How to Get Customers for a Small Catering Business. Customers are the foundation of any business, and in catering, they are the business. Getting and keeping customers through small catering events can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be. With a little creativity and some hard work, customers will be at your door in no time.
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Get organized. Generating customers for a small catering business requires commitment and organization. Compile menus, business cards and client event forms before you approach any customers. The more information you have to present to a potential client, the better.
Decide on a marketing strategy. Although an advertising campaign is very effective, it is also expensive. Using a basic "word-of-mouth" approach can save you money and give you a head start.
Cater an event for a friend or family member for little or no profit. Even a small dinner party at their home is a good start. This allows for networking, and lets potential customers see what you have to offer.
Be confident. When you show pride in what you do others are more likely to feel they can trust and respect you. You want your client to have confidence in you.
Give a referral bonus to anyone who refers your business and gets you a paid catering job. Bonuses given in the form of discounts for future events will encourage another job in the future.
Follow up with customers after a catered event to get feedback, and offer catering services for their next event.
Keep good records. Create a database to store all your customers' catering information for past and previous events.
Have business cards and sample catering menus available to hand out to potential clients. Don't be afraid to ask for someone's business. Creating a Web site where you can direct potential customers will allow you to showcase your work.