Group ordering capabilities for corporate lunches or any group gathering can be a great way to drive catering sales. Companies, teams, schools, clubs, and churches are plum customers because of the potential for regular, high-volume orders. A restaurant that offers the convenience of online group ordering and deferred payment is an attractive choice for these groups.
Think about it: If a large local company celebrates sales achievements with a pizza party catered by your restaurant, what brand will those staff think of first when their families are hungry for pizza Friday night? Group catering orders not only drive more sales—they also introduce new customers to your food.
But to win those catering orders in the first place, you need a good product, strong promotion, and tools that make it easy to order from you every time.
- Easy online group ordering that simplifies the ordering process for a group of people
- Advance (or deferred) ordering—so they can place an order now for a meeting or event next week
- Convenient deferred payment terms
- Database marketing to keep your business top of mind when it's time to place an order
- Cultivating VIP contacts at your corporate accounts: the administrative staff who coordinate lunches and special events
Beyond Deferred Orders
Many modern point of sale systems can handle deferred ordering and catering in some way. Look for extras such as an easy interface for choosing the delivery date and time; adjustable reminders and ticket printing/display options for the kitchen; and a deferred order production report for efficient catering purchasing and prep.
Building Catering Sales by Extending Credit
Extending credit to companies and groups is easy when you have the tools in the point of sale system to manage orders and invoices in your restaurant point of sale system. Look for house account capabilities that allow you to extend a business a limited line of credit to use, so whoever is picking up your pizzas doesn’t have to carry the company credit card. Set up a billing schedule for them too, and create invoices on the fly.
Marketing to VIPs to Keep a High Profile
The customer database in your POS is your friend here: use it to keep in touch and send offers to potential catering customers. Micheal Stadnicki, owner of Taco Lulú in Chicago, uses email: "I just got a call from a customer that received my email blast and had asked if we can accommodate a 100-person catering order on Oct 30. So there’s the power of that database. You have to keep in touch with your customers."
Stadnicki even goes as far as offering free pizza tastings for the administrative staff at businesses in his area: “With my catering customers, if I’m working with one admin, I’ll offer her a tasting for [her and] other admins in the building, and all of a sudden a $1000 order becomes a $6000 order between multiple offices within the same company.”
Posted on Mon, Jun 08, 2015 @ 14:06 PM.
Updated on May 18, 2020 @ 4:01 PM PST.
Writes guides, online help, and training content for SpeedLine POS users. An avid hiker and dancer, Lisa also enjoys learning new and exciting things.