCraken is correct that there is a diff betw Marketing and Advertising.

Marketing is a mix of activities....a process that takes time to uncover what works best  for your goods, services, demographics, time of year. We have all tried a variety of activities to invite customers to use our services -- discovering which strategies returned the best ROI, which didn't and which bombed altogether. Advertising is that paid announcement, a single component of the marketing process whether as Shroomgirl points out can come from radio, direct mail, tv commercials, internet/adwords, those frequent flyer miles, food shows, chef tasting events. And it is the largest expense of most mktg plans.

That said, Groupon may or may not be valuable depending on the structure of the deal. Not recommending it as a repeated advertising tool but a "new tool" in the 21st century. I am interested in exploring what moves/inspires/responses to call-to-actions for people in my demographics.

We are experiencing a differnet buying pattern in 2011 where customers are cutting back in goods and services - DIY, Costco possibilites, drop off services. More products including LUXURY ITEMS are offered on sale at a discount, albeit even for a short amt of time. What the C.T. board does briing up  in this forum is the "discounted" philosophy and developing this consumer marktet culture. I do consider that if this particular business model spreads to other competitors, and people in the catering business continue to respond, there could be a forever (non-ending) stream of businesses offering discount services and create a buying pattern vs competitive bidding for a project. That would mean that consumers could conceivably wait every month for the "featured" caterer offering an amazing discount and then book their event. And no caterer would even consider compromising quality in that situation too. That could potentially be a devestation to the industry if this particular biz model spreads.

I certainly appreciate all considerations and back to the original post, offer ideas that have worked and are being tried.
 
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
interesting.....will $$$$ make a difference in high end catering, and to what extent? If you get discounted food/services will it trump long standing clients who have been happy doing business with you?  

How many times within the past year has someone you worked for requested a lower-budget event?

Is there a difference in small dinner party pp$$$$ now than in the past (go-go spending the ceiling) years?

How many times have you planned events that don't cover a meal hours.....2pm-4pm, ish....? 

Heavy aps vs a meal, or cheese and sweets, or an open house type reception?

Groupon and catering....IMO needs to be really defined.....
 
5,546
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
it's marketing.....if it brings new customers through the door it's as good or better than paying to be in a food show/event/whatever other marketing you pay for......because they came through your door, not ate your shtuff somewhere else.

snickering? really? 


In one ear and out the other.....

Goopon needs "fresh meat" in order to stay popular.  To do this,  it's main tactic is to offer something free or heavily discounted--but not coming out of their expenses.  The advertiser is giving up all profit and a lot of his overhead costs per goopon customer in order to use this service, goopon is not sacrificing one dime, rather, goopon will cover their expenses and generate a profit.    Can you please acknowledge this point?

 

Q:  Has goopon done any investigating to show that thier service  generates any repeat (genuine) customers?

However, once a merchant does a deal with goopon, s/he is inundated  with offfers from other similiar services.  It's a common enough problem, and it's why when I donate money, product, or time to charitable organizations I specifically request that my donations be anonymous.  I know from experience that if my business name is attached to such donations, it will not attract genuine business, only more requests for donations.
 
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I agree...stay away from groupon.

With our catering business we have found high end department stores offer snacks or "tastey tuesday" to their patrons. It is generally a give away promotion but it's a great way to get some business cards out there to some high end spenders.   We do this with high end furniture stores or department stores too.
 
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I found in addition to social media websites, that social networking sites are good too for contacts which can lead to publicity. Linked in is great. I'm a member of a group that's local to me. www.FoodBritain.com, which is for networking for people in the industry as well as some people outside of it. If there's a website similar to that near you, it could be a good bet.
 
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Joined Aug 20, 2012
Our New York caterers use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to get our message and delicious menus out there. Using these outlets is the best way to get our NYC caterers to the top.
 
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Old, old, old post.  But then again am I ever glad that Poop-on (a.k.a groupon) is dead and never to come back again.....
 
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Hey guys,

So, I opened a small restaurant just recently (we do catering as well), and most of my marketing I've done online. As for social media, I used Facebook and Instagram. I am updating my profiles daily and using high quality images, especially on Instagram. That way I can show off all my specialties :)

As for the website,  I am working on it daily as well, updating the menu etc. I have build the website using this template, it was quite easy to build, since the website builder is drag&drop.Of course, if you want to get best results you must customize things.

One more important tip: Update you menu often, add new stuff, remove the meals people don't order so much, add some limited editions (for example summer, winter, Easter etc :)

I would love to expand this topic more since marketing is very important in this business and I am currently seeking for tips everywhere!
 
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So its Sunday Night and Here I am looking through the Internet for all kinds of information about my Niche and I stumbled on this Thread....  

It is crazy how much things have changed since 2011... I remember that year vividly.. anyways.. Back to the subject lol!
 

In my experience the ideas shared here are good, the biggest issue is actually having the time and resources to do it plus it is hard to scale. I specialize in High Ticket Client Acquisition for Caterers in the Digital Marketing Space, Marketing has really come a long way and now we can implement predictable customer acquisition systems by using data. 

This is what the top guys in the space are doing, If anyone is interested I would be happy to do a competitor analysis for you and show you what they are doing and what you can do as well. :)
 
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Joined Jun 23, 2015
Gbautista,

You have not answered questions on another similar thread.  Gbautista where are you located?  How long have you been in business? On your site you make a lot of claims, give us some examples.  What are your rates? Welcome to Cheftalk.
 
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Sorry I am just now seeing this. Yea so my name is Gabe Bautista and I am located in Dallas, Texas. I have been in Business for about two years but in the space of Digital Marketing longer. I help Catering Businesses get quality clients with predictability and on demand and while I cant discuss specifics (for privacy reasons I am sure you understand) All you really have to do is look at what the top guys in the industry are doing, they are using these high tech tools to market to the right people in an effective scalable way. 

As far as my rates, it depends on the client needs and their particular capabilities and goals. This is certainly not for everyone and each market is different but the truth is that most of people in this space have no idea how much money it costs them to acquire a new client and these are the metrics we focus on until we get a predictable system in place.
 
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O.K. Thanks for the information   My question is, how do you/ your company make money? Straight out flat fees, or something else?
 
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Yep it is a monthly Flat fee. No contracts or long term commitments though, we are committed to results and DATA, pretty soon my clients start to learn so much about their market and how to get the attention of the people they care about.
 
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