Four Tips for Creating A Custom Catering Menu

By Ryan ONeil

Catering Apps

The events industry is all about creating a custom, one-of-a-kind experience to make the client's dreams come true. Everything from the music to the decor to the food must reflect their vision for the big event. For caterers, helping make the big event perfect starts with helping clients create a perfect menu that will leave their guests raving for months. Here are four tips for creating a custom menu for any client.

Ask The Right Questions

It all starts with the initial consultation.
It's not enough to simply understand their food preferences and dietary restrictions, but it's important to understand their full vision for the event. What's the theme? What are some things they like and dislike? Do they have ideas for displaying food in a particular way? And, of course, knowing the budget is also a key part of the discussion.
We highly recommend asking for this information before the initial consultation to ensure that the consultation can remain focused on the incredible food you're creating rather than the cost.

Many caterers also ask questions that help them better connect with the clients on a personal level and see what their food personalities are like. For example, they may ask "What's your favorite type of restaurant?" and "If the budget was no issue, what would be your dream menu?" These questions allow caterers to know how much creativity can go into their menus.

Develop Your Proposal Quickly

After your initial consultation, you'll want to have a proposal to the potential clients in less than 24 hours. This shows them that you're serious about their event and also reinforces the idea that you'll be consistently reliable throughout the planning and execution of event.
The proposal should not only include the initial custom menu but a projected cost and contract that the potential client could sign to book immediately. The quicker you are in giving this proposal, the more likely a potential client is to actually book their event with you.
Did you know that you can even create an accurate and beautiful proposal in your initial consultation? Schedule a demo of Curate to see how it works.
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Once your proposed menu is ready, you'll really want to pay attention to your client's thoughts on the food. They may find that they don't actually like a certain spice all that much or perhaps an hors d'oeuvre wasn't quite what they were expecting but one of the dessert options was so amazing they want everyone to have it. Take notes on everything from salt and spice levels to facial expressions so you know what adjustments should be made before the big day. 

Go Above And Beyond

A truly custom experience means that you are always going above and beyond a client's expectations. This can mean doing something very small that may not seem like a big deal but will stay in the client's memory for a long time.
Ultimately, one of the best ways to ensure that you're going above and beyond their expectations has little to do with the menu and extra gifts, and more to do with your team members who are interacting with the client and the guests. You should always hire team members with the gift of hospitality, whose personalities help create a great environment and enhance the experience.
Keep these tips in mind and we guarantee that clients will leave raving about your services and even come back for more.

Looking for a contract to help turn those leads into clients? We're giving away ours as a template!
Download A Free Catering Contract Template

Tags: Small Business Sally, Curate, Established Ed, catering


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