Marketing Plan for a Catering Business
by Kristie Lorette
Identify who the buyers of your catering services are. The target audience for your business may vary according to the food offerings, experience and know how of the caterer. For example, a catering business that provides only the finest French cuisine markets to a different crowd than one that specializes in economical homestyle foods. Understanding who your audience is, how they think, what they feel and the needs they have can help you to offer the catering services they seek and to reach them with your marketing efforts.
The marketing plan should contain the brand image of your catering business. The brand you build directly correlates to your target audience. A catering business needs to develop a reputation for high quality, tasty dishes, punctuality, strong customer service and varied menu choices, among other things. The image built of the business through promotions and advertising should reflect the aspects that are the most important to the audience you are targeting in your business.
Defined goals and the detailed route you plan to take to reach your catering business goals are an essential element of the marketing plan. Goals can be somewhat simple or large-scale, but should be specifically, detailed in the plan. The plans to reach these goals affect the promotion and advertising choices you make in the catering business. For instance, a catering business may specify a goal to be the primary resource for large
conventions in the local area. The plans to reach that goal may include advertising to local convention centers, providing food for smaller conventions (and asking for referrals) and inquiring about upcoming conventions taking place at local sites and contacting the event coordinators directly.
In developing the image and creating marketing ideas, it is important for a catering business to be aware of the competition. A caterer’s direct competition is other caterers, but you also need to be aware of restaurants offering catering services and grocers that provide full meals for special events. The marketing plan should evaluate the strengths of the competition, as well as its weaknesses. Using this information, the catering business will build its image by maximizing its own strengths while improving upon the weaknesses of the competition.
The financial aspect of the marketing plan pertains to the budget set forth in the written marketing plan. Allocate a portion of the catering business income to pay for the marketing and advertising efforts. The first year in business typically requires a higher marketing expenditure than latter years because you have establish your catering business as the business to turn to for catering needs. In later years, a catering marketing budget is typically 5 percent to 10 percent of business revenue. The budget covers print and online advertisements, television advertisements, catering organization memberships, newsletters for vendors and clients, direct mail pieces, brochures, website development and other marketing efforts.
- Mplans: Sample Caterer Marketing Plan
Category: Business plan