If you are going to be a professional caterer you have to get used to bidding on jobs. You will also have to come up with some creative ideas to establish yourself in the market and build your client base. This is especially true when your new company consists mostly of yourself, with a few friends willing to help serve when you need them. With some careful thought, you can intrigue executives and win bids for corporate catering Biloxi competitors wanted for themselves.
When you sit down with the marketing director of a large company, you have to be ready to explain why you are the best caterer for their upcoming event. Offering cost saving ideas, that won’t feel that way to guests, is a good way to get the attention of a director who wants to impress company officers. One of the simplest suggestions is to keep the event short. Cocktail receptions that include action stations are elegant and less expensive than a cocktail hour and sit down dinner.
An open bar, with unlimited alcoholic choices, can eat up a budget. You might suggest limiting the bar to specialty beers provided by local microbreweries and relatively unknown, but award winning, wines. If you present these as unique opportunities for guests to sample beverages not normally offered, most will choose them over the usual whiskies.
Controlling food portions is another way to keep the budget in check. People love buffets and food stations, but they tend to pile as much food as possible onto their plates. Formal dinners require china, cutlery, and additional staff, but this extra cost is more than made up for in the food savings. Servers circulating the room with hors d’oeuvre filled trays are much more cost effective than a pre-dinner buffet.
If it seems appropriate, you could offer some suggestions for choosing venues. Your client may not have considered all the added expenses recurred when the venue doesn’t offer a fully equipped kitchen. The caterer has to bring in equipment and extra staff to compensate. The client can also save money when venues allow the catering company to pick up during business hours instead of immediately after the event.
Steak and lobster may be the marketing director’s first choice when it comes to the menu selection because these are items commonly served. If she is open to suggestions, you could offer different ideas, like braised meats accompanied by local fruits and vegetables. If appropriate, an ethnic menu will get the guests talking and engaged.
A subtle way to save money, that the guests will never notice, is to use the same style glassware and china for each course. Special glasses at the bar are nice, but not necessary. You will save money using standard glassware there as well.
Succeeding in the catering business can be tricky. You will have plenty of talented competition vying for the most prestigious jobs. In order to build your client base, you have to be attentive to the needs of your customers and deliver the best food and service in the business.
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