Friday, January 20, 2012

Run-Out Buffets Are Neat

Often corporations have satellite offices or situations where no permanent foodservice exists for employees. The possible sales volume at these locations just doesn’t warrant the investment of a permanent foodservice operation.

The run-out buffet is made for this situation because it lets a corporation offer foodservice without a large investment of capital. As the name implies, the caterer is protected because whatever they bring to be used for meals is used up and no waste or leftovers are possible.

The corporation either pays the caterer for all the food or the caterer is permitted by the corporation to sell directly to employees. Employees are told that the new foodservice is always going to sell out, so they need to come early to purchase it. Because these employees have not had any quality foodservice, they are happy with the arrangement. As the caterer learns how much food can be sold, the amount brought to the location can slowly be increased.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

RAD - Referral Appreciation Discount

This is a simple program that might turn your corporate clients on to giving you some referrals to call for new business.. Use it with clients who buy from you on a regular basis. You introduce it in the following manner:

“Mary, you’ve been ordering from us for over a year now, and it appears that you really enjoy our food and service. I’m sending some information on our newly developed Referral Appreciation Discount program or RAD, which is geared to give a buying advantage to new, first-time clients and to the company that refers them to us. It’s really quite simple. You give us a name of someone or a company you think would also enjoy our fine food and service, or you can have them call us directly. On their first order, they receive a 20 percent welcome RAD and, as a thank-you for your effort, your company receives a 20 percent discount on your next order. Does anyone come to mind that I might contact?”

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Make The World Know Your Company Is Doing Well

Based on what the buyers of catering read and hear in the media, they believe that caterers are more than likely hurting if there is a downturn in the economy. They see themselves as having the upper hand in the buy/sell relationship.
This belief that caterers, and other businesses, are wounded and desperate for sales needs to be neutralized or eliminated. Whenever the buyer tells you the date that they are looking for to reserve an event, the person qualifying them should respond, “The date that you are inquiring about is a busy one for our company as I’m sure it is for the others caterers you’ve called.” Whatever they say in response should be followed by the catering representative saying some version of, “Because of our history of doing outstanding catering, our company is doing extremely well even during this unique economic climate we are all facing.”
The shopper now has to challenge his idea that all caterers are having soft sales. If the prospect is concerned about getting outstanding catering, they now need to put your company at the head of the list. If you’re that busy, the marketplace is verifying the quality of your food and service.
Whenever you hear a prospect say something like, “Well, I happen to know that other caterers are not charging as much for this type of menu as you,” you can fall back on the idea that, unlike other caterers who might have less business currently, you are moving ahead on all cylinders!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interesting Idea I Saw In Florida

In Delray Beach we had lunch in a restaurant named The Office. It is an "in" place on Atlantic Avenue. The theme is that of a business office. For example, your flatware is delivered to the table in a clasp envelop totally sealed for the diner to open.

What I found interesting is what they did to "brand" the top of their sandwich buns. Perhaps there is a catering application that you might be able to use. Here is my photo of how it looked.

A Great Screen Saver Or Phone Wallpaper

As we prepare to head back to the cold and snow of Chicago I thought I'd show you how I will remember Florida. These are views at one of our hotels.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Florida Vacation Report...Finally!

Well, it's Monday (the 10th day of our vacation) and I just got my repaired Apple MacBook Air back from Apple, so I can at least give you some inkling of what has been happening. By the way, I return to the cold weather of Chicago tomorrow!

Since I no longer am involved with the daily operations of Catersource (sold the controlling interest in July), Bernice and I were actually able to travel during the important Catersource conference registration period without having to handle the hundreds of phone calls that are associated with conference registration. By the way, if you haven't registered yourself for the conference yet do so because it will be an amazing educational event! Remember: I'm still teaching seven sessions at the conference so we will still be able to visit together.

The majority of vacation days have had wonderful weather between 75 to 80 degrees. Yesterday and today the temps were in the 60's - a bummer, but today and tomorrow will reach back into the high 70's. I know it sounds terrible, but I'm happy it finally snowed in Chicago - makes the vacation more valid!

Haven't had any bad food on this vacation, but the best food, service and ambiance happened on the third day of the trip with a lunch at Donald Trump's private club Mar-a- Lago in Palm Beach, FL. We've been there before, but this world-class venue is simply amazing. The culinary team is outstanding and the facility is breath-taking. 

David & Jane Zylstra and Bernice and me at our table for lunch at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL.

During the lunch I interrupted Bernice, who was talking to our best friends David and Jane Zylstra (they are members of Mar-a-Lago), that Regis Philbin has just walked into the outdoor patio dining area in his tennis outfit. Bernice, who is a huge fan of Regis, turned and said to Regis as he passed to his table "Regis, we really miss you" referring to the  departure from his TV show. Regis stopped, placed and rested his hand on Bernice's shoulder saying "Thank you dear". Well, we could have just gone home after lunch since nothing would top this moment for Bernice!

Here's some of my own photography from our meal:
Snapper BLT.

Lobster Salad.

Chocolate Cake.
Key Lime Boat.

A few other observations from Mar-a-Logo:

I just loved this water goblet wrapper or
booty if you wish to call it!
This is an example of their upscale foodservice footprint -
rather interesting don't you think? Could you sell this in your