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THRIVE TIP #3: How to Add Additional Revenue Models

Part of the 6-part blog series “Top 6 Tips for Creating a Thriving Catering Brand” by NACE member, Aleya Harris

Glad to get yet another opportunity to talk to you about marketing tips and tricks. I hope everything is going well as you navigate the marketing techniques that we’ve discussed so far.
In our previous two entries, we tackled social media growth and visual branding, so it only makes sense that we’re now ready to explore new and exciting revenue streams that will help expand your business and bring in new potential sources of income.
In case you forgot, each tip in this six-part series will introduce a new solution to help combat the major pain points that often get in the way of growth and success for many food and beverage entrepreneurs.

Let’s delve into our third thrive tip and keep this party going!

Thrive Tip #3: How to Add Additional Revenue Models

As a caterer, you’re probably used to filling your calendar with a variety of private dinners and fabulous events. But no matter how popular your business has become, there is always going to be a lull in your production schedule. For some, it might be the summertime when everyone is soaking in the sun and grilling in their backyards, while for others it could be the winter months when the weather is super cold or unpredictable.

When the slow season hits, the bills still have to be paid in order to keep your business moving so it might be time to consider side ventures and additional streams of income to help bring in revenue..

A revenue stream is any way you can make money by selling a product or offering a service to a customer. In other words, it’s the means that you as a business owner explore in order to make money outside of your core business. Diversifying where your revenue comes from ads stability to your business and a lot of peace of mind.

To help you get started on exploring your options, we’re going to take the time to dive into a few common revenue streams that still leverage your core skill sets.

Revenue Stream #1: Weekly Meal Prep

You’re probably already aware of at least half a dozen meal prep and food subscription services that provide everything a family needs to cook healthy and delicious meals without the hassle of going to the store. While this idea might not be new, there’s still room for you to carve out your place in the industry.

These services are usually only available in larger cities, leaving a gap in the market for smalltown and local populations. One way to help branch out and make a little money on the side would be to set up a local food prep business to cater to those people in your area that already love your food, but aren’t always in need of a large catered event.

To accomplish this, set up a subscription model, a common revenue stream type. Offer your users a tiered program where they can select how many times a week they want deliveries as well as what kinds of food they would like. Part of your client intake process should include asking new subscribers to fill out a questionnaire that asks for each family member’s likes and dislikes so you can better understand their needs.

Revenue Stream #2: Create New Retail Products

Another option for developing new revenue streams is to design and create retail products. Now when I think of retail potential there are two things that instantly come to mind: Putting your goodness in a bottle and producing covet-worthy merchandise.

Do you make your own BBQ sauces in-house? Are your clients always raving about the dry rubs or season mixes that drive them wild? If so, you might want to look into working toward getting these products on your local grocery store shelves or selling online.

Have you watched the new season of Netflix’s “Queer Eye?” If so, then you know that there are companies that centralize in small bottling production. These companies take your recipes and do all the work, while you sit back and await the finished product. These types of products help your loyal followers enjoy your products all year long.

Another way to approach retail products is by creating merchandise. You could create aprons, t-shirts, simple cookware, etc. You could keep them simple, include inspirational or catchy phrases, or throw on your logo and information. One of the easiest ways to spread the word about your business is to simply wear it. Everything from t-shirts and baseball caps can be embroidered with your logo.

Need help with product designs? A great tool to use is www.customink.com.

Revenue Stream #3: Become A Virtual Teacher

Do you have the catering know-how and your own arsenal of tips and tricks that you’ve acquired over the years? If so, you might be surprised that people would pay for a personalized course or tutorial from you.

Crafting your own specialized curriculum of courses could help you stand out from the rest.
These courses would be designated for fellow caters and food professionals that could use a refresher course or want to acquire a new set of skills to bring to their business.

Some examples of topics for tutorials and digital courses include wine and cheese pairings, floral arrangement basics, or something bigger like how to prepare for large catering events. You could even simply offer a crash course full of ways to be resourceful in your field.

Now that you’ve discovered just a few ways that you can bring a bit of additional income into your business, it’s time to go to work. The only limit to how big your business can grow is your own mindset. Change your mindset, change your life.

Next up, we’ll be talking about “Thrive Tip #4: Building a Dynamic and Effective Team.” You’re not alone when it comes to your business. Find out how you can curate ambitious staff members that have a passion for what they do and want to grow with your business.

Want to learn more about this topic? I will be hosting a live webinar about ONE of the Top 6 Tips for Creating a Thriving Catering Brand. You have the power to decide which tip we will be diving into more deeply on the webinar. The post with the most views will become our webinar topic. Vote for your favorite topic by sharing the post via email and social media to increase the views.

Aleya Harris is the owner of The Social Media Pantry and Food & Beverage Media and Marketing, a boutique marketing agency for F&B brands and individuals that specializes in content creation and marketing strategy. She is a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and former private chef and catering company owner with extensive experience as a Marketing Executive for a large foodservice company. She is obsessed about marketing and helping F&B pros turn their talent into treasure. @fbmediaandmarketing

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Most catering and events business owners fail at making money doing what they love because they don't know how to market themselves. Through her company, Flourish Marketing, Aleya offers marketing education, strategy, and tools that help wedding, catering, and events business owners stop staring at a blank calendar and start getting and keeping a consistent stream of clients. Aleya is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef who also happens to be an award-winning, marketing strategist, brand manager, content developer, and storyteller. She has a background as a marketing executive on the leadership teams of large foodservice organizations and has also been a private chef and catering company owner. Aleya speaks your language and understands your challenges. She knows how important it is to work in your passion. That's why for the past 12 years, she has been focused on helping over 1,000 accounts, brands, and business owners to be successful. Aleya is a dynamic interpersonal communicator and presenter with the exceptional ability to inspire, motivate, and equip her audience. She loves opportunities to connect, help people develop, and create the space for her fellow entrepreneurs to see their visions manifest.

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