We love the holiday season at Monkey Group!
For some businesses, things slow down, but for restaurants, it’s one of the biggest opportunities of the year for takeout, delivery, and catering sales.
Our clients at MonkeyMedia Software, The Catering Institute, and Catering Insights tell us how catering orders can account for 30, 40, even 50% of their sales.
There’s a huge opportunity here.
Over the past 21 years, we’ve been using our strategic framework, The 5 Pillars of Successful Restaurant Takeout, Delivery and Catering, to educate restaurant operators on how to take advantage of this incredible opportunity so their fourth quarter can actually make their whole year.
Holiday catering-specific marketing materials become crucial to sales performance, and while that may be obvious, you still have to make some noise.
The following advice comes from personal experience as a former owner-operator, from listening to our clients, and from working with restaurants and foodservice operators of all kinds over the past 21 years.
(Remember – catering is a different business than your in-store operation and not just an ‘add-on’ service! You must be specific and thoughtful, and always stick to your brand promise.)
Your most valuable marketing tool is your people.
Train your people to speak and write the language of restaurant catering. This is true when you’re gearing up for holiday catering sales season, and it will carry through to help you build momentum for your current program year-round. Train your people at the operations level to tell your catering story to the public. Your front-line people should be able to direct your catering customers to the right team within your organization at the right moment, which will ensure that your customers’ expectations are set properly for guaranteed service execution.
Use all advertising methods at your disposal to tell your catering story.
Showcase your whole team as catering experts – no matter who your customer talks to, that person should be a catering expert, and be able to help your customers. Display a list of the clients you currently service in your store and on your website for prospects to see. Post a sign in-store that says “Today’s Deliveries,” showing your orders for the day – it’s a great way to help drive customer enquiries and interest!
Develop and showcase a holiday catering menu.
Your holiday menu should be different and complementary to your current menu. Focus on a category. Be clear that it is a limited time offer. Stick with one specific, high-value (and high margin) offering.
Document holiday policies and procedures for your team and customers.
The holiday season increases stress for your people and catering operations. Your catering strategy during the holiday time should provide a logical plan for the seasonal spike in sales. You may need seasonal staff. Align your holiday strategy with your existing plan, then include a separate policy and procedure guideline focused specifically on your holiday catering customer.
The holidays should be remembered as a time of festivity with co-workers, friends and family. Give your catering customers an experience to remember and they’ll have even more to celebrate, as well as tell all their friends what a great catering experience you were able to provide.
Feel free to reach out directly if you have any questions! And best of luck this season,