The Hot New Catering Niche

Michael Attias May 13, 2014
Michael Attias

One is a very dangerous number in business. Relying on one key employee, vendor or marketing strategy makes you vulnerable. If something happens, you are left scrambling. I hate operating from reaction mode.

For years, many people who sought me out to find out how to reach pharmaceutical reps to get their catering business. I even published a book called Catering To Drug Dealers: How To Get A Ton of Pharmaceutical Rep Business. Over the last few years, this niche has become less dependable and lucrative. The enactment of the Sunshine Act required doctors to disclose gifts received like free lunches.

Though many doctors still allow pharm reps to cater in lunches for educational sessions, many large hospitals have created policies forbidding it. This makes compliance and transparency easier.

I have some clients who have seen a large portion of their catering sales disappear. Others still do a respectable volume with pharm reps, but it is down.

One of the keys to me selling a million a year in catering was my focus on marketing to multiple catering niches. A hot new catering niche is about to explode; bereavement meals. While I owned my restaurant, we would get the occasional post funeral meal. Some families would dine in our private party rooms, while others would have us cater at their place.

I recently interviewed Kyle Agha about how he was able to become the exclusive catering company for a local funeral home. Funeral homes are starting to offer catering packages to families. They can cater anything from the viewing to a post service reception. It’s a value added service they are providing to stand out from their competitors.

They usually contract out with caterer and get a small discount. They mark up the catering a little.

While I was flying to Baltimore last week to put on a catering seminar, I sat next to a lady whose family owned a small chain of funeral homes. We discussed how she handles catering.

Though Kyle gave me some excellent information in our soon to be released interview, hearing from the actual owner of a funeral home was priceless. Let me share the major point she made.

Her first caterer was very good, but had a problem handling last minute orders. Though it would make it convenient for everyone to know the exact date and time of granny’s funeral weeks in advance, that just ain’t going to happen.

She needed a caterer who could roll with the punches and embrace last minute orders. She fired the first caterer and found a second who is doing an incredible job. I’m guessing this funeral home will add up to a nice chunk of catering change for this caterer. Keep in mind,most funeral homes will only work with one caterer.

So the race is on to be the first to reach the gold buried out West…or should I say the gold buried in the cemetery.

Our members only website, has a copy of a letter I helped a member write to send to churches. The goal of the letter is to let all of his local churches know his restaurant could handle catering meals/delivering food to a grieving member of their church family. The letter is available in the Sales Letters; Catering Sales Letter Section.   

NOTE: I will be at the Chicago National Restaurant Association show working a booth of one of our resellers, Michael Rosman with The Corporate Caterer. We will be in booth #9111 in the North Hall Level 1. Please stop by and say hi.

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness”). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

See more posts about: catering sales, catering marketing, catering business, catering business planning

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