When opening a luxury catering business, the first step is to conduct market research. During your research, identify the types of customers that are not yet adequately catered for and try to fill in this gap, as this could pave your way for success. For instance, if you live in an affluent neighbourhood with upscale clientele, you might want to open a luxury catering business. And if you do, make sure that your menu and concept suit the type of clientele you are targeting.
So, here’s everything you need to know about luxury catering.
- Bespoke Menus
Luxury catering requires creating a menu based on what the clients want and collaborating on the best fit for the event. Creating a bespoke menu should start with an initial consultation. It is not enough that you understand the client’s dietary restrictions and food preferences. You must also understand their full vision for the event. Find out what their theme is, how they want the food to be displayed, and the things they like and dislike.
It’s also a good idea to ask questions that can help you better connect with the clients on a personal level. For instance, you can ask about their favourite restaurants and the foods they would order when eating at these restaurants. These questions can help you determine their food personalities and help you decide how much creativity you can put into creating their menus.
It’s also important to ask the client if any guests require special foods, such as gluten-free, vegetarian, kosher, etc. Find out if children are attending the event and if you need to prepare a kids menu for them. Ask if any of the guests are diabetic or have allergies to certain ingredients, such as peanuts, etc. After the initial consultation, send your proposal to the client within 24 hours. This is a great way to prove that you are serious about catering for their event, which creates a good impression.
- Seasonal Food
Catering companies nowadays are adapting seasonal menus to feature the unique flavour profiles of each season. Seasonal menus are a great way to attract your luxury clientele by promoting sustainability while giving your chefs the freedom to get creative in the kitchen. Eating locally sourced fresh ingredients has been popular among upscale diners recently. If you develop a seasonal menu, you will end up providing a fresh and locally sourced dining experience.
When you embrace a seasonal menu, consider which foods will likely be seasonal at their best. A seasonal menu can help keep the costs down while providing fresher and tastier food. Upscale diners are always on the hunt for ways to enjoy each season, so you need to craft a seasonal menu that can perfectly encapsulate the flavours they crave. Try to offer dishes that are different from the standard options found in the restaurants. This will excite your new clients and encourage them to keep coming back for more.
Another key aspect to consider when preparing a catering menu is the different drinks that you can offer. In most cases, drinks packages are included on the menu. But it’s worth asking in advance what drinks they want to pair with the foods for a high-end culinary experience. Remember, the pricing of the menu could change depending on the client’s choice of drink, so make sure you inform the client about this.
Sometimes, the client might opt for an open bar, especially for evening events. But you can save on the cost if you offer local craft beer and wine selections instead of setting up a full bar. For daytime events, you might want to serve a variety of juices and perhaps coffee and tea. If you are catering for conference events, consider setting up beverage stations where attendees can gather in between breaks.
- What You Should Be Asking
You must communicate well with your clients. Ask the right questions and pay close attention to what your clients want. You need to know every detail about the event, starting with their budget. If you can get an idea of how much the client would be willing to spend on food, you will know the type of foods to prepare. Another thing you need to ask is the number of guests who will attend the event. That way, you can accurately bill the client and effectively plan the wedding.
Another key question to ask the client is the date, time, and venue of the event. This is very important as it will give you an idea of how you should set up the serving area, transport the food, and plan the logistics well. Once you have all the essential information you need, review this with the client to ensure that you did not forget anything. Also, find out if the client has any special requests and see if you can grant these. Otherwise, offer other alternatives.
- Luxury Food Still Needs Protocols
Although catering companies have now been allowed to operate, they are expected to follow health and safety protocols to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Remember, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, so luxury catering companies should train staff to the standard of level 2 food hygiene in catering and teach them to follow strict protocols and guidelines. While it is very unlikely that the virus will get transmitted through food, your catering staff should be encouraged to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as a matter of proper hygiene practice.
Food business operators, including caterers, must ensure that their food handlers receive appropriate training and supervision for food hygiene, in line with the area they work in, allowing them to handle food in the safest way possible.
Proper food hygiene training is essential not only to prevent the spread of the virus but also to ensure that the food you are serving is safe for the clients to consume and keeps them from getting food poisoned. Remember that if any of the guests get food poisoning, you could face legal consequences, which could damage your reputation as a luxury catering company.