Add catering to your restaurant’s roster

As many restaurants branch out to help with higher margins, consider the profitability of catering to raise revenues for your restaurant. In the fall of 2022, catering orders rose 184 per cent over the previous January, making it clear that as employees continue to return to the office, companies are looking to host events and order food from local restaurants.

Catering has the potential to raise restaurant revenues by 20 per cent, and with a few tweaks to your operations, your restaurant can become a catering and corporate destination.

Assess your packaging

Sustainability is something that many companies are looking at from their suppliers, and that includes their favourite restaurants. Studies show that 86 per cent of people under the age of 45 are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging, so making the investment in eco-friendly containers and utensils will connect you with your corporate customers.

Making the switch may well help you stand out from the competition, setting you apart as a restaurant that’s committed to a greener cause.

Prioritize the customer experience

In this competitive market, offering the very best experience will get customers calling you back. For catering, think about that in-person dining experience and how you might be able to best replicate that offsite.  Consider presentation, freshness, and variety of dishes that are available to be able to offer your catering guests as many options as you can.

Also, try and include options addressing dietary restrictions. In an office setting, there are always a few people who need accommodation, so design a menu that offers something for everyone.

RELATED: Consider common dietary preferences to build an inclusive menu

Market your services

As more and more companies are looking for catering services, you need to make a name for yourself in that space to start to grow your customer base. Advertise on your website, post on social media, and these services in your restaurant that you offer – you never know when one of your customers may need something for their business.

When you send out an order, be sure to include marketing material that they can refer to for the next time. This could include an offer for their next order, information on your restaurant, a calendar of upcoming events, and more – anything you think will help you stay top of mind when they need you next.

Get creative with your offering so you have something interesting to promote. Consider creating custom charcuterie boards for smaller events. Or maybe an off-site happy hour will appeal to companies looking for something more casual. Thinking up new ideas and then spreading the word will help you stand out and make a name for your restaurant in the catering market.