It’s March, which means that graduation season is just around the corner. Senioritis, the annual plague that sweeps across high school and college campuses each year, is likely to have afflicted the majority of graduating students. Chances are, most are already planning their graduation parties to mark their milestone achievement. You should capitalize on this time of year and look at it as an opportunity to showcase your excellent cuisine.
Obviously, catering graduation parties can result in an extra chunk of change for the second and third quarter of the business year. But it is also a chance for you to gain new customers. If you can make a splash, party-goers may become life-long customers. They may even consider choosing your restaurant for their graduation party next year.
Follow these tips to market your restaurant for graduation season:
- Target parents. After all, they’re the ones shelling out the proverbial dough for the actual dough. Reach-out to local schools and PTA groups and ask them to distribute your catering menu to parents. It doesn’t hurt to grease their palms with some coupons or free meals.
- It’s all on the menu. If you haven’t done so already, create some specially priced packages geared towards large groups and promote them on social media. Once graduation season is in full-swing, offer discounts on the packages mentioned above to sway last-minute party-planners.
- Play to your strengths. If your restaurant has a private dining room, invite people to celebrate their graduation at your establishment. Be prepared to bring your restaurant to customers and consider hiring seasonal staff to account for any parties you’ve booked.
- Develop a relationship with local colleges. Contact student groups and offer samples for their next meeting. Advertise your catering packages in the student newspaper. Head to campus with a megaphone and stay until security asks you to leave. Do whatever you can to make students aware of your catering options.
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