Consumers Want Your Restaurant to Cater at Home. Here’s How to Do It.


Catering used to be something that consumers encountered only on the most special of occasions — weddings, conference lunches, large fundraising parties, or the company holiday party. 

Over the years, and especially during COVID restrictions in 2020, catering has become a more common occurrence and accessible to the public, planners of social and corporate events turned to restaurants of all types as an easy source of food for their celebrations. 

And as the popularity of delivery apps has grown, consumers regularly order food to their homes for a variety of reasons, including social events, birthdays, holiday gatherings, and more. According to a survey we conducted with SevenRooms, 50% of consumers are planning to order catering from a local restaurant or venue for their 2021 events.

If your restaurant hasn’t jumped on the catering trend, you’re missing out on an easy source of revenue. Here are our tips on how to get started.

1. Create catering packages

You’ll need to begin with the traditional catering packages for events, such as wedding receptions, cocktail parties, corporate lunches or dinners, birthdays, graduations, and breakfasts, brunches, lunches, and dinners.

Don’t stop there. Try some unique offerings that will make your restaurant stand out, including boxes, cocktails to go, meal kits, or tasting kits. Reach out to corporate customers with offers like prepackaged meals delivered to employees, catering for virtual events, or a catering and virtual event hosting package.

And you have a lot of time to get started on holiday catering packages for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. These typically include special menus for the holidays, as well as newer options for meal kits, parties in a box, or virtual celebrations.

2. Get the right software

Tripleseat recently launched Tripleseat+ Direct, which enables restaurants to offer an omnichannel direct booking solution that clients can use to book from your website, social media platforms, and listings sites like EventUp.

Tripleseat+ Direct provides a seamless booking experience for catering customers. They can book, plan, and pay for in-house private events, off-site catering, pickup, and delivery with no friction. Plus Tripleseat+ Direct customers will only pay for their subscription and will not be charged a commission or fee for bookings or orders. Your clients’ data is stored in your account and can be used by your restaurant for marketing campaigns and outreach.

3. Promote your catering packages

Once you’ve decided on your catering packages, you need to get the word out to customers and prospects. Start with your website. Use our website optimization guide to put the structure and content of your restaurant’s website in place in order to help drive traffic and leads. 

Then, get active on social media, email, and other digital marketing tools that allow you to connect directly with potential catering customers. Don’t just tell them that you have catering. Use your social media posts and emails to show off what you do, how you do it, and what customers will get when they order your catering packages.

You can also go beyond traditional marketing and try things like tasting events, capturing walk-in business, or a referral program.

No matter what marketing tactics you use, always make sure to include a link to your Tripleseat+ Direct lead form to make it easy for customers to book with you.

Manage your catering with Tripleseat+ Direct

Catering will allow your restaurant to grow revenue in addition to your regular dining and events sales, and Tripleseat+ Direct can help make it happen. If your venue isn’t using TripleseatDirect yet, head on over to our Tripleseat+ Direct page for more information or to book a demo.