In a perfect world, caterers and rental companies go together like bread and butter. Both services complement each other in the overall event design, and it is hard to imagine one company without the other. You cannot set a buffet without a table and linens, and there is no use for a place setting without a delicious meal.
Benefits on both sides
Caterers need to build a good relationship with rental companies because most do not stock all of their own equipment, so they will likely need rentals for every event. A caterer can offer more items if they work closely with a trusted rental company that can assist in providing linens, equipment, and décor pieces. Clients will appreciate the connection when it means they have one less vendor that they need to research and interview.
On the other hand, rental companies are not typically the first vendor a client thinks of when planning an event, so a solid referral from a caterer can go a long way in new business. Having a strong connection with a caterer provides an opportunity to display products and reach new clients and markets that they may not be able to reach on their own.
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Thus, it is easy to see how mutually beneficial it can be for caterers and rental companies to maintain a harmonious relationship with one another. Many opportunities are going in both directions, so it makes it a solid win-win situation.
Building a strong relationship
If you are just starting out, the best way to connect with new caterers or rental companies is to have your sales staff reach out to make an introduction, let them know what you do, and how you can best work together. You can also make connections at networking events and through other local vendors that share mutual relationships. Reach out to those who you work with often to request referrals so you can find new caterers and rental companies in the area.
Once you have kicked off the relationship, do not let it fall to the wayside. Keep your industry peers close by staying in touch, sending referrals their way, and reaching out to find out how you can help them in the moment. A bit of intentional communication can go a long way in solidifying a mutually beneficial industry relationship.
By preserving and nurturing the sacred relationship between a caterer and a rental company, you will be setting up your business for success for years to come. Caterers can make an incredible impact on a rental company’s bottom line, whereas rental companies can help a caterer elevate their presentation and overall client experience.
Ultimately, having a great relationship allows both parties to work efficiently on each even and expand their businesses through quality customer service.