By selecting the right market niche to serve, your fledgeling catering business can set itself apart from the competition. In addition, knowing what your target market expects can help you optimize your business infrastructure to meet these demands.

So you’ve received glowing reviews about your cooking and have perfected not one but several recipes. You might be thinking that cooking might be the business for you. If you’re not too keen on starting a restaurant, however, then a catering business may be the way to go.

There’s more to starting a catering enterprise than cooking proficiency, however. Besides cooking, you must also understand the basics of serving and presenting dishes and also familiarize yourself with the basics of running a small business.

Moreover, before you get started, you must first determine the scale of your business and the market that it would serve. Are there, for instance, enough demand in Kent and nearby places to support another commercial catering company? Likewise, you should also survey nearby suppliers for equipment and food to ensure that you have enough tools and ingredients to meet the demands of your customers.

Marketing to a Niche

To secure your place in this industry, you should consider focusing on a niche. Different demographics and event types demand specific food menus. Catering businesses that serve the needs of corporate gatherings, for instance, would expect a palate more refined than those geared for children’s parties or outdoor festivals. Especially narrow niches may represent untapped opportunities for an enterprising and flexible caterer.

Market research is your ally.  Learn what is currently in demand and see if you can tailor your services to meet it. This will allow you to find the ideal market subset that not only provides a steady and reliable demand for services but also allow you to play to your culinary strengths. For instance, if you happen to specialize in cooking vegetarian and vegan dishes, you might find it advantageous to learn whether vegan and vegetarian dishes are in high enough demand.

Selecting the Market Segment

The type of niche you focus on is heavily dependent on both you are comfortable cooking and whether you can afford to cater to the demographic regularly. For instance, if you have perfected an assortment of recipes for a more refined palate, catering to adult social gatherings and corporate events may be your thing. If you can cook finger foods quickly, food service for festivals and other outdoor gatherings may be a better option.

Effects of Niche Selection

Smiling business woman during company lunch buffet hold salad plate

Choose your market niche carefully. The way you select your niche affects the way you do business in profound ways. The type of food demanded by your clientele influence the type of equipment you would need in your kitchen. Some types of dishes require ingredients that should be stored and prepared in a specific way. Understanding the ingredients of what you plan on cooking can help you identify which appliances to invest in for your kitchen.

You would also need to tailor the appearance and presentation of your meals to meet the often-specific demands of your clientele. More upmarket segments such as corporate events expect a more refined presentation style to carry the appearance of professionalism. Children’s parties, meanwhile, need to be more whimsical and visually attractive to young people.

Focusing your efforts on a niche segment would also help tailor your market strategies more effectively.  By knowing who exactly to market your catering business to, you increase the odds of making marketing impressions. You can also use your market niche to tailor your marketing material to meet their expectations. This way, you can position your new enterprise to serve your market segment.