Do you run a catering business and want to increase clients patronage or profit? If YES, here are 50 best catering tips & tricks for weddings and events in 2020.
Have you ever wondered how difficult it would have been for people who intend hosting a party to cook all the meals their guests will eat? No doubt it will be a difficult task to accomplish especially if the number of guests attending such event is much. If the host attempts to personally prepare such meals, she will likely breakdown and not be able to enjoy the celebration, hence the need for caterers.
Catering business involves cooking food that is consumed for a large number of guests, which is why the business is subjected to regular inspection by health officials.
Outdoor catering is supposed to be the core offering of catering businesses, but outdoor events don’t happen every day. As a matter of fact, caterers compete for the available weddings and parties that will be hosted during the weekends because weekends and holidays seem to be the busiest period for catering businesses.
If you are a player in the catering industry and you want to continue to offer your services to clients that usually organize weddings and other events, then here are 30 best catering tips and tricks that will help you achieve your business goals.
30 Best Catering Tips & Tricks for Weddings and Events in 2020
- Create a Catalogue for Your Meals/Food
One important catering tip you need as a caterer is to ensure that you create a catalogue for your meals. The truth is that you would need a colorful menu – catalogue for you to be able to show people your meal offerings. Come to think of it, when a client sees the sumptuous meals that you have prepared in time past, they can easily make up their mind to patronize your services.
- Come to a Level Term with Your Clients Before Going Ahead with The Job
Another important catering tip you need as a caterer is to ensure that you come to level term with their clients before going ahead to execute the job. As a caterer, you must be able to get a clear picture of what is expected of you in order to avoid unnecessary mix ups. As simple as this looks, it can prevent you from getting your full payment from a client.
- Always Sign a Contract with Your Client
As a caterer, it is important to always sign a contract with your clients. Ensure that all the agreement reached are clearly written down in black and white and signatures appended. If you neglect this aspect of the business process, you might lose out if things go wrong.
- Hygiene Should Occupy Top Burner
Even though there are bodies responsible for ensuring that any business involved in cooking food for public consumption are regulated to meet up with proper hygiene, you can make it a top priority in your own organization. You don’t have to wait for people to tell you that you need to pay attention to hygiene when cooking for events. A lot can go wrong for a catering business when there is a compromise in hygiene especially in the kitchen.
- Ensure Your Menu Card is Attractive and Well – Branded
In case you don’t know, top flight caterers usually print a small menu card and drop them on top of tables during events they are catering for. This is one sure way of promoting your business and you can get that done at no cost. So as a caterer who intends doing pretty well in the industry, ensure that you print a menu card that is attractive and well – branded.
- Know The Number of Guests You Are Catering For
Another key catering tip that you need to adopt as a caterer is to know the number of people you are catering for. As simple as this may sound, it can determine the profitability of your business. Part of the key questions you should ask your clients is to know the number of guests you are expected to cater for. Though it is the norm for caterers to charge their clients based on the number of guests they are expected to serve, it will also help you prepare well to handle the job.
- Know The Age Range of the Guests You Are Expected to Cater For
Knowing the age range of the guests you are expected to cater for is yet another important catering tip that you need to succeed. Come to think of it, how can you successfully cater for an event when you don’t know the age range of the guests you will be catering for?
Knowing the age range of the guests you are catering for will guide you in recommending the meals that will be suitable for the event. For example, you are not expected to prepare the same menu for an adult party and a children’s party.
- Insist on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
If you want to get the best of taste when preparing a menu that has vegetables and fruits amongst the ingredient, then you must insist on fresh fruits and vegetables. This is one catering tip that will help you come up with tasty meals that your guests will find difficult to resist.
- Create and Market Your Own Unique Meal
Another important catering tip that will position you as a pro is to come up with your own unique meal; your signature meal. You don’t necessarily need to conjure a meal from the blues, all you need to do is just to tweak an existing meal and make it more appealing.
One good thing about having a signature meal is that it will open doors for you. People and organizations may want to hire your services just because they want your signature meal to be served in their event.
- Always Create a Check List
When it comes to catering a big wedding or other events, one can get carried away and forget some key stuffs. In order to avoid this, you must ensure that you always create a check list whenever you are catering an event. This is one very important catering tip that must not be neglected. Just ensure that you come up with a comprehensive checklist that will guide and of course bring out the best from you.
- Visit The Venue of the Event
Visiting the venue of the event you are going to be catering is yet another important catering tip you need to adopt. When you visit the venue of the event you are going to be catering, it will make it easier for you to know where to position your serving stands and you will be able to map out strategies that will help serve guests seamlessly.
- Hire Good Looking Servers
One reliable catering tip that you should take seriously is to ensure that you hire good looking servers. The truth is that when you have neat and good looking servers under your payroll, you likely going to get referrals because it is natural for people to associate with anything that looks presentable. Please note that much more than having good looking servers under your payroll, your delicacies must also taste good.
- Always Cross Check Your Gas Cooker to Avoid Gas Leakage
Safety should not be taken for granted especially when you are running a catering business that will expose you to the usage of gas cooker often. So part of the catering tips that you need to adopt as a caterer is to always ensure that you cross check your gas cooker so as to avoid gas leakage. Gas leakage can be devastating if not properly handled. The rule of thumb to follow before you start cooking is to do a quick check on the gas cooker and the gas lines to check for leakages.
- Prepare a Night Before the Event
Although most of the foods that are to be served in wedding or corporate events are usually prepared on the day of the event, but however, it will be wise to get all you need a night before the event. This will help you to be better organized.
So part of the catering tip you need to adopt as a caterer is to ensure that you prepare a night before the event. Preparing a night before the event could mean picking, washing and cutting vegetables, blending and parboiling tomatoes, pepper and onions, and a host of other stuffs you can do a night before the day of the event.
- Create a Standard Operating Process
Creating a standard operating process for your catering service is yet another important catering tip that will help you if you want to be successful. The importance of creating a standard operating process in business cannot be over emphasized.
This is because there will be time that you will not be around to supervise your caterers and your workforce. The only way to ensure that standards are met is to create a standard operating process for your business and ensure that your staff members follow it to the latter.
- Create Quality Assurance Unit
Another important catering tip is to ensure that you create a quality assurance unit; a unit that will ensure that all the ingredients purchased and of course the foods prepared meets or even surpasses the expected standard set by the client. No doubt, smaller catering services might not be able to hire full – time quality assurance officers under their payroll, but they can hire one on a contract basis (pay as you go).
- Build Robust Network with Wedding Planners
Since your business is all about catering, then you will do your business a whole lot of good by ensuring that you build a robust network with wedding planners. If you can successfully build a robust network with wedding planners, you can easily secure catering deals to cater for weddings. As a matter of fact, you will be the one turning down contracts because you will be getting more than you can handle.
- Build Robust Network with Event Planners/Managers
Similar to building a robust network with wedding planners is building a robust network with event planners/managers. The truth is that when you are in partnership with event planners in your city, you can easily get referrals to carter events. This catering tip and trick will position your business to always secure catering deals as long as you are ready to work.
- Prepare for Unforeseen Circumstances
Another important catering tip that will help you do pretty well as a caterer is to ensure that you prepare for unforeseen circumstances especially as it relates to preparing extra meals. The fact that you are expected to know the number of guests you are catering for does not stop you from adding extra.
For example, when you are contracted to cater for 50 people, it will be a wise decision to make provisions for extra 5 people or more. Just imagine a situation where some uninvited special guests show for up the party. If you can assure the host that the uninvited guests will be taken care of, you will earn their respect and you can be rest assured that you will get referrals and repeated catering deals from them.
- Moderation is Key
When it comes to catering a large group of people, moderation is key. This is one sure fire catering tips that will guarantee you success as a caterer. Moderation especially as it relates to the ingredients used in preparing any meal. When you err in this regard by going towards any of the extreme, you might get low ratings from the guests.
- Give Your Client Options
Giving your clients options especially as it relates to the type of food to be cooked is of course one workable catering tip that will help you grow your business as a caterer. For example, when you are negotiating with your clients, you can make them know that you can prepare either organic or traditional food for them. Of course, organic foods are expensive, but some clients wouldn’t mind especially if they have pro-organic foodies as guests at their events.
- Make Use of Trendy Catering/Serving Wares
Sticking to outdated catering/serving wares can prevent you from maximizing your business. The truth is that if you have a competitor that is trendier than you are, you are going to be losing customers to him/her even if your meals taste better than theirs. So, part of the catering tip you need to adopt if you want to maximize your catering business is to ensure that you make use of trendy catering/serving wares.
- Be Unique in Your Table Arrangement
Another sure – fire catering tip you should adopt is to ensure that you are unique when it comes to table arrangement. Following the norm in the industry when it comes to decorating tables won’t fetch you extra catering deals. Just ensure that you improvise when decorating the tables. If your decoration is out of this world, you are certain of getting referrals from the event. It is a proven principle that works wonders.
- Never Joke with Time
As a caterer, working with time as agreed between you and your client is key to the success of your business. Running behind schedule when you are contracted to cater an event can ruin your chances of getting repeat business from that deal.
Again, when you are running behind schedule, you are prone to make mistakes that can affect the output of your job (the meals you prepared may fall short of standard due to hasty preparation). In order to get a handle on this, ensure that you start working at least one hour ahead of the time you are expected to get started. Remember, slow and steady helps you avoid costly mistakes.
- Ensure That Your Servers Are Always Well Kitted
Never make the mistake of allowing your servers dress the way they want. You must ensure that you have presentable uniforms for all your servers and they must be neat as well. There are templates for uniforms used by servers in events, ensure that yours is within the templates in your country. This is one important catering tip and trick that will help you project your catering business to your target audience.
- Make Your Self Available for Wedding and Event Catering Talk Shows
If you want to be seen as a pro in the catering industry, one of the tips that you need to adopt is to always make yourself available for wedding and event catering related talk shows either on television or on radio. The truth is that when you appear as a guest on related talk shows on television or radio, top class clients would want to hire your services.
- Blog on Wedding and Event Catering
Similar to making yourself available for wedding and event catering talk shows is blogging on wedding and event catering related topics. If you blog regularly on wedding and event catering related topics, people will see you as a pro in the industry, you will get good PR and of course you will get top profile catering deals from both individual and corporate clients. Just ensure that you blog on topics that will be useful to upcoming caterers.
- Leverage on Social Media to Promote Your Catering Business
Another important catering tips is to ensure that you leverage on social media to promote your catering business. The world has moved on and you will be doing your catering services business a whole lot of disservice if you don’t leverage on social media when it comes to promoting your services. The advantages you stand to gain when you make use of social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest Facebook et al to promote your catering services are enormous.
- Offer Free Meals Once in a While
Offering free meals once in a while or pro bono catering services in your community is yet another important tip and trick that a caterer can embrace. The truth is that when you offer free meals especially as your contribution to a charity event, people that matter may be able to taste your meal and if you are truly good, you may get referrals from such events.
- Welcome and Work with Feedbacks
Any business that wants to do pretty well and grow in the industry they belong must learn to welcome feedbacks and not just welcome feedbacks but work with the feedbacks to continue to improvise on how to get better. So as a caterer, never neglect this important tip.
Ensure that you have a means of passing across your feedback forms not only to your clients, but also to the guests you are catering. If you are able to get a proper handle of this, and you work with the feedbacks you get to grow your business. It is a time tested principle that works.
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