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Many experts say that repeat customers are better than new ones. Before you dismiss their claim, check out the numbers: return customers spend 67% more than new customers! Additionally, new customers are notoriously difficult to acquire. The most valuable characteristic displayed by repeat customers is loyalty. If you’ve heard of user-generated content, you understand how valuable brand loyalty is. For tips about catering with digital marketing, check out our best marketing tips to keep repeat customers.

The Importance Of Nurturing Your Regulars Into Loyal Customers

Restaurants that offer deliveries eventually garner a loyal base of enthusiastic customers. You become familiar with the customer who orders three turkey wraps and an enormous lemonade every Wednesday at 2 pm. You also get to know why one family orders the same dinners every other Saturday and why another insists on gluten-free meals. These customers become familiar faces, and you’re thankful for their business.

But, how do you turn regular customers into loyal ones? You know: the ones who won’t ditch you to save a quick buck. Loyal customers can transform your revenue takings, if marketed to in the right way. In fact, research shows that 67% of Gen X consumers and 75% of Baby Boomers will buy a favorite product over and over again. The same customers also cite price and quality as the two most important factors in ensuring their loyalty. Today, we discuss how you can leverage smart campaigns to inspire loyalty in your regulars.

Leverage The Right Marketing Tips To Keep Repeat Customers

Catering regulars can revolutionize your monthly bottom line. The reason, of course, is because catering orders tend to be substantial, resulting in significant profits for each delivery.

So, why do people use catering services? There are many reasons: convenience, time savings, and varied entree and dessert selections. Organizations that have large memberships often rely on caterers for special functions and events. Many don’t have dedicated kitchens to fulfill large orders. This is where you come in. With the right marketing approach, you’ll see a noticeable increase in your catering orders every week. Of course, the first step is to find the right customers.

Work With Local Event Planners

A good resource for new customers is undoubtedly your registry of local event planners. Event planners are sought-after professionals in today’s busy world. In fact, demand for event planners is expected to grow by a whopping 11% from 2016-2026.

Wedding event planners are especially in high demand. In fact, weddings are almost an $80 billion industry in the United States. Research shows that the average wedding cost $35,329 in 2016, and that’s excluding the honeymoon! The most expensive place to get married? That would be Manhattan, clocking in at an eye-watering $78,464 on average.

Wedding planners are well known for having an excellent Rolodex of local catering services to accommodate client food preferences. Get your business on those lists by offering organic, vegan, farm-to-table, lactose/gluten-free selections, as well as signature wedding elements like photo booths and gourmet cocktails. Bonus points for offering “new” cuts, such as the Vegas Strip Steak and the oyster cut.

Digital Marketing Tips to Keep Repeat Customers:

  • Build Your Online Presence
    • Use SEO strategies, such as the right keywords, link-building, and Alt-Text descriptions.
    • Make sure your website is mobile-optimized. Ideally, a responsive design website is best: images are rendered correctly, no matter what device the customer is using.
    • Leverage Google My Business to monitor customer sentiment and engage with clients.

Consider Catering Corporate Business Meetings

Corporate customers are another fantastic source for repeat catering business. Glass-walled institutions that accommodate prestigious clients often follow cherished traditions and rules of decorum. They place especial value on playing the courteous host. So, position your business to cater elegant lunches, dinners, team events, and corporate functions.

Here’s an important statistic: more than 40% of caterers say that their biggest area of growth has been in corporate sales.

Your restaurant could potentially win more high-value clients by catering exclusive events for large corporations.

Digital Marketing Tips to Keep Repeat Customers:

  • Improve Your Restaurant’s Online Visibility
    • Respond professionally to both positive and negative reviews on your restaurant’s Yelp! and Trip Advisor pages.
    • Leverage PPC (pay-per-click) advertising that targets important keywords.
  • Get Your Own Online Ordering Platform And Enable Easy Site Navigation
    • Make sure your catering page is easy to find and navigate. Include an FAQ that addresses customer pain points.
  • Include Information About Dietary Restriction Options
    • Emphasize your ability to fill all special diet needs in one unified order.

Leverage The Employee Wellness Trend To Your Advantage: Offer Delicious, Healthy Office Lunches

Employee wellness is key to keeping turnover rates low. Today, workplace wellness programs are on the rise. The most popular components include wellness screenings, smoking cessation programs, and healthy eating initiatives.

More businesses are jumping on the wellness bandwagon than ever. Did you know that the No.1 employee perk in the United States is access to natural light? That’s right. In a Harvard Business Review study, employees picked access to sunlight as a top company perk. Why? Over a third of employees feel that they don’t get enough natural light at work.

While your business can’t offer sunlight, it can provide healthy, delicious lunches to hungry employees Mondays through Fridays. Next to sunlight, great cafeterias go a long way towards putting a smile on everyone’s faces.

With the right marketing campaign and catering menu options, you could be providing lunches to multiple businesses every day of the week.

Digital Marketing Tips to Keep Repeat Customers:

To become an integral part of an employee wellness lunch program:

  • Focus your digital marketing campaigns on healthy and delicious options. Tap into cravings for versatile, multi-ethnic or fusion cuisine. Bonus points for offering paleo, halal, and kosher selections.
  • Emphasize locally sourced ingredients that are in line with the corporate sustainability and social responsibility trend.
  • Optimize your website for employee mobile devices.
  • Include professional online photos of unique party platter and box lunch selections.
  • Cover common dietary restrictions
    • Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free.
  • Leverage social media marketing to your advantage. Make sure photos of your mouthwatering dishes are on Instagram and Pinterest.

Partner With Event Centers that Lack Commercial Kitchens

Consider partnering with institutions such as museums, sports centers, country clubs, and botanical gardens to provide catering services. Today, many brides and grooms crave an individualized wedding experience. Did you know that museum weddings are becoming more and more popular? Check out these museum wedding venues. Couples want an iconic space for their once-in-a-lifetime event. However, many of these event venues don’t cater.

This is where you come in. Your digital marketing campaign doesn’t have to focus entirely on Mr. And Mrs.Soon-To-Be-Married, however. Consider providing services on a B2B level: try targeting directors of local event centers that lack commercial kitchens.

There are many advantages to partnering with event centers. The most important? You get listed as the caterer-of-choice on event websites and pamphlets.

Digital Marketing Tips to Keep Repeat Customers:

  • Ensure that good reviews and testimonials are prominently displayed on your website.
  • Include strategic photos of exotic locations where you have catered.
  • Launch wedding-centric social media accounts, complete with spectacular photos.
  • Make sure to tag brides, grooms, and wedding parties on social media in order to increase brand awareness.
  • Target wedding blogs by offering to write articles about weddings at theme parks, museums, national parks, historic libraries, as well as botanical gardens. Bonus points for writing about weddings at national aquariums and zoos.

Provide Box Lunches for Field Trips, Mission Trips, and All-Day Charity Events

A particularly overlooked source of revenue is the box-lunch business. Catered box lunches are generally popular options, any time an organization has a group of people to take on a trip.

If you offer box lunches (or are ready to add them to your menu) this can become a surprisingly regular source of catering income for your business. Regular users of the box-lunch catering solution include area schools taking kids on field trips, local churches taking congregations on mission trips, and non-profits organizing all-day charity projects. Each of these types of customers will need box-lunch catering options more than a dozen times each year. With the right marketing tactics, you could be the one they call.

Digital Marketing Tips to Keep Repeat Customers:

  • Use the right keywords, such as “box lunch catering.” Another key point is to include information about the kind of events you cater. Include a special FAQ section about box lunch options to give your leads a go-to page for information.
  • Especially emphasize discounts for charity organizations that order a certain number of box lunches.
  • Advertise on social media and set up a Facebook Group for foodie enthusiasts. Invite everyone to post photos showing delicious adaptations of classic dishes. The key is to nurture your leads into potential customers.

Cater For Local Organizations that Meet Weekly/Monthly

Finally, remember to seek out local organizations. All in all, there are thousands of private social event groups in every city, from book clubs to freestyle dance teams. Many of them need catering services for their functions. Remember that restaurants have been an unofficial part of these groups since the dawn of the hospitality industry.

Undeniably, online ordering makes it easier than ever for social groups to provide meals during their meetings. No one has to drive long distances to restaurants, especially during inclement weather.

Digital Marketing Tips to Keep Repeat Customers:

  • Check out location-specific group pages on Facebook. Do a search for groups in your area. You’ll likely identify potential new customers who might be interested in catering their regular meetings through you.
  • Spruce up your blog to highlight photos of catered events. If you don’t have a blog that targets local organizations, start one.
  • Use Facebook and Google Analytics to monitor engagement, website visits, and bounce rates.
  • Use Twitter to announce monthly specials and new entree options.
  • Set up your own online ordering platform to maximize market share and revenues.

9Fold Makes The Difference

Are you looking for more marketing tips to keep repeat customers? As shown above, digital marketing can be a game changer for your business. Contact us today for more insights, tips, and the online ordering tools you need to turn repeat customers into loyal promoters of your business.