As businesses continue to recover from the pandemic and employees return to work, the demand for restaurant catering is on the rise. According to ezCater, corporate catering booking sales were up 185 per cent last month over January 2022.
That looks set to continue through 2023, too, as businesses resume in-person client meetings, book corporate lunches, and host customer events.
Capitalizing on this rising demand could add more profitability to your businesses, but how can that be done?
Focus on delivery
As labour shortages still present a service issue for many restaurants, delivery may help offset a smaller team. Rather than having large groups fill your dining room and monopolize your staff, delivery allows businesses to pre-order and receive their catered order, while you manage staff and scheduling.
Stay ahead of the game
According to OpenTable, diners are making reservations earlier than ever before, so capitalize on this by promoting your catering sales well before your busy time. Start now to market these services to businesses so you can get ahead before the holiday season. Traditional marketing and social media are great places to spread the word but adding it to your menu can also help sales. You never know where your customers work, or whether they are looking for catering for their business.
Hybrid and work-from-home scheduling can make catering a challenge but encourage local businesses to host events by meeting their needs. Companies like Panera have taken a unique approach, introducing features like group ordering and “Panera Days” to make catering appealing.
You don’t have to large meals, either. If you specialize in sweets, offer dessert trays. If you are a coffee shop, sell a specialty coffee visit. Catering also benefits your business because it can be ordered and served on your off hours, adding unexpected profits for your restaurant.
Now that more companies are back in business, catering can boost your sales, help build your brand, and can raise your profits. Don’t miss out on taking advantage of a growing market, find a way to offer catering at your restaurant to stay ahead of the curve.