In the special events industry, we are fortunate to have a very strong and supportive community of like-minded professionals. We all love what we do and helping one another is a great way to spread the positivity. In times of crisis, especially, having a support network to lean on is invaluable to emotional and business stability.
“I believe in an abundance mindset where when we help one another, everyone wins,” says Anthony Lambatos of Footers Catering. “It's not about copying what someone else is doing, it's about being inspired by the work of someone else and putting your own twist on it to make it even better, which leads to a virtuous cycle of improvements for the industry as a whole.”
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There are plenty of reasons to be community-minded as a caterer — here are some of the top benefits you’ll get from engaging with those around you.
You’ll make new friends.
Your industry connections don’t have to remain in a professional capacity; you can find some long-lasting friends right inside your own community. Unlike your friends outside the industry, they’ll know exactly what you mean when you vent about a client with champagne taste on a beer budget. Of course, having friends within your industry can naturally lead to more opportunities to grow your business through cross-promotions and partnerships.
You’ll form new partnerships.
Client referrals, shared recipes, styled shoots, guest blogs, podcast interviews, and more — there are so many fruitful opportunities that can come from growing your network and becoming an engaged member of your community. It’s simple, really: the more you show up, the more you’ll be remembered for your hard work and commitment to growing the industry.
You’ll have access to knowledge.
Running a business inevitably brings up a lot of questions along the way and your community can be an excellent resource for answers and solutions. Unsure where to find the best prices for wholesale fruit? Looking to upgrade your kitchen appliances but not certain where to start? Chances are someone in your community has the experience and knowledge to help you make the right choices. This goes both ways, too, as you’ll surely be a valuable resource for catering partners to turn to with questions.
As for how to give back to your community, there are many ways to contribute time, services, or monetary donations. “We give back in many ways: education, consultation, sharing recipes, sharing photos, and sharing best practices,” shares Lon Lane of Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions. “We even invite other caterers to come to Kansas City and work with us for a week to see how we conduct business.”
For caterers, it’s a natural fit to give back to local food banks and shelters to help those who need it most. Make it a group venture with other caterers in your area for an impactful way to build relationships and connect with those on the ground level. Now is the time to dig into your community and collectively support the industry at large.