If you were to drive around Nashville, you would soon notice the construction cranes dotting the skyline. I heard the number was close to a hundred. During a meeting at a downtown high rise, I counted thirteen from one corner window.
Currently, there is over two billion dollars worth of construction going on in Nashville. Billion with a “B” spells a whole lot of opportunity…even for caterers.
Let’s examine a few angles:
Topping Out Parties: When a high rise building gets the roof finished, the general contractor throws a “Topping Out” party of his team and all of the subs. When I owned my restaurant we did a lot of topping out parties.
The most famous topping out party Corky’s catered was for the Titan’s stadium. We fed two thousand hungry construction workers.
There are services that provide leads of construction projects in your market. One of my CEO Roundtable friends, Wendy, sells aerial photography to that niche. I think she uses a service like this: http://www.cmdgroup.com/construction-project-leads/
Of course you can go down to your local government and pull construction permits for larger jobs.
We targeted local large general contractors with a letter members have access to on www.RestaurantProfitPoint.com
Here’s the link to the letter:
http://www.restaurantprofitpoint.com/members/109.cfm Just search for “Contractor’s Letter”.
Another real estate related catering niche is open houses. There are times when realtors hold open houses for other realtors. Whether it is to launch a new subdivision or showcase a new million-dollar listing, there is strength in numbers.
By inviting realtors in the area to see the new listing, they get the power of all these realtors going back to their clients and offices to present the property. Using other people’s connections works wonders for realtors.
The larger the real estate project, the larger the catering budget. No one is going to show off a new three-million-dollar home and serve Cheese Whiz and Ritz crackers.
The final real estate related catering niche is catering in “Lunch & Learns” to real estate offices. Everyone from title companies to home inspection companies wants a piece of the real estate pie. Realtors are gatekeepers to business for mortgage brokers, home inspectors, pest control companies (termite letter) and title companies.
Many of these companies will come in and feed the realty office and put on a “Lunch & Learn” event. Some of these classes qualify for continuing education credit. The free lunch is a way to network with realtors and work to earn their trust and referrals.
Finding and targeting these companies is very easy thanks to the internet. I would start off by talking to brokers of real estate offices. Ask them to refer you the company types above that provide lunch.