How to Keep Your Catering Business Afloat During COVID-19
By Space Coast Daily // September 21, 2021
Wedding receptions, family events, or corporate events – these are some of the most important drivers for a catering business. Of course, because of COVID-19 and social distancing, large events, with lots of people, are a thing of the past.
True, the event planning industry found a loophole and started throwing virtual events, but this didn’t help catering businesses.
Still, things are not as grim as they may seem. The world is slowly opening up, which also means that in-person meetings are possible. However, large events are still out of the question, which is why businesses need to adjust to the new reality.
Here’s how COVID-19 changed the world for catering businesses everywhere:
Your business may have survived up until now without specialized tools to help with planning and communication, but those times are over. Nowadays, things can change from one day to another, so you need the right tools to stay in touch with business partners, staff members, customers, and the authorities.
A hotel event management software tool, like Planning Pod, can help catering businesses stay organized and communicate with the necessary sources. It also helps save time and makes sure there are no communication errors between staff members.
Use a Food Truck
A food truck is flexible, which makes it easy to test various locations in the city. Plus, people feel more comfortable ordering from a food truck than they are going to a restaurant.
You can also hop on a food trend that has people talking over social media, like healthy food, pancakes, eggs, and so on. Try to join as many local social media groups as possible and look for trending food-related tags to know what gets the networks buzzing. Once you find your best option, post your location and hours on these groups and invite people to drop by for a bite.
Meal Prep Kits & Grocery Delivery
Meal prep kits are extremely popular right now because it allows people to cook their own food but avoid the shopping trip for the ingredients. Plus, you can step it up a notch and dip your toes into grocery delivery too. You can offer a specialized service that only delivers healthy food ingredients (since you already know what works with what).
Focus on Healthy Foods & Preparation
Most people nowadays are extremely careful with the type of food they eat and how it’s prepared. Therefore, provide your customers with peace of mind by allowing them to see how you cook. An outdoor kitchen where people can see how the food is prepared (without coming too close) is a fantastic idea.
Online Orders & Local Retailers
If you didn’t already have an app or a service where customers can order their favorite foods online, it’s time to join the gang. It may be a bit difficult to make the transition from catering to large events to cooking for individual customers, but it is a way to bring in a new revenue stream.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to take this road, you can partner up with local grocery retailers and sell ready-made meals through their stores. You can also make dips, bread, or meal prep kits (if you don’t want to support the costs of selling them yourself).
The pandemic changed the world, but it also showed we can be creative and think outside the box. Plus, the catering industry is not the only one to suffer from social distancing and lockdowns.
Hotels, bars, and restaurants were also in trouble for a while, but creative thinking and determination helped them persevere. Overall, it’s important to change your point of view and make use of the tools at your disposal.