In the dynamic world of quick-service restaurants, innovation and adaptability are critical to evolve successfully in order to drive business growth with consumer preferences continuously changing. As a proud, second-generation Bojangles franchisees at Georgia Foods, my family and I have tapped into a distinctive strategy that has boosted our profitability across our 41 Bojangles locations – catering.
We recognized the immense potential Bojangles’ catering platform had for us in our markets and when beginning to execute, we first turned our attention to developing strong relationships within local businesses and organizations. This included schools, sports teams, hospitals, corporate officers, wedding venues, and much more. In building these personal relationships, we introduced these key stakeholders to the brand, our team, and our menu, giving them the opportunity to learn more about how we can mutually support each other as community partners.
With industry data projecting the catering and food service sector to reach $477.3B by 2031, the window of opportunity to stand out among competitors slowly diminishes. In implementing our catering plan now, we found a way to differentiate our businesses and offerings. When executed successfully, catering allows your restaurant to stand out, while fostering lasting relationships within your communities to ultimately generate repeat business.
If you’re considering catering as a strategy to augment your restaurant’s revenue, here are a few insights from our journey for continued success:
Investing in Relationships
In today’s fast-paced world, convenience and efficiency are paramount. To meet this need and earn customer loyalty, we offered free delivery to our catering clients, generating word-of-mouth marketing, enhancing our restaurants’ reputation. In doing so, it paved the way for repeat catering orders and forged lasting relationships with local businesses and community partners. Once we began building those relationships, we nurture them in offering menu tastings, meeting our team, and discussing potential partnerships.
Patience and Consistency
Cultivating robust community partnerships requires time and persistence. When we first introduced catering with free delivery, we thoroughly researched prospective partners and frequently met with decision-makers before winning their business. Patience, consistency, and leveraging operational resources offered by our franchisor network have been instrumental in building trust and credibility while meeting customer expectations. With Bojangles, we work alongside our Franchise Business Director, who regularly helps coach and support our team to grow sales and profits, adding to our strong support network.
Effective communication across all levels of operations is crucial for successful catering growth. By supporting back-end operations and maintaining open internal communication, we’ve developed a culture that takes pride in what our brand offers to our local community. We maintain close connections with each of our General Managers to ensure an open line of communication, creating a sense of pride in our community contribution and enhancing local brand awareness. We want our teams to feel proud of what they’re providing to our community, and in actively working with our crew to make each catering order special, we have gained that significant local rapport and positive brand awareness needed to succeed.
Our strategic, relationship-focused approach to catering has shown measurable growth and revealed remarkable potential. At Georgia Foods, we continue to invest in and evolve our catering efforts to meet the high expectations of today’s customers. In doing so, you too can experience the success that we have and see your relationships blossom into an increased profit margin.