Start Catering Weddings

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QUESTION FROM: Carly in VT

“We recently did a wedding and my question to coincide that is:
How do you get your name out there so people know you do wedding catering?”


HH ANSWER:

Not sure whether you have a restaurant and have a PDR (private dining room) / independent venue or if you are a caterer strictly doing on-site catering so will keep my direction as general as possible:

Advertise on website, check presenter inserts, social media…but not just for weddings. If you’re going to cater weddings you should also be promoting rehersal dinners, bridal showers and baby showers as well.

Cold call: Wedding Planners, Dress Makers/bridal shops, venues (caters only - as many venues have a short list of approved caterers if they don’t offer f&b themseves), Photographers, Bakers and Salon/Spas. Invite them to a tasting event where you can showcase the space(s) (if you have one) or simply the breadth and quality of your menu.

Attend wedding expos with full color brochures and “personalized” sample menus.

Take out half page or full page ads in local city mag’s annual wedding issue.

If you have your own space / restaurant, add to your door hours:“will close for your wedding party”

Be prepared with a BEO format, food pricing, beverage pricing tiers and A/V

Consider also a designated banquet / event coordinator and designated website like the knot.

On a side note: Remember not to place your bar near a doorway, in a corner or somewhere that might create a bottle neck (i.e., if in a smaller room, keep the bar against a far wall rather than near one of the egresses/doorways). Bars, when visible, can be very effective traffic flow regulators.

If you don’t have a liq lic., take a TIPS or other certification class and hire only servers/bartenders who have done the same. If the venue / your location doesn’t have a liq lic., keep in mind that most municipalities have applications for a provisional / 1 day event lic. The alternative to both would be to partner with someone who does have a lic and staff- e.g., a mobile bar or local tavern.

Best of Luck,

Josh