SOURCE: Yellow Pages Association

Yellow Pages Association

May 24, 2010 13:12 ET

May Serves Up Catering Searches in Yellow Pages Directories

Weddings and Graduation Ceremonies Drive Consumers to Yellow Pages This Month

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ--(Marketwire - May 24, 2010) -  Graduations, weddings and parties. During the month of May, consumers nationwide will turn to the Yellow Pages more than twice the year-round average for help prepping for their next big event or celebration -- and for many, caterers will be top of mind. Nearly three in four consumers (72 percent) are in search mode when referencing the heading, meaning they have no local business names or multiple names in mind according to a Knowledge Networks/SRI study.

Over the course of the year, the "caterers" heading receives 22 million references in print and online Yellow Pages directories, ranking as the 106th most-referenced heading among the 4,000-plus headings (top 2.7 percent).

"Yellow Pages research shows that catering references are above average in May and December, which is no surprise as families and friends are gathering together for graduations, weddings and other popular functions," said Larry Small, director of research for the Yellow Pages Association. "What caterers may be surprised to learn, however, is that six in ten consumers who make purchases after referencing the heading are new customers to the business. Consumers referencing this heading are looking to purchase, referring to an average of 5.7 ads, notably higher than the average YP heading."

Bonnie Fedchock, executive director of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE), is not surprised. "Consumers tend to shop around when looking for a caterer. Most people are looking for help with a major event, and the Yellow Pages is a great resource to run through a list of local businesses and hear what they have offer."

"May is an especially important month for caterers, and from what we can tell, the catering business is beginning to improve with the overall economy. Many people are booking larger events on shorter time frames, but spending on weddings and corporate events is definitely increasing," said Fedchock.

To avoid a catering mishap, NACE suggests keeping the following in mind when planning your next event:

  1. Make a budget. Based on your personal tastes, prioritize the items that are most important you, and spend what is necessary on those.
  2. Get to know the event staff. If your only contact is the sales manager and that person is not at your event, there is the possibility for a communications breakdown at the event, when you will not have the time or presence of mind to adjust.
  3. Call around. Develop a list of questions to ask potential caterers and call around until you find someone that seems easy to work with.

For more information on Yellow Pages headings, visit: http://www.ypassociation.org or http://www.insideyp.org.

About The Yellow Pages Association
The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) (http://www.ypassociation.org and http://www.insideyp.org) is the largest trade organization of a print and digital media industry valued at more than $31 billion worldwide ($13 billion in the U.S.). Association members include Yellow Pages publishers, certified marketing representatives (CMRs), and associate members (a group of industry stakeholders that include Yellow Pages advertisers, vendors, and suppliers).

About the National Association of Catering Executives
The National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) is the oldest and largest catering association in the world and encompasses all aspects of the catering industry. Dedicated to promoting career success for its members and the professionalism of the industry, NACE offers educational programs, professional certification, chapter initiatives, networking opportunities, recognition and awards programs, a job bank, community service projects and the industry's most prestigious annual conference. In helping its members enhance their business and careers, NACE helps the industry reach its highest potential.

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