5 Tips to Drive and Capture Holiday Catering Sales: An ezCater Webinar Recap
- 5 Min Read
The holidays are centered around food, which is fantastic if you operate a restaurant. Not only because the season may bring group reservations to your restaurant, but because customers make big holiday plans for work, too. So if you play your cards right, you could see more restaurant bookings—and win new catering customers for your business. To help you prepare for a profitable holiday season, we created a webinar with tips on how to grow holiday catering sales. You can download a recording of our webinar here and read some highlights of our webinar below.
1. Create a Holiday Business Plan
Set aside some time to write a detailed business strategy for growing holiday catering sales. Remember that people celebrate the holidays at home and at work, which means you can win holiday sales in different off-premises markets, such as business catering (B2B) and social catering (B2C). As you shape your strategy, think about how you can best capture holiday sales in each of the following channels:
- Inside the four walls of your restaurant, or traditional dine-in business.
- Outside the four walls of your restaurant. In the industry, this is called “off-premises business,” or dining that happens off the physical premises of your restaurant.
- The virtual four walls of your restaurant. This refers to the virtual business of food apps and online ordering.
2. Target the Right Customer Segments
At the end of the day, you might not have the resources to chase after every customer segment for holiday sales. So try to identify the top holiday sales opportunities in your community and handpick the customer segments with the most potential for sales growth. For instance, it’s not a bad idea to target the business catering market over the holidays, as 61 percent of those customers order catering consistently throughout the year and nearly one-third order catering weekly, which could help supercharge your catering business in the long term. Regardless of which segments you pursue, try to tailor the catering experience to each group’s needs and expectations so you can win the loyalty of your most valuable customers.
3. Spread the Word “Inside the Four Walls” of Your Restaurant
Do your diners know you cater for the holidays? And are you doing everything you can to get the word out? To start, consider creating marketing materials and point-of-sale displays, which can go a long way in boosting holiday sales. You can also ask your team to pitch in by wearing custom “we cater” pins and by getting their tables excited about your holiday catering packages.
4. Leverage Tech for Business “Outside the Four Walls”
A stream of new catering business can create a Catch-22 situation if you’re not prepared. Because when your servers are busy and the kitchen is buried in tickets, no one has time to answer a ringing phone. Yet, if the call goes unanswered, that could put off customers and hit the brakes on repeat business. One way to avoid this Catch-22 is by streamlining your catering operation with online ordering. When you leverage this technology, you can reach and retain more catering customers, save time and money on labor, and boost the customer experience. Plus, 41 percent of business catering customers prefer to place their orders online. If you’re interested in moving your catering order system online, you can learn more about ezOrdering here.
5. Don’t Forget About the “Virtual Walls” of Your Catering Business
It’s no surprise that there’s going to be competition for holiday sales. That’s why it’s important for your restaurant to go the extra mile to stand out from the crowd. Think about how you can use social media, content marketing, and customer review sites to splash the message that you’ve got the best catering in town.
This holiday season, your customers are going to be crazy busy tackling their long holiday to-do lists. If you can step in to help them check off the box for catering, the payoff can be huge.
Want to grow your holiday catering sales with online ordering? We can help.