Weddings represent a source of untapped income for the restaurateur. Besides the potential of catering the actual wedding ceremony, opportunities exist with bridal showers and rehearsal dinners.
From white tablecloth restaurants to barbecue restaurants, there is more than enough business to go around. The wedding niche is wonderful since each year a fresh batch of bridal prospects pop up. If you’ve been in business long enough, you might see them twice (remember half of all marriages end in divorce).
Expert Tips for Finding Catering Clients for Weddings
My formula for catering and party room booking is simple. Find a starving crowd and market to them. We’ve identified the brides to be, but how do we find them? Here’s a list of places to start:
Imagine a thousand brides-to-be with their banker (father) in tow ready to spend, spend, spend. Make sure you capture leads and market after the show as well. This is a perfect venue for sampling your food.
Facebook is the “Big Brother” of advertising channels. No one wants to be stalked so to speak, but if you’re the marketer, it’s wonderful.
You can hyper-target just about anyone. Would you like to target all women, within 25 miles of your business, from 22-35 years old, who were engaged in the last 6 months? Well Facebook will serve up your ads to them.
An advertisement that is so perfectly matched to the market can do wonders for you.
I have a coaching client who used Facebook ads to fill a Bridal Open House and booked $75,000 worth of wedding catering at his big event. He and I discussed some of the finer targeting points of Facebook.
Facebook allows you to drill down and test different ads to see which pulls best. For the targeting ability and cost, it can be a home run for winning wedding catering.
The Knot and Wedding Wire are examples of websites where you can advertise and get leads. I hear mixed reviews, so like everything else: test, test, test!
You can purchase ads in local bridal magazines or rent their mailing list. Make sure your ad has a headline that conveys the biggest benefit they’ll receive from you. Being in the barbecue business, we cater a lot of rehearsal dinners. My favorite headline is “Hassle-Free Rehearsal Dinners”. With all the commotion on the wedding weekend, the bridal party does not want to worry whether the caterer will be set up after the rehearsal party makes it back from the church.
Bridal Related Businesses
Tap into bridal shops, photographers, florists and even wedding venues that allow outside caterers. From leaving your brochures on the counter to establishing a formal referral program, you’re ensured a steady flow of business.
Is Your Catering Business Attractive to Brides?
The wonderful thing about the bridal niche is that there is plenty of opportunity. You have buyers across the price spectrum. You need to understand your place and value proposition in the marketplace. You can’t have crappy branding and shoot to be part of the million dollar weddings.
But don’t get hung up on the high-end. There is a huge opportunity for moderately priced, high value catered receptions. To make it easier for all, consider developing different bridal packages at different price points. This does not preclude you from offering add-ons and custom menus, but you can probably make 75% of the market happy with a package.
RCS is Developing a Solution for Caterers of Weddings!
Our Director of Marketing, Jillian, and I are in the process of creating a Wedding Catering Success Program. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Wedding Catering Version of RCS Catering Software
- Bridal Catering Lead Generation Website (SEO Enabled)
- Purchase/Management of Facebook Ads
- A private label book of which you are the author (better than a business card)
- Custom designed Sales Tempos to follow up and close different bridal leads
- Menu and marketing piece design services
- Bridal show booth design/lead generation systems
- And more!
We are looking for some beta users to help us develop our Wedding Catering Success Program! You'll be locked in to at least two years of preferential pricing on this incredible suite of software and services to help you book more wedding catering.
Sound like a good opportunity for you? Please email me if interested or book a demo at www.BookTimeWithMichael.com.
But please don’t inquire if you are not an implementer. Our "Bridal Beta" program is looking for people who take action!
Now go out and make your register bells ring!