by MKJ Marketing
MKJ Seminar guests attend an exclusive wine cave dinner at Stag's Leap in Napa Valley.
MKJ Seminar guests attend an exclusive wine cave dinner at Stag’s Leap in Napa Valley.

If you joined us in Napa Valley for our seminar on receptions, you know receptions hold so much opportunity for funeral and death care businesses. Family and friends have always supplemented traditional funerals with time to talk and remember over a meal. It’s also another way to personalize a service. Over the last decade, we have seen funeral homes expanding their services to catering and even tending bar. That’s because they know it’s not only a way to please families, it’s an excellent way to increase revenue in spite of rising cremation rates.

The hospitality and natural beauty of Napa Valley inspired our attendees in so many ways as they look to sharpening their reception businesses.  For those of you who weren’t able to join us, here are three takeaways you can implement in your business:

1. You sell receptions with well-planned packages and eye-catching menus.

To get reception business, you need the right tools to communicate your offerings. A menu that lists packages by price point and catering options will help families make decisions quickly and easily. You can also package by number of attendees to eliminate the need to count every person that walks through the door in order to charge the family accurately. We can help: MKJ has ready-to-use menus for funeral home receptions or we can design a custom piece to fit your business, including naming reception packages to match your brand and market.

2. Presentation and portions are critical.

 funeral receptions...www.mkjmarketing.comIt doesn’t matter if you serve simple snacks or full buffets, presenting food in an attractive way and limiting portions to what people actually will consume is crucial. How you present food determines whether people will eat it as well as how much the family hosting the reception feels they should pay for it. And portion control is the first thing you should master to keep costs down and profits high.

3. Beer and wine make every celebration better.

Just as they enjoy an alcoholic beverage at a party or wedding, attendees at funerals appreciate the opportunity to have a drink after a funeral. Whether a simple final toast, a cash bar, or a full open bar, consider what you can offer in addition to food at a reception. Assuming your state laws allow it, alcohol can be the biggest opportunity for revenue in a reception business. Of course, if you plan to serve it yourself, you need to obtain a liquor license and obtain training for staff to comply with state regulations for serving alcohol.

Have questions about how to start or grow your reception business?  Check out our training video on the topic of funeral receptions, or contact us for marketing solutions just for business.