Does it pay to specialise or should you look at offering a variety of cuisines? One or many?

(30 /07 /2015)

With the number of caterers ever increasing and the competition for function dollars fierce have you thought about revisiting your business plan? Catering, unlike a shop front, can be fluid and you are not restricted to just physical location.  I have learnt this from my own experience.  Owning a catering company that has been around for a long time I have learnt to ‘morph’ with the changing market, to add cuisines to my menu lists and to not just operate within one style of food.

It means that the door is also open for a variety of function styles and also repeat business from clients who are looking for more than sandwiches for a lunch function. But how did I know that I needed to change?

Initially I followed the traditional catering road, for cocktail functions, I then add Asian and yum cha to my list and then I had clients asking for different things, the enquiry I was receiving meant that I need to adjust to stay competitive and broaden my horizons.  Now I’m not saying that if you specialise in cupcakes that you should introduce Indian or Thai but perhaps at looking at complimentary items such as cakes, pastries, cookies as an example.

How do you know what is ‘on trend’? Research! Watch the market  and watch the new competitors that are coming in.  Your competitive analysis shouldn’t be something you do in year 1 – it should be done yearly at the very least, you need to remain current and you need to understand the market and grow.  Evolving as a business is the only way you are going to remain competitive and  maintain your market share – your loyal customers will stay loyal until something more interesting comes along!  Be that interesting something else!

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