At first glance, Pokemon GO and catering are completely unrelated. When you think about it, though, the trending app teaches valuable lessons about how to expand your catering business. Still confused about the relationship?

Well, it shows the importance of…

Branding

Pokemon GO is a revolutionary idea…but not that revolutionary. There is an existing app called SpecTrek that uses GPS to have users capture ghosts. There is an app called Ingress through which players can conquer territories when they travel to real locations. You’ve likely heard of Pokemon GO more than you have heard of these apps. Why? Branding. The more you familiarize customers with your brand, the more customers you will acquire. It seems like a simple concept, but not all companies take advantage of the publicity that they can get. These days, social media has a huge influence on the things people buy. As a caterer, you can expand your business by making a name for yourself on various social media platforms, among other public resources. Do it.

Networking

Pokemon GO expands its consumer base without an extensive marketing campaign. How? People hear about their friends playing it. You can walk down the street and see people absorbed in the app. The social confirmation that a product is worth it is crucial to business growth. That’s why networking is so important for you as a caterer. When people see their friends and coworkers using your services at their events, they will be more likely to hire you. When other industry professionals recommend your services, your catering company will expand. When you’re constantly networking, whether through events, social media, or even cold-calling, your business inevitably will develop. You can’t sit back and wait for clients to come to you. Put yourself out there.

Engagement

People love to interact with products. Pokemon GO is successful because playing it means more than sitting down and staring at the screen. The concept of engagement thrills consumers. What does this mean for you as a caterer? You can offer interactive services at the events you cater to. Introduce interactive stations. Maybe that means that you’ll cook in front of the guests. They’ll love to watch you show your cooking expertise. Maybe it means that you can cater DIY bars. For example, you can allow guests to build their own desserts, burrito bowls, and more. Be creative! Guests will be too.

Rewards

Pokemon GO offers a variety of in-app rewards. In general, people play games to reach the next level, which is a reward in itself. Successful catering companies will offer rewards too. Consider providing special deals for your most loyal customers. You can also provide physical rewards for customers. For example, if you’re catering the drinks for a party, give out souvenir bottle openers with your branding on it. Guests will use the openers at home and expose their friends and family members to your brand. Just like unlocking the next level in a video game, unlocking discounts for referrals can drive your guests.

New Product Releases

People loved Pokemon cards…for a while. Like most trending products, their popularity eventually died. As a caterer, you might have services that people love. In time, there will be newer, innovative menu items that will gain more popularity than your aged concepts. Those caterers who expand their client bases often capitalize on new trends. Twenty years ago, people were not thinking about cake pops, for example. The introduction of this unique concept initiated a craze for the sweet spheres. When you experiment with new menu items, the items might take off and you might reinvent your brand. After all, that’s what the Pokemon Company did with Pokemon GO.

At the same time, though…

Tradition

People who grew up playing Pokemon games on their Gameboys and playing with Pokemon cards were ecstatic to play this game. It brings back childhood memories. With that said, channel your inner child when coming up with catering concepts. Right now, s’mores bars are popular at weddings and parties. Why? It’s likely because s’mores are not what the average adult eats regularly. Instead, the treats bring guests back to camping and beach trips of their youth. When you implement “childish” foods into your menu, guests’ desire for nostalgic eats may work to your advantage. It worked for the Pokemon Company!

Logo courtesy of: http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-go/