The end of the year is a time for celebrations leading to New Year’s activities and parties. Although we don’t expect parties and celebrations this year to be as active as they’ve been in the past due to the pandemic and economy, you can believe that agencies and organizations will still hold them. And this is another opportunity for restaurants to make more money over the holidays.
What type of restaurant has the golden opportunity to provide catering services?
The catering market is another one we expect to be rather competitive at the end of the year and onward, because it’s not just the restaurants that are competing with each other. Restaurants as well as professional catering businesses are also joining the market, adding to the competitiveness. However, from a restaurant’s point of view, restaurants have more of an advantage, because their main business comes from storefront services and catering is just a supplementary service, albeit a high earning supplementary service. And if your restaurant is ready, you shouldn’t miss out on customers who need catering services.
So, what type of restaurant is suitable for offering catering services? Actually, any type of restaurant can offer catering services. It depends on the package and theme. However, one important factor you may need to consider is the readiness of your facilities. This is one of the first things customers will consider. Restaurants with facilities that are suitable for hosting an event have advantages. For example, those restaurants might have a lot of accommodating spaces and rooms, karaoke rooms and a nice atmosphere which can be easier to sell. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean small restaurants should miss out on this opportunity. Small restaurants can offer catering services for small parties, emphasizing privacy and service preparedness because catering needs more servicing manpower than regular services. If a restaurant’s management isn’t good enough, it’ll affect its other customer groups and potentially lead to complaints that could ruin the business.
Which market groups should you seek out?
Camp Havana Bar & Restaurant https://www.facebook.com/camphavana/
The main catering target market for the end-of-year and New Year’s festivities include, as always, organizations and companies. So, if you want to capture this target market, you’ll need to hurry up and do some aggressive marketing to make yourself attractive. You need to raise awareness among the target customers to let them know what types of catering services your restaurant is offering. For instance, you can put up a sign in front of your restaurant, advertise via your restaurant’s online channels and prepare food packages along with the pricelist and menu.
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Another interesting option is to enter your restaurant on a platform for caterers like Hungry Hub, a platform that provides restaurant reservation services for large parties. The advantage of joining this kind of platform is that the platform specializes in this type of marketing. They have a system for managing the customers who use their services to reserve tables for parties. They already have a customer base and a team to provide consultations about selecting packages with different menus and prices. It’s like having someone to bring in your customers and service them for you.
Types of Catering
When we say “catering business”, a lot of people can only think about a Chinese banquet. However, there are many types of catering services to choose from, each one with a different setting and menu. For example:
Chinese Banquets: This service format involves preparing a set menu and serving them in courses. It’s great for customers looking to hold large banquets for occasions like weddings or ordinations.
Example of Chinese Banquet Price: 2,500 baht per table for a minimum order of 10 tables from New Pochana.
Cocktails: This service format is similar to a buffet. The food is prepared and placed at designated stations for attendees to serve themselves. However, the types of dishes aren’t main dishes. Instead, the focus is on light snacks and appetizers. This is great for parties that want a breezy atmosphere without emphasis on eating, but focused on the event’s activities.
Example of Set Prices and Menus from Dee Catering. Click here to view additional details.
Food Kiosks: This service format involves catering at events. These events have several food kiosks for attendees to choose from, and are growing in popularity these days. This model is great for events focused on entertainment like a music festival, birthday party or housewarming party. It depends on the idea you want to present to customers.
Buffet. This service format involves preparing food at designated stations for attendees to service themselves. It’s great for company parties and seminars.
Example of Buffet Menus with Package Prices from New Pochana.
Coffee Break and Snacks: This service format involves creating sets of snacks along with beverages. It’s usually used for meetings and seminars.
Snack Boxes: This service format is similar to coffee breaks and snacks. The difference is that, with the snack box format, the snacks and drinks are put into boxes. This model is great for events that don’t take a long time, but require convenience and speed like press conferences, seminars and ceremonies such as religious ceremonies and funerals, etc.
Example of snack boxes from S&P
Boxed Foods: This service format involves cooking short-order dishes and putting them in boxes. You could create a menu that customers can choose from. This model is great for seminars and activities requiring convenience on a small budget.
Example of Boxed Food Prices from New Pochana : Download the menu, click.
As you can see, the catering market is quite extraordinary. There are several marketing groups for you to target. It all depends on whether a restaurateur can recognize the opportunity.
Your catering format may need to emphasize flexibility according to the customers’ budgets. However, if your restaurant emphasizes self-management in this year’s case where companies and agencies’ budgets for parties are probably going to be reduced, being able to design your price and menu packages according to your customers’ budgets will be a major deciding factor for your customers along with providing other alternatives such as on-site catering services and kiosks.
Another option using your cooking skills and talents to provide chef’s table-style services to your customers at their homes is another extraordinary idea that can increase your income opportunities.
Example of Buffet-style Catering Packages for Parties at Novotel Silom.
The Gathering: 899 baht per person. (minimum number of guests: 40)
Enjoy a buffet of international cuisine and unlimited snacks soft drinks and mocktails for 4 hours.
The Ultimate: 1,150 baht per person. (minimum number of guests: 40)
Enjoy a buffet of international cuisine, snacks, soft drinks and 20 liters of draft beer for 4 hours. Moreover, we’ve prepared a photo booth so everyone can have some fun with it at the party.
The Big Blast: 1,399 baht per person. (minimum number of guests: 40)
Enjoy a buffet of seafood, snacks, soft drinks and 20 liters of draft beer for 4 hours. A super special deal! We’re providing a free photo booth for the party attendees to take pictures of cool poses and upload them on social media.
Information source: Novotel
Things You Need to Be Careful about that Could Ruin Your Restaurant:
Whatever format you’ve chosen in order to capture your catering market group, the most important thing you have to consider is the readiness of every part of your restaurant, especially your services as catering requires more service manpower than regular services. If your restaurant’s management isn’t good enough, it’ll affect your other customer groups and that can lead to complaints and ruin your business.
The catering market has a high growth potential and it’s not just for major festivals since restaurants can offer these services all year round in many formats, for example, for seminars, weddings, birthdays and graduations. The good thing about this business is if you give your customer a good impression, there’s hardly any chance that they’ll switch to other service providers.
Information from – Camp Havana Bar & Restaurant / New Pochana / Dee Catering / S&P / Novotel Silom
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