The Key to Catering Success: Flexibility

Professionals who are just starting off in the catering business often wonder why some caterers are so much more successful than others. The catering industry is a competitive market, and in order to succeed in this environment a caterer must think outside the box and most importantly, be flexible enough to adopt new trends and test out a new way of doing things. When caterers are able to offer products or services that their competitors are not offering, they will naturally attract a larger customer base and can even establish a brand name in a certain niche over time.

Catering companies that offer custom catering or one-stop shop services have proven to be the most successful. Nowadays customers come in all shapes and sizes, as well as have different tastes and needs, so it becomes important for a caterer to accommodate a client’s requests. Caterers who are versatile and willing to work with their customers to fulfill their requests will certainly get higher scores in customer satisfaction. This flexibility helps to foster a strong business relationship and can lead to some long-term customers down the road.

There are many ways a caterer can adopt flexibility into their business:

1) Caterers who are willing to serve all type of events, such as corporate events, weddings, parties, and private events, will get a more diverse customer base.

2) Catering companies that can meet various dietary requests or restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, nut free, low carb, low fat, kosher, etc.) will also attract a lot more customers.

3) Catering companies that offer meal delivery services will attract clients with busy lifestyles that need reliable, ready-made, and high quality meals delivered right to their doorstop. This provides a great sources of recurring revenue as well.

It takes a little more time and preparation to build a flexible catering business, but as most successful caterers will tell you, the invested time, money and resources will definitely pay off in the long run.

Holiday Party Planning Tips

Every year it seems that companies planning a holiday party have to find a balance between an extravagant gala event and the casual coworker hangout with pizza and plastic cups. Perhaps it’s been a tough year and the company staff have to stick to a budget, or layoffs and mandatory work furloughs are looming, which make it difficult for companies to spend too much money and resources on a holiday party. But the show must go on for the sake of company morale and productivity, so every company hopes to fill the year with a string of holiday celebrations.

Here are 10 tips to maximize your company holiday party budget:

  1. Plan to maximize your budget without minimizing your event. Do not get discouraged when the budget is tight. There are many creative ways to make a holiday fun and engaging with spending a ton of money. Take some time and do some brainstorming.
  2. Consider the benefits, not just the cost. Reinforcing employee productivity and morale benefits everyone in the long run, so it’s important to invest in your employees by throwing regular company celebrations.
  3. Find a prime location. Consider local venues or even your own office if that is most convenient. It is amazing how you can transform your office for just half the cost of renting out a venue.
  4. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Vendors are always hungry for your business and they will be willing to work with your budget.
  5. Identify must-haves vs. nice-to-haves. Make an actual list and weight the pros and cons of each element of your party. Cut out costs when necessary to stick within your budget.
  6. Hire a full-service catering company. Most caterers are also event planners. Use their expertise to help negotiate with other vendors on your behalf. Most of the time, this one-stop shop approach can really save you money.
  7. Band or DJ? Entertainment can be high quality and cost-effective. Compare all of your options before making a decision on music and entertainment.
  8. Be resourceful. Work closely with your vendors and take on certain responsibilities yourself. For example, if you want to serve appetizers at your event, consider asking for company volunteers or the management team to serve appetizers instead of hiring servers.
  9. Get creative with decorations. With some simple décor and lighting, you can turn any space into a warm and inviting venue. Consider creative themes to brighten up your holiday party. Buy and put up some decorations yourself to save some extra cash.
  10. Be honest about what you can afford, especially when communicating your budget to vendors. Take the time to explain your goals for the event. Be realistic, flexible and patient when dealing with service providers.

Signs of a Good Caterer

The best caterers in the business will always exceed client expectations by providing impeccable service and great food. Not only will these top-notch caterers impress you with their skills and expertise, they will also make referrals to other services that would benefit their client’s event. The management team of any successful catering company should have established working relationships with premier suppliers and vendors that will help clients produce the best event possible.

The most successful caterers will also run a full-service catering business that provides much more than just a great menu. These one-stop shop caterers will also help clients with the following:

1) Event coordination and management
2) Event planning assistance
3) Event Venues
4) Florists
5) Photographers
6) DJ’s
7) Bands / music
8) Bakeries
9) Videographers
10) Rental suppliers
11) Shuttles
12) Limousines
13) Valets

To maximize efficiency and cost-effectiveness, make sure you look for caterers that provide these additional services when you plan your next big event.

Delectable Cuisine, Impeccable Service

Many catering companies offer custom menus and services in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to menus with a wide variety of scrumptious cuisines, these caterers generally have knowledgeable staff who will provide advice and guide prospective clients to choose the right menu based on key factors, including:

Type of Event

Whether it’s planning and executing services for corporate catering, company parties, birthdays or weddings, caterers with experience working on all types of events will make yours an unforgettable experience, especially in regards to quality food and service. The right caterer will create something exciting and unique for every event no matter its size, type or theme, and top things off with tantalizing and delicious food and beverages.

The Best Event Planning Tip

All of us have attended important business or social events at some point of time in our lives. Whether it’s a relative’s wedding, a corporate lunch or a social gathering, the sights and sounds of people engaging in conversation, the varieties of appetizers and beverages served, mouthwatering main course preparations and desserts seem to invade our minds often for good and bad reasons. The menu plays a highly important role for the success of any event. If the food turns out bad, people will remember that particular event for all the wrong reasons. This means that if you would like to leave a positive impression and a lasting impact as far as the way the food looks and tastes, it’s important to hire the right caterer who is also an expert in event planning and management to make sure you execute your next event in style.