The corporate catering industry is booming. In a recent ICA survey, 43.24% of caterers reported that corporate was going to be their biggest area of growth in 2016. Now that the year is in full swing and picnic season is finally dawning for northern climates, it may be time to look at what types of events your company is catering and refresh your corporate strategy.
Corporate events from A to Z
Ceremonies, open houses, launches, meetings, galas, retreats, training sessions, and picnics—this long list is just a fraction of the corporate events that typically require catering. Kornel Grygo, director of sales at Tasty Catering in Chicago, noted that they most often deal with drop-off clients who want breakfast or lunch for meetings. The types of corporate event inquiries caterers receive depend on the season, though, with a very big holiday rush as well as an influx of company picnics in the summer.
Which industries are the hungriest?
Though the answer to this question varies geographically, certain trends are national. Tricia Woodman, owner of Simply Delicious Caterings, shared that “the manufacturing/distribution industry is growing, especially here in Memphis.” However, Grygo said that the healthcare industry is “really growing for drop off,” and another popular customer is “hotels with meeting space but not kitchens.”
The best ways to lose or keep a corporate client
Remember that these clients are different from engaged couples and social hosts; they value business professionalism and expect flawless service. Woodman said that “not getting back to clients in a timely fashion, not having professional email or proposal interactions, and not following through with timely billing” are some things that these customers will not tolerate. “We have found that our corporate clients want things to be easy to navigate,” Woodman noted, adding that creating menu packages was one way they streamlined the process. Likewise, Grygo said that the best way to create long relationships with corporate clients is to “be consistent, never run out of food, and never be late.”
Tasty Catering and Simply Delicious Caterings are proud members of the ICA. To learn more about the ICA, visit http://www.internationalcaterers.org.
Get Fresh, May 2016