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Before ‘I Do’: What Couples Want from Their Caterers

The approaching busy wedding season is an optimal time to step up our game, so to speak, for couples looking to secure a caterer. Statistically speaking, this time of year is when you should expect an uptick in web traffic, so your first step is to make sure your site is up-to-date and ready for the volume increase!

Revisit your website

As much as a standard portfolio still matters, you also need to pay attention to your website's overall user experience. Do an audit of your site to make sure it has a logical flow, answers the most pressing questions engaged couples have, and loads quickly. Team profiles should be updated, as well as any press/award/testimonial pages. Typically, all marketing/PR/advertising initiatives send people right back to their site so you want to make sure you are 100% ready.

Social media & workflow auditing

Are you being social? Make sure you have regular engagement on the channels you have chosen to be a part of (bearing in mind that most couples are citing Instagram as their top social media pick for inspiration and wedding planning). You and your team will inevitably be busier during event season, and as such, it's easy to let your content fall to the wayside. Don’t let that happen! Your prospective clients will be looking at your web presence with their loved ones, even after they have signed with you.

“Do you have the ability to let clients sign contracts via mobile? Is your site mobile-friendly? Can customers pay via mobile (or at the very least, online)? Simplicity is key.”

Engaged couples aren't just tech savvy, they’re tech dependent. Audit your workflow and discern whether or not you are engaged in the appropriate apps and programs to ensure the desired client experience. With this, you’ll want to make the process as streamlined and accessible as possible. For example, do you have the ability to let clients sign contracts via mobile? Is your site mobile-friendly? Can customers pay via mobile (or at the very least, online)? Simplicity is key.

Evaluate the experience

No matter the trends, clients are craving a custom experience. Are you prepared to take on this popular ask? Most couples want to make sure their offerings are bespoke: something different than what they experienced at other friends’ and relatives’ weddings they attended last season. This means taking an audit of how your prospective client meetings run. Ask enough questions to make sure you can create a custom experience. Are your proposals templated or do you have the ability to create something personalized with relative ease? Are your offerings reflective of this trend?

Understand that tastings are more than just a necessary step to ensure that the food is up to their standards. This means versatility in ingredients, and creating beautiful food stories and displays to wow their guests. If they’re choosing a food station with made-to-order ingredients, give them just that during their tasting. Keep in mind allergy-free items or food that can “bridge the gap” between various food proclivities.

Their interaction with you as a caterer is one of the most important steps in the planning process, and it reflects on how they’ll be treated on their big day, so make sure you nail it!

Clint Elkins

Clint Elkins is the VP Sales for SB Value located in Charlotte, NC. Clint, a former professional race car driver, was one of the top motorsports promoters in the country by the age of 35. Clint used that experience and passion for business to launch his second career in a sales and marketing. Outside of work Clint enjoys spending time on his family farm and coaching his two daughters softball teams. Clint is also an avid cook and self proclaimed badminton superstar.