Keeping Your Catering Classy (Without Maxing Out On Overheads): Image by ELEVATE via Pexels
For those of incredible culinary talent, the idea of running their own business in the catering space such as a restaurant or cafe is a dream come true. It’s a great way for gifted chefs to establish themselves on their own terms, find a more creatively rewarding way of working and create a dining experience that’s well and truly theirs. A dining experience that has both class and prestige. But in your zeal to create a classy dining experience, don’t make the mistake of assuming that you need to max out on overheads. If you’re unable to manage your costs, this can prove disastrous, especially since 60% of restaurants fold in their first year. There are lots of ways in which you can keep it classy without strangling your cash flow (which is a typically low-margin affair).
Let’s take a look…
Consider curb appeal
When you’re thinking about opening a restaurant, you probably already have an idea of what you want it to look like from the inside. But unless you take the time to plan your restaurant’s exterior too, your premises could find itself lacking in curb appeal. And as they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Invest in your curb appeal now and it will more than make up for itself in covers.
Make the perfect first impression with your greeting
Returning to the idea of first impressions, your guests will start to form theirs even before you serve them their hors d’oeuvres. As well as ensuring that they’re greeted warmly and enthusiastically by your staff, make sure that you invest in excellent quality linen from Richard Haworth, that your silverware is sparkling and free of dishwasher residue, and that your glassware is gleaming.
Keep it local
There are a number of reasons why you should source your ingredients locally and forge great relationships with local suppliers. It affords you better quality control and also gives your business the ethical credentials which are so important to today’s diners. They want to know that the food they eat has a minimal environmental footprint and is ethically sourced from local vendors.
Offer more veggie and vegan options
Speaking of ethical consumer trends, many of today’s diners are choosing to go veggie or vegan for ethical or health reasons. Even if you’re catering mostly to omnivores, there’s an excellent chance that there’ll be at least a few vegans walking through your doors. Make sure you’re catering to them and not only will you maintain a reputation for class and ethics, bit you’ll enjoy higher profit margins since whole, plant based foods are usually cheaper to source.
Charge what you’re worth, not what you think your diners can afford
Finally, in your enthusiasm to get as many diners through your door as possible, be wary of the effects of trying to undercut your competitors on price. Remember that catering is a low-margin business anyway, and setting your prices too low can create cash flow problems later down the line, even if you’re consistently busy. Charge what you know you’re worth and discerning diners will be happy to pay it. If they want something cheap and cheerful… well, that’s what fast food’s for!