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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 10-29-2011, 06:10 PM   #1
HBMTN
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Default Marketing Idea's How Do you?

Now that the end is just about here for our second year as a barbecue and catering company I want to spend the winter concentrating on getting more aggressive with marketing. Our second season saw a slight increase in business over the first year but I would like to see it grow by 20% to 40% in 2012.

Other than newspaper adds what are some ways that you market your business? For us so far we set up and sell concessions on weekends that we are not catering and we do several charitable events along with some newspaper adds. We also do a few festivals 3 to 4 per year. We also do some social networking with Facebook to touch base with customers.

How can we take it to the next level to increase business. Do you advertise in the winter for booking spring and summer catering or offer specials to get early booking? What has worked for you?
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Unread 10-30-2011, 09:26 AM   #2
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We have a presence on the web and use google words that works out great. Of course referrals are the best so we send thank you cards to all our customers.
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Unread 10-30-2011, 08:24 PM   #3
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Here are two GREAT grass roots style marketing and sales tools.
If you do not come from a sales/marketing background these can definitely help you.
I do come from that background, and I still find them very helpful.

Your library may even have a copy of them.


1) Guerrila Marketing
Amazon.com: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business (9780618785919): Jay Conrad Levinson: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PtxxQcS8L.@@AMEPARAM@@51PtxxQcS8L


2)Book Yourself Solid
Amazon.com: Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling (9780470643471): Michael Port: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Cu7cH19PL.@@AMEPARAM@@51Cu7cH19PL
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Unread 10-30-2011, 08:39 PM   #4
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Guerilla Marketing is a great book.... When it comes to marketing if you are looking for low cost you probably need to get more into social media and website for off season. Why do you stop this time of year? With the holidays coming up this can be a good time of year with holiday parties and such.. Flyers to small local businesses with holiday party package examples would be a great thing to do.... Small businesses around you many times will cater something at the owners home or even the office for the staff! Just an idea...
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Unread 10-30-2011, 10:28 PM   #5
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Good ideas above! Also, prepare some group packages, if you do not already have them priced out. Like a 25 or 50 person party menu. Perhaps even pro actively call some businesses or foundations that you know have yearly office parties, tell them you would love to offer a catering package for them. Let them know you are a local owner/operator. for your weekend concessions stuff, perhaps get like a 3x4 foot sign made up at a Kinko's, stand it on an artist easel, stating that you do christmas office parties, BBQ is the new thanksgiving turkey, etc. The key is exposure as much as you can.
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Unread 10-30-2011, 10:29 PM   #6
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Church bulletins? Here, they have adds on the last page. In your area, might be able to drum up some business.
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Unread 10-31-2011, 10:25 AM   #7
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Thanks, I am in currently reading the 30 day gorrilla marketing. I thought I was buying the one you suggested and it came in the 30 dy one so I will read those two next.

PorkQPine, I looked at the Google Word how does it work and what would you recommend to "bid per click" and how much of a monthly budget to start out with?
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