It is common to hear that catering business relies upon word of mouth marketing. If you provide outstanding food and service, people will tell their friends and their friends will remember you the next time they need catering service. However, many catering owners still wonder. Do I need a website at all? Looking at the current trend, the straight answer is YES. Why? Research shows that number of Internet users is growing from time to time. Furthermore, people spend a lot of time on the Internet. In 2013, Gartner Australian Internet research found that 76% of Australian adults use the Internet. 61% use broadband at home and 52% surf the web using wireless connections with laptops or handheld devices like smart phones.
People aren’t just looking for things online when they’re at home. They’re searching the Internet while taking public transport to work, answering a question at a social gathering, secretly checking email and rugby scores during work meetings and finding other reasons to get on the information highway. With these reasons, it’s now rare nowadays to find a business without a website. As Matt Preston, former catering, food writing and hospitality entrepreneur puts it, when asked if a catering company needs a website: “I wouldn’t have any business today without a web presence.”
How to Start an Awesome Catering Website?
So how do you start a catering website? Do you need to hire a web development company to design and manage your company website? Transforming your love of cooking into a thriving catering business is a challenge. Once you have established the business, with licenses obtained and the menu developed, your next step is giving your business an online presence by creating a website. The catering website establishes your company’s credibility and lets potential clients get to know you and your services at their leisure. Your website is like an advertising campaign that runs 24 by 7. This is the aim of having a catering website to support your business.
Step #1 – Prepare you website
Domain name selection can be tricky. Select a name for your catering business that also is appropriate, and available, as the domain name for your website. The domain name is similar to a street address. It provides a unique path to your business. For example, if the company name is Jacky’s Top Roast Catering, your domain name would be www.jackystoproastcatering.com.au.
Step #2 – Determine Your Domain and Hosting Provider
Register the domain through a hosting provider. The host is a server where the files for your website are accessible on the Internet by browsers. Most small businesses don’t require their own dedicated server. Australian domain registration costs approximately $30 to $40 per year. Hosting can cost as little as $5 per month, depending on the web services your company requires. Do browse around for your options and decide the most suitable one for you.
Step #3 – Prepare Your Web Contents
Develop written web content that explains your catering business: your location, the types of cuisine you serve, sample menus and the types of events you prefer to cater. The content introduces your services to prospective customers and demonstrates your competence and range of capabilities. The content will be uploaded to the host’s server through a special program that connects to your hosting provider.
Step #4 – Determine Your Keywords
The content should include keywords, which is the term for phrases potential customers use to find what they want through search engines. A catering company would use, for example, the city plus the type of catering. For example, if John’s Barbeque Catering were located in Brisbane, then “Brisbane BBQ caterers”, “Brisbane catering”, “Brisbane caterers” and “John’s catering Brisbane” would be relevant and good keywords. If you cater birthdays, then “Brisbane birthday caterer” would serve as an appropriate keyword for those pages that explain your wedding catering.
Step #5 – Determine Your Food Description
The next step is to describe your products. A caterer doesn’t just sell prepared food but offers a solution to the client’s problem of preparing scrumptious meals, appetizers, salads and desserts when she doesn’t have the time, space or experience to do so. If writing isn’t your forte, hire a freelancer with experience in both writing web content and writing about food. The food descriptions should be enticing.
Step #6 – Add Some Pictures
Upload pictures of your food, your staff or kitchen to personalise your website. Take photos of the food at different events you cater as well as general photos of the event itself. As a tip, use a good camera such as digital SLR to produce best pictures.
BusinessZoom provides all the tools for small businesses to make beautiful catering websites. Look at one of our client sites, Mezzaluna Caterers in the catering industry here.