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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-16-2007, 01:13 AM   #1
grillfella
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Default Catering questions

Well boys my little catering business is starting to really get some attention. I just finished up that 400 person on site job and we are allready booking jobs all the way through the end of june. Although a lot of them are delivery jobs (which I prefer due to the fact that I can showcase my smoking talents with ribs, beercans and fattys). I just bought a 2004 ford F150 truck and am looking for a small trailer to hall extra grills. I have to say I really love bbq and cooking for people, It doesn't seem like work to me. Do you guys have any advice on how to get more business, I am sure summer is everybodys busy season, but I would love to get jobs all year round. Any advice would be helpful.
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Unread 05-16-2007, 08:20 AM   #2
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Get yourself business cards and sheet flyers printed up, set up a website showcasing what you can do, perhaps throw your hat in the ring for some of the local churches and civic centers, little league clubs, schools, universities, colleges.

Make sure you are complying with the Health Department rules and regulations, and that you are licensed and are carrying insurance at least $500,000 and in some areas require $1,000,000, so check what you need and comply with it.

If you want greater coverage, you can also try having an article written about you and your catering Co…Send it to all the local newspapers, including the free circulation town papers, they are always looking for filler, fun or informational pieces, it would help if you got the article written about you contributing to a charity event, feed the emergency workers, something that puts your catering Co on a different level than every other catering Co.

That way the article can fill more than one need for the newspapers.

The main thing this all comes down to is to get your name out in the publics mind, as the go to guy for your style of catering, and the more word of mouth working for you the better. Often if there is some side to a human-interest story, it can also get picked up as filler for the local radio and TV slots.

Make sure you have your website, abilities in place before doing some of the more “out there” promotional stuff, as it pay dividends to point folks at the information source, as well as to tell folks you are just available.
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Unread 05-16-2007, 10:35 AM   #3
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Advertise, advertise, advertise!!!!
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Unread 05-16-2007, 11:02 AM   #4
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Do you know what happens when you DO NOT advertise?
Nothing!!!!!!!
Like the Boyz said above.
PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Smoke On!!!!!!
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Unread 05-16-2007, 01:52 PM   #5
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Thanks guys I do have business cards and all my jobs have been word of mouth
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Unread 05-16-2007, 02:05 PM   #6
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Do a good job on every job. Word of mouth is a double edged sword.

Invest in advertising, but be careful about diminishing returns. What I mean is that during a growth period, advertising is good. But at some point, you can only book so many parties each weekend. Typically, word of mouth, reputation, and awareness begins to carry you. Back off on the ad dollars at that point. Randy had the local radio station call him about renewing ad blocks for this summer. When he explained that he was already pretty booked for the year and that he didn't need the added exposure, they offered him sponsorship for one of their promotional events because his business name is a draw for them. People know Plowboys BBQ Company and will come out for that alone. Funny how in a year the tables turn.

For business cards, go mail order. I got virtually the same cards from Overnight Prints online for 2/5 of the price that Office Depot wanted. They are bright and thick stock. I think it was $48 for 1000 cards.
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Unread 05-16-2007, 02:07 PM   #7
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I am finding that by just driving around with my DPP70 attached to my beauty of a Titan V-8 gets alot of attention. Everywhere I stop someone is asking me questions and then I find myself handing out a card.
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Unread 05-16-2007, 10:52 PM   #8
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Advertising is still a wild card for me, but sure is a necessary evil. Even when business is good, you have to do a little to let people know you're still there. Radio has best impact, but is expensive. If you do newspaper, a picture is a must! People will look at pictures first, then read. Until I added a picture, I had trouble finding the ad myself!
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Unread 05-17-2007, 07:49 AM   #9
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Join the local chamber of commerce and attend the get togethers they sponsor. Hob Nob mod.
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Unread 05-17-2007, 12:31 PM   #10
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Not to hijack the thread,but...

How did you guys get started in catering? Did you start helping out at friends parties or did you jump in with both feet from the get go?
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