Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Make Your Policies & Rules Part of the Sale's Presentation & Paperwork

Let buyers know and understand all your rules, policies and expectations during the selling process instead of describing them after the sale is made. Explain your rules and remedies in a casual and professional manner that lets the buyer see that you are aware that these types of things sometimes happen and, as a professional business, you have solutions and options for them if and when they do.

Examples of talking points would be deposits, guarantees, damage to property, overtime (if needed) for staff, and a bunch more. Some caterers simply place a sheet of paper (single page) in front of the prospect and explains them. Yes, one can get in "trouble" by doing this, so you need to think this out carefully.

What a caterer doesn’t want is for a buyer to say, "I didn’t know about this rule.” Or, “Why didn’t you tell me this before I purchased?” Often, the issue is not who is right or wrong when problems arise, but whether the caterer’s image will suffer as a client shares anger and disappointment with the community.

 Just scroll down this page and give us your email. Then, just confirm/reply your request once you get your confirmation email and you are ready to go! Thanks.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Basic: Your "Mission Statement"

Every company needs to clearly understand what business it’s in and what the company is trying to do. A mission statement is a concise declaration of a company’s goals and values. It sets the tone for what a catering company does and how it does it, every single day.

A mission statement also lets your staff understand what is expected of them. Catering owners and managers need to spend as much time thinking about their staff as they do about everything else. Every staff member has concerns, fears and frustrations with his or her job—even if they enjoy what they do and do it well. The mission statement helps bring clarity and confidence to your team.

An example of a mission statement:
“The mission of ABC Catering is to sell, produce and serve outstanding catering for the people of (city), while offering its staff opportunity for personal and financial growth and making a proper profit for the company.”

Notice that this mission statement speaks to opportunity and success for the caterer’s city, staff and clients plus the company’s bottom line. Help staff learn and believe in what the company does through discussions in both group and individual conversations. By establishing shared goals through constant communication, managers are able to make everything that happens at the company part of every employee’s responsibility. It is normal for staff to be part of and subject to gossip and misinformation on an almost daily basis. If you make sure they have correct information, it will help prevent any inaccurate or premature judgments that can complicate their contributions to the company and the company’s overall goals. Think through, understand and teach the company’s mission statement.

Your mission statement should be displayed prominently where everyone, including clients, is able to read it. Place it in a frame on your wall, print it on the back of your business cards, put it on your letterhead—or even on your invoices.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Discussion Points For Your Next Meeting - #3

The price of a hotel room depends on the size, style and location of the particular room. A room with a view of the beach sells for more than the exact same room looking at the parking lot. A room with a separate parlor is sold for more than the standard style room. A newly decorated room has more value than one that has not been refreshed. Can you see the ways in which a caterer can use the same type of logic as it applies to pricing?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sample Copy for Contracts/Agreements - #5 - Miscellaneous

These are simply educational examples of possible contract language. Don’t use any of these clauses without approval from your attorney.


a) All food for the event must be supplied by (caterer) or a licensed vendor approved by (caterer).

b) If the venue does not provide garbage and recycling service, we will arrange for the garbage to be removed. Garbage removal prices will be quoted. Garbage or recycling materials may not be transported in (caterer) vehicles.

c) Gratuities are not automatically added to your invoice unless we are specifically instructed to do so. They are left to your discretion.

d) Exact amount due will be calculated after final count, exact menu, etc. is determined, ten (10) business days prior to the event. A 20 percent surcharge will be added if more than a 5 percent higher count arrives on the day of the event.

e) Should the host choose to engage outside vendors directly to provide decorations etc., it is the host’s responsibility to ensure that the vendor follows all fire codes, safety codes and health department regulations. The host will require the vendor to schedule a meeting a minimum of one month prior to the event in order to determine that the installation of decorations etc. will be allowed by (caterer). The use of rice, birdseed or confetti will result in a $200 cleaning fee.

f ) (Caterer) reserves the right to refuse service, exclude or remove from the premises any individuals who in (caterer) sole discretion violates the conduct requirements established by county and state laws. (Caterer) appreciates and expects the host’s assistance before a situation elevates to that level. The host’s cooperation to prevent underage drinking is requested. The bar will not be open beyond the end time of the event and in accordance with state law the bar must close no later than 1 A.M. and guests must leave the premises no later than 1:30 A.M.

g) Food put out for service but not consumed remains the property of (caterer). Wedding cake remaining is available to the host. No open bottles of alcoholic beverage may leave the premises with guests or host.

h) The following are prohibited at (the facility): an open-seating format for receptions, use of bubbles indoors, open flames, scented candles, use of silk petals outdoors, confetti and/or glitter. Aisle runners are strongly discouraged as they often lead to stumbles.

i) The state sanitary code prohibits us from providing “doggie bags” or leftovers for your guests. There is a concern about food borne bacteria. The exception to that rule is if we cater a function in your home. Providing that the food has been maintained in the safe zone (a state-mandated range of temperatures), we are allowed to transfer excess food directly to your refrigerator. Our staff is instructed to maintain strict compliance with this policy. Leftovers from events are donated to area shelters and homes.

j) We reserve the right to refuse alcohol to anyone who, in our opinion, appears to be under 21 years of age, cannot produce a legal ID or is intoxicated. Our discretion prevails. In such instances, the host will be notified and the situation will be handled tactfully and discreetly.

k) (Caterer) reserves the right to adjust pricing for any requests to alter or in any way change the menu after this agreement is signed. (Caterer) uses the highest quality product and vendors. Should there be a local, regional or national shortage or substantial price increase of one or more of the ingredients of the selected menu (caterer) additionally reserves the right to offer a comparable or equivalent substitute for the approval of the host.

Just scroll down this page and give us your email. Then, just confirm/reply your request once you get your confirmation email and you are ready to go! Thanks.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Had Some R & R Over The Weekend!

Bernice and I spent some time in Michigan over the weekend visiting some family and friends.

When visiting our longtime friend Bill Reynolds and Mary Hess at their summer home we were greeted with a wonderful dinner in their beautiful garden. This is something that I usually shy away from, but it was simply delightful. Even the "bug" gods were on our side. When a dinner starts with a Shrimp Cocktail first course, you know you are in the correct place!

That's Bill on the left, Bernice in the middle and yours truly. The photo is being taken by Mary Hess who made an amazing dessert for the dinner! Food glorious food!

One Way to Send Proposals That Blow Prospect's Minds!

When presenting a proposal for a major event try involving the shoppers five senses of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Consider sending a box or package, instead of just an envelope or email with the written proposal and some linen samples that involve the shoppers sense of touch and sight. Add a few dessert items that will involve their taste and smell senses and an example of a sample place setting that will possibly involve their sense of hearing when it hits an object. This will separate your company from the others, who just send an email.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sample Copy for Contracts/Agreements - #4 - Payment

These are simply educational examples of possible contract language. Don’t use any of these clauses without approval from your attorney.


a) An initial payment of $1,000 is required to reserve your date. One half the projected total is due sixty (60) days prior to your wedding. The balance is due seven (7) days before the event. If payments are not received at scheduled times, the event will not take place.

b) Weddings must be paid in full ten (10) days before the event. This payment will represent 100 percent of the estimated bill with any balance payable upon conclusion. A credit card number will be kept on file to cover any incidentals or for additional deposits or final payment. All payments are payable to (caterer). Checks are required for the original deposit; checks and major credit cards are accepted for the 50 percent deposit and final payment. The 50 percent deposit and final payment must be remitted within ten (10) days of notification. Failure to pay will result in the credit card on file being charged in the amount owed.

c) At the time of booking, a $1,000 deposit is required to secure your date. This deposit will be applied against your final bill. This deposit is non-refundable. A second payment of $3,000 or an estimated 25 percent of your remaining balance will be due 90 days prior to the function. A notice regarding the second installment will be mailed. As above, this payment is non-refundable and will be applied against your final balance. The remaining balance is due one week prior to the function. We will bill you after the function for any additional expenses incurred the day of your event. Deposits and final payments may be made by cash, bank check or credit card. We accept Master Card, Visa and American Express.

d) Client agrees to pay the final balance three (3) days prior to (date) by cash, cashier’s check or wire transfer. Full final payment must be received by (date).

e) Client agrees to pay (caterer) for any meals provided to musicians, photographers or any other persons retained by the client to provide services during the course of the event at the rate of 50 percent of the per-guest charge. Except for youth events such as first communions and bar mitzvahs, children ages 10 and under are also bill.


 Just scroll down this page and give us your email. Then, just confirm/reply your request once you get your confirmation email and you are ready to go! Thanks.