Upgrading A Catering Business, Step By Step
The catering industry can be fiercely competitive. Whatever market you are serving, and in whatever location, it is likely that you have several competitors jostling for the attention of your customers.
One of the best ways to keep customers’ attentions is with subtle, but regular, improvements and upgrades. But how can you achieve this?
Staying on top of trends and changes can quickly become overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are some improvements that never go out of fashion and can be adapted to suit a range of budgets — whether you have cash to splash or can only afford minor tweaks.
The upgrades below can make the maximum impact for minimum effort. They can be as quick or as time-consuming as you and your budget dictate, but they will all have a positive impact.
If you have your own catering business, or want to make an impact in your catering workplace, consider trying some of the upgrades below!
Changes in the Kitchen
Even for somewhere so crucial in the catering business, the aesthetics of the kitchen can often be forgotten. They are usually hidden from the customers’ view, so frequently end up not being given the attention they deserve.
Kitchens can become cluttered, untidy, disorganised, or at the very least, inefficient.
Upgrading your kitchen can instantly create a more spacious, creative, and lively atmosphere. It could be as simple as rearranging items, organising sections, or replacing equipment with new or refurbished items.
At Caterquip we have a great range of equipment at affordable prices, all restored to a high professional standard and ready to improve your kitchen today!
A tidy, well-functioning kitchen should be a priority, and regular updates can really help your business.
Changes to the Customer Experience
Catering businesses all differ in the dining experience they offer their customer. Some sit down in a physical setting, others are on-the-go from a mobile truck. More still are entirely digital — delivering food via apps and takeaway services.
However your customers experience your food, give thought to the space they have to go to. If it is an online space, try to ensure that your website provides a smooth and pleasant experience. If it is a dine-in setting, then why not regularly change artwork or furnishings to freshen the space?
For mobile businesses, some thought on how easy utensils are to use, or whether your containers can be made recyclable, for example, can all add to the customer experience.
Giving regular thought to the ways in which customer satisfaction can be improved is one of the most valuable and impactful upgrades you can make.
Improving Your Online Presence
Whatever your industry, so much business is now done online that it can no longer be an area anyone can afford to ignore.
That’s not to say that you can’t keep things simple. There is no need to become a social media fanatic overnight, or to create an elaborate website that requires major upkeep. But if you choose to focus your attention on areas that you think may attract traffic, the results can be excellent.
You may wish to open a specific Facebook page, for example, or an Instagram account that allows you to post appetising pictures of your food or venue. Hashtags and threads can also allow customers to post their own images.
A simple, eye-catching website with key information can also be a great investment. At the very least, ensure that it includes your address, an up-to-date menu, and engaging images, as a starting point.
The key feature of your online presence should be that it is accurate, engaging and reliable. You can then make things as simple (or as fancy!) as you wish.
Reviewing Your Budget
It may not be the most interesting or glamourous way to upgrade your business, but your budget is key. Ensuring that you are in control of your budget and that it is working well for you definitely upgrades your business as you can direct cashflow into the areas that really matter.
Regularly reviewing your budget is important for identifying potential problem areas of waste or overspending, understanding where your money is going, and how to cut costs and redistribute if necessary.
No matter how large or small your business is, regularly reviewing and adjusting your budget is a form of upgrading all the time.
Investing in Training
Finally, if you have the time and the resources available, many businesses swear by investing in training for themselves and their staff. This is a way to make your business more competitive, upskill your employees, and improve the quality of your menu — both instantly and over time.