Is Your Franchise Restaurant Ready to Offer Catering?
If you’re looking for a great way to increase your franchise restaurant’s profits, catering is a great idea. However, to determine whether catering is right for your business, you may need to address the question of whether it makes financial sense to launch a catering arm.
As experts in the franchise restaurant catering business, we’ve developed these four questions that we use to help our clients identify whether their restaurants are truly ready to get into the catering business. Remember, catering requires less overhead than running a restaurant and can potentially be extremely profitable — but you have to ensure you’re doing it right if you want to ensure strong returns on your investment.
If you’re considering dipping your toes into the catering world, here’s what you need to ask yourself.
What’s the Demand?
Is your franchise located in a busy area of town surrounded by conference centers and wedding venues? Have customers contacted you to inquire whether your restaurant offers catering? If so, these are some great reasons to introduce catering services at your franchise restaurant.
If you’re not sure whether there’s demand for catering services, talk to your current customers as well as your potential catering service targets. Call local event centers to learn how they work with caterers. They’ll be able to offer you insights on the market for catering services in your vicinity.
Do Current Restaurant Customers Regularly Return Their Dishes?
If you want to go all in on catering, you need to be sure that your restaurant’s standard arm is already a well-oiled machine. If people continuously return their food or complain about service on third party websites, you’ll want to improve your food service line before you move into catering.
After all, it’s one thing if a single customer returns a dish because of dry meat. But you don’t want to have a catering client demand a refund and leave negative reviews of your restaurant online because the catering meal they ordered for hundreds of people was of less-than-stellar quality. This is not only financially detrimental to your restaurant, but it severely tarnishes your restaurant’s reputation.
Do You Have a Way to Accept Orders?
When you start a catering business, simply writing down orders over the phone isn’t always the best way to go. After all, because of language issues and poor cell phone reception, it can be a challenge to note things such as dietary restrictions, topping requests, and additional condiment requests.
But, this doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. You can sign up for services to help you with these issues. For example, after realizing it would be much easier for franchise restaurants to take catering orders online, but understanding not all restaurants have the infrastructure in place to automate their systems, we built Catering Brand to help alleviate some of the issues with ordering. Our automated order processing saves franchise restaurant owners time and money.
Do You Have a Means to Deliver?
Assuming you’ve identified a demand for services, you’re already running a tight ship at your restaurant location, and you have the infrastructure in place to handle catering orders, there’s still one big thing that may be standing in the way of your ability to successfully run a catering business: delivery.
One option is to ensure you have a delivery van and to ensure you have access to someone who can drive it at all times. However, at Catering Brand, we realized many franchise businesses simply don’t have the resources to support drivers and delivery services. Therefore, as part of our ordering platform, we also handle catering delivery. This helps franchise restaurant owners focus on the important business of fulfilling catering orders instead of dealing with delivery logistics.
If you’ve read through this and think your franchise restaurant may be ready to introduce catering services, contact the team at Catering Brand to learn how we can help you build a sustainable catering business for the long term.