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Guide on how to grow your catering business online

March 9, 2021 

A tasty dish

 

We all enjoy the outcome of a good catering service and appreciate the pains taken to deliver nothing short of perfection. Behind the scenes of a conventional catering service, there are several existing stresses such as time management, client satisfaction, market analysis and much more. As an owner or operator of a catering service, how often does one think about going digital? If so, how effective and efficient the endeavour had been? Apart from the benefits online presence offers, with the onset of Covid-19, it has become a necessity for catering service businesses to create a digital identity to thrive and survive in a competitive environment. 

 

In this article, we will discuss the standard avenues that are available for the catering businesses to start and expand their business online. 

 

Social Media

 

A phone displaying social media icons.

 

According to BACKLINKO , 63% of people above age 13 are on an average of 8.6 social media platforms. As a catering service provider, you can make the digital switch to tap into this market. Nearly all influential businesses in the food industry have created social media presence. To begin with, let’s pick three platforms that are most suitable to create a strong digital presence.

 

#1. Facebook

For catering service providers, Facebook is the ideal place to promote their business by creating ads that revolve around different cuisines, new trends that captivate foodies, ready to make recipes at home and food memes. All you need to do is start a campaign with ad sets and monitor the ad’s performance by setting a specific regional area, niche target audience or age group. This level of precision maximizes business reach to high potential customers at an efficient cost. 

There is a higher chance to catch the customers attention if the posts are funny and witty. You can check out Mini Punjab’s Facebook page to get more insights on how to create a Facebook page to promote your business. 

#2. Instagram

Instagram is another app with many users and would be a good place to market a catering service provider. All you need to do is create a catchy bio, tell the audience about your best dishes, add links to your website to drive traffic towards and generate trending hashtags to define your brand such as food, foodie, food photography. The ads can be placed through three formats such as single video ads, carousel ads and instagram stories. The content can be about quick 60 seconds recipes, helpful hacks in the kitchen, how to get creative with leftovers, nutrition balanced diet plans among others.

 

Users can also generate content through videos, text, images and reviews about a brand. It creates an impression on other customers regarding certain aspects such as service, food, hospitality and cleanliness of the catering service provider. 

#3. Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the easiest platforms to create ads. The ability to target a niche audience is phenomenal as it helps target them by applying location filters, such as a set radius around particular restaurants at a selected time. Not to mention, a mouth-watering ad when a person is hungry would make the biggest impact in creating a long-lasting memory and association with the brand. The whole app revolves around pictures, a well-presented dish will reel in foodies and food photographers. 

With their reviews and posts, the word of a good catering service will spread in no time as Snapchat has a high social circle interaction. Collaborate with regional food influencers and trendsetters to promote the business.

 

Website

 

Workik website builder homepage

 

Have you thought about creating a personalized website as a digital presence for your catering service? Most of us dismiss this thought because of the perception of it being expensive. This is where we go wrong! Websites help create a unique brand identity and provide value to your business. It creates a strong impression by building trust and authenticity. You can host live cooking classes, quick cooking hacks and tips, best combination of multiple course meals and other events such as fundraisers and exclusive food coupons can be made available on the website. 

The website of catering service provider should include:

  • An attractive landing page
  • About and Contact us page
  • Detailed information on the service options provided
  • Image gallery to highlight events and delicacy
  • Menu portraying the cuisines
  • Testimonials by customers to build trust
  • Breadcrumbs for easy navigation (if necessary)
  • A few blogs that genuinely helps the visitors

Web application builders like Workik helps you build your website with ample technical assistance and support without the requirement of coding. The team provides other essential services such as SEO, SEM, digital marketing, site maintenance, and expert advice. Contact us today to know more and watch your catering service go digital in no time.

Google Business Services

Google Business Solutions is one of the best and easy ways to enhance your SEO and SEM by utilizing the tools provided within its services. Multiple tools are provided that prove very helpful in creating a strong digital presence. Let's look at these tools in depth.

 

#1. Google My Business

 

Catering business on google my business

 

Google My Business is free, it’s where you can engage with your customers with the help of reviews, ratings, bookings and provide important details about your business to create a brand front. A business should include attractive food images, and cuisine centric reviews to capture the viewer’s attention.

If anyone looks for catering services in or around your geographic area, your business would pop up. The interactive result that shows reviews, images of your food uploaded and a brief description of your service is due to Google My Business.

#2. Google Forms

 

Google forms homepage

 

Google Forms is a potent online surveying tool. If you want to expand your business or get more customers and are not sure what needs to be done, then this is your lifeline. With the help of Google Forms, we can obtain answers to “which cuisine do you prefer”, “how much are you willing to spend on catering services”, “other factors that influence your decision while selecting a suitable catering company”. Also using a well-tailored questionnaire, you can target the right audience. This will help you steer your business in the right direction by adapting to the crowd’s needs.

#3. Google Maps

 

 

Catering business on google my business

 

 

By listing on Google Maps your business can be located and viewed in a specific geographical area. Imagine a voice search asking for “catering services near me” and your service popping up. 

 

#4. Google Ads

 

Google ads homepage

 

Google Ads helps you target your niche audience based on the filters you apply with the help of a buyer's persona. Targeting your ads on blogs, websites and other services that revolve around food will increase the chances of the ad being clicked. By doing so, the investment is channelized and helps target only potential clients giving the most returns for your money. It also has a higher return on investment in comparison to conventional marketing means. This ensures the digital presence of the catering service has maximum reach. Moreover, by using the right keywords you are sure to get the right customer.

 

#5. Google Analytics

 

Google analytics with some data

 

With the help of Google Analytics , a lot of data can be unravelled. Visitor information such as age, gender, location, interests, devices used, and much more. With the help of bounce rate, session duration and website activity, data content can be tailored to optimize the page and grab visitor’s attention simultaneously. This will help better your social media posts by providing impactful content and if advertised targeting the right audience is easy.

 

#6. Google Workspace

 

Google workspace landing page

 

Google Workspace is nearly entirely free. Make use of it to handle and communicate with leads, clients and the internal workforce in a professional manner. Additionally, you can set up a digital reminder and assists you with your daily tasks. Ensuring you are never late or never miss a deadline again.

If you need assistance with setting up or executing with Google business solution, we at Workik can always be of assistance.

 

Website Listings

Website listings are powerful tools to create brand awareness, attract more targeted business, and are a quick way to boost your online presence. It also enhances your brand reputation and engagement. The more website listings you have, the higher is the backlink to your website created. Backlinks are nothing but places where your website’s existence is authenticated. This helps the search engine verify your service and give it a higher ranking. All this translates to your service and its information popping up at the top search eventually.

Business.com provides a list of 48 legitimate websites where free listings are possible. If you are based in India, services like Justdial and Indiamart will prove helpful.

 

Tips on how digital transition benefits your catering business

A lot of the functions of a catering service can be switched online by creating a digital presence. By doing so time, energy, and costs can be optimized.

#1. Planning Tool

Google Planner is a good planning tool as it tracks and reminds important dates, events, meetings, and deadlines across multiple devices. Therefore, data can be shared with the working staff and help bridge existing communication issues. You can also plan stocktake, food supply, and manage your inventory.

#2. Invoice Generator

Zoho is a good invoice generator that can help automate invoices and remind clients of pending payments. This relieves you of the most common financial stress of keeping track of payments.

#3. Social Media Marketing

With the help of digital marketing, you can track where and how the budget is spent that tailors the return on investment (ROI) up to five times if done right! Check this link out to read a few real-life stories. It also help increase your business reach. For example, if someone is known for their pastries and you haven’t ventured out into pastries, collaborate with them and add pastries to your menu.

#4. Customer Review and Comments

The best means to create a brand is to have testimonials, genuine reviews and ratings. This brings about trust in the brand and provides authenticity. A cumulative effect of social media presence, website, SEO, Google business solutions and offline marketing will make your catering service a brand to remember. Always ask your customer about their experience and how to better your services. Read more about  how customer testimonials could help your business .

 

Summing it up

 

A person analyzing and working out data

 

As a catering service provider in 2021, it is of at most importance to create a digital presence for multiple reasons. Having a digital presence creates branding, service awareness, targeted marketing and most of all instils trust.The best means to create a digital identity is through social media marketing, dedicated website for your catering service, utilization of Google Business Solutions, Google Surveys, SEO, SEM and website listings.

Moreover, we explored the digitization of catering processes in this article that can help businesses enhance productivity and improve convenience. We understand that there has been a lot of information that is provided. When taken in at once, all the information provided may seem overwhelming. You can take one step at a time and implement each strategy individually at your convenience. It is the ability to expand and go beyond comfort zones that pay off in the long run.