By Kathy Bazan, Business Recovery Center Consultant
Several weeks ago, I wrote an article focused on consultants could add an additional income stream by becoming wedding gift vendors who offer wedding guests viable alternatives to giving just another gravy boat to the happy couple. Now, I will focus on how wedding caterers too can expand their businesses.
As a small business consultant, I constantly seek ways that established businesses can create Multiple Revenue Streams (MRS).
During challenging times such as the Great Recession or the recent pandemic, those businesses which have income flowing in from more than one stream are more likely to survive. For instance, during the Great Recession, caterers who depended on weddings or corporate events had a higher failure rate than did those caterers who participated in more than one MRS.
This article aims to help Chamber members who are wonderful wedding caterers explore additional revenue streams!
- YouTube Channel: YouTube is the social media channel which pays a business to participate. Yes! YouTube sends you a check! For a caterer, I would suggest a series of 3-5 minute videos on helpful hints when hiring a caterer, recipes, alternative menus, and details which make an event memorable. This YouTube topic requires its own article from me because there is so much information. If you have questions, ask me.
- Write a cookbook: Pardon the pun but the market for baking cookbooks is rising.
According to The NPD Group, print unit sales for bread cookbooks in the United States grew 145 percent year over year, for the nine months ending September 2020. As the coronavirus pandemic shelter at home orders and restaurants closures forced more people to cook at home more, many turned to baking and bread-making as a way to pass the time and learn a new cooking skill.
The NPD Group finds that 200,000 more bread cookbooks have been sold in the US in 2020 than were in 2019. That is part of a larger trend, as there was a 15 percent increase in overall print cookbook sales compared to 2019 (Brian Amick, “Coronavirus pandemic leads to rise in cookbook sales,” https://www.bakemag.com/articles/13983-coronavirus-pandemic-leads-to-rise-in-cookbook-sales).
Borrow The Writer’s Market from the library. Utilizing the publisher’s index and the agent’s index at the back of the book, locate those who will review a proposal from a first time author. Make notes on what that agent or publisher wants in a proposal: Is it the first three chapters? A résumé which proves you are the best person to write this cookbook? Is it a marketing analysis? If you wish help in compiling this, please ask. I have over a decade of experience in the publishing industry.
- Sell Gift Cards: Gift cards come in a variety of applications—when given to an engaged couple, gift cards can defray the costs of their wedding catering. Gift cards can constitute a fantastic program for employers to give to their employees as a loyalty incentive. (As the competition for talent accelerates, this could become a successful way for a company to retain their talent.) Last winter, Steven Quick of SQ Merchant Services came up with an innovative gift card program for the Tualatin Chamber.
- Sell Branded Merchandise: Your clients are your biggest fans! Let your clients purchase hats, tee-shirts, pens, kitchen accessories, coffee mugs, socks, postcards, and pint glasses. (Postcards can be physical or digital: The Monterey Bay Aquarium has digital postcards available on their website.) Sell from your office and/or your website. Market your merch to those want to show their Oregon pride even though they sadly moved out of state. Jane Larson of Jane Ink, a branding and graphic design firm, can help you create the merchandise which will generate an additional income stream for you.
- Sell Branded Food Products: Have you roasted a coffee blend about which your clients rave? Could you package, sell, and ship to coffee lovers around the corner or around the world? Do your guests love your marionberry jam? Sell to your local markets. This could apply to any sauces, salad dressings, or marinades which you could market.
- Contact GCAP to sell your products and services to the government.
- Contact Alexa Byer at Business Oregon to export your jam to Jamaica or anywhere else in the world
- Create Meal Kits: As a caterer, you have the culinary expertise to create meal kits which are delicious and nutritious. As workers return to their offices, the need for quick prep meals which don’t stress out a home cook will increase. Why not be the company which meets that need?
If you have questions on how you can implement any or all of these strategies, please contact me. My counseling is confidential and at no cost to you since I am paid by a grant from Washington County. You can contact me at email@example.com or (503) 692-0780.
To Contact Those Mentioned Here:
Tualatin Chamber Members:
Dalton’s Northwest Catering: (503) 639-7211 – Dave Dalton firstname.lastname@example.org
SQ Merchant Services: (833) 564-7355 – Steven Quick email@example.com
Jane Ink: (503) 380-9941 – Jane Larsen Jane@janeink.com
GCAP Oregon’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center to connect to government contracting (541) 736-1088
See this page of a list of contacts: https://www.gcap.org/contact-us Their services are confidential and free to you.
Alexa G. Byers, CGBP
Global Trade Specialist