Leveraging the Royal Wedding as a Catering Business

An exciting publicity opportunity for catering professionals has arrived: a royal wedding! The upcoming nuptials of Henry Charles Albert David, Prince Henry of Wales KCVO (aka Prince Harry) and American actress Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018, have royal aficionados worldwide consuming absolutely anything related to the big event. This is your chance for your catering business to capture a share of the royal frenzy.

The catering connection

Food and beverage will play a huge part in the royal wedding and the related events. People will be “chomping at the bit” so to speak to find out what will be on the menus, who is supplying the ingredients, and how they can bring a little bit of the royal influence into their own events. Your task is to seek opportunities to comment on the festivities by reaching out to the media with topics and expertise that naturally ties in to the excitement.

Pictures or it didn’t happen

The prediction that this royal wedding can give your PR legs isn’t based on conjecture—I have the personal experience and national TV coverage (along with an admirable collection of commemorative royal wedding china) to back it up.

When Will and Kate were married, OFD Consulting was just two years old and ready for some serious attention. I am an avowed lover of all things Royal, so I immediately set in motion a plan to host and publicize a royal wedding viewing party for my clients and colleagues, which a little show known as Good Morning America actually sent a team to film and air our fun!

They key to my overwhelming success leveraging Will and Kate’s wedding for OFD was effort and enthusiasm. I offered local and national media expert commentary on enough related topics to prove invaluable. You can do the same!

Begin with what we know

While there is more that we don’t know than has been released to our world of mere mortals so far, based on royal tradition, we can assume that there will be a brunch reception after the wedding, followed by another celebration later in the day.

You could turn that little bit of information into dozens of possible blog topics, guest posts, media pitches, and opportunities for commentary. For example, share your best “10 Best Menu Items for a Brunch Reception” ideas or give advice on “Coordinating Menus over Multiple Events.”

We also know that there will almost certainly be a traditional fruitcake, although there have been murmurings of a (wait for it…) banana cake instead! You could pitch your local home show on a fruit cake baking segment or share your favorite recipes with a regional magazine or any number of blogs.

The menu for the first party will more than likely be released, so make it your goal to predict what sorts of menu items might be on it, bearing in mind the anticipated time of day and expected formality of the event. Include information about previous royal menus, or your thoughts on what kind of beverage they might toast with or how serving style might be determined. Even if you’re wrong, your opinion is backed by your catering expertise and demonstrates that you have insight into the menu planning process.

Don’t limit your pitches to your niche or specialty

While you should take full advantage of any publicity opportunities that directly related to your specialty, think more broadly about what you could contribute to reach the biggest audience. Share your ideas about blending two cultures in one menu, the advantages of hosting a brunch wedding, or what kind of décor would be appropriate for a royal-inspired event.

It isn’t every day that catering professionals are handed such a fun and high-profile opportunity for involvement in current events, so take advantage while it’s here. Leverage your own royal obsession for the kind of PR you’ve only dreamed of until now!

Meghan Ely

President, OFD Consulting, Richmond, VA

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 

Photo: Melody Smith Portraits