It's a dilemma facing everyone sitting down to write catering tenders. Should your catering tenders tell everyone about the high quality catering that you can offer ? Or should your catering tenders focus on the low cost of your services ?
It's a question you should have answered when you first set up your catering services company. Where you have chosen to position yourself in the market should have an impact on how you write your catering tenders.
If you offer cheap and cheerful services then trying to sell the high quality of your food isn't the way to go. Equally if you only use the finest of locally sourced, organic, non-GM ingredients then competing on price in your catering tenders won't work.
And yet it isn't necessarily that easy to decide when you're writing the catering tenders. The decision should be based on exactly who you write your catering tenders for.
A few years ago if you were writing catering tenders for schools you would largely be competing on cost. Since a high profile campaign by Jamie Oliver to raise catering standards in schools you might want to emphasise your quality.
Yet even in this example the answer isn't clear cut. Schools can't afford to look like they provide substandard, low quality food. However in most cases they can't afford to pay the high cost of genuinely high quality catering services.
So what‘s the solution for your catering services company ? How should you pitch your catering tenders ?
The answer may be to discuss value for money in your catering tenders. Obviously if you've priced yourself out of the market this isn't going to mean you will win the contract. But, if you know your services aren't the cheapest, explain that to anyone reading your catering tenders.
Maybe you only use free range eggs. Maybe your napkins are all recyclable. It could be that all your hot drinks are Fairtrade. Justify your slightly higher prices in your catering tenders while explaining why that matters.
You may find it helps to back up your claims in your catering tenders. Are you registered as a distributor of Fairtrade products? Do you only use Soil Association certified ingredients? Then it needs to be in all your catering tenders.
And what if you are the cheap and cheerful catering services provider? How then do you pitch your catering tenders? The trick is to pick the right jobs to tender for. Not everyone will be looking for the best quality ingredients. So if you only write catering tenders for those companies, you'll have a greater chance of success.
Writing catering tenders is a difficult balancing act. Just remember that whether company is looking for cheaper or higher quality food, they all want to see value for money in all of the catering tenders they read.