Re: Marketing a new business

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Posted by Sam Sears, CEC on November 22, 19100 at 21:46:23 :

In Reply to: Marketing a new business posted by Libby on November 22, 19100 at 17:33:42 :

: I am in the planning stages of starting my own catering business. I am mostly self-taught but attend workshops, demonstrations and lectures whenever I can. I have worked in the hospitality industry for several years (including catering). I have a passion for entertaining and a head for business. Although I (as an individual) have already catered quite a few events in the recent past (some as large as 250 people), I am not prepare to face the potential liability if something should go wrong and therefore am in the process of looking for a licensed commercial kitchen space, proper permits, insurance, etc. I have made many contacts and met many potential clients who ask to see menus or price lists (which I don't of course have yet, since I haven't officially started). I always would tell them that there aren't any set/hourly rates and that the price would reflect the number of people and type of food served. My question is about initial marketing. Should I come up with several example menus and prices? Or just do proposals on an individual basis? Any input from industry pros would be much appreciated. Thank you.

In my humble opinion, there are two ways to make money in the food business, Volume & Average Check, if you want to be a volume caterer (now this does not mean cheap or mediocore food), you should have some basic menus available to email, fax or mail out to clients, we do about 400+ events/year and I find that the caterer that gets the proposal first to the client in a professional manner, at least gets a second & third look, while some of the other caterers are spending hours/days preparing "custom" menus for each we keep breakfast, luncheons (both buffet & served), picnic, dinners (buffet & served), cocktail receptions, boxed luncheon menus, ect, reading to go out, but it must look professional and answer your clients questions, with out too much effort on their part....there will be times that you will need to qualify your callers & see when a specific client will need a customized package for their event....these are just my thoughts, email me if you have any more questions that I might help w/......sam sears, cec

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