Friday, May 25, 2012

Roman's Tips for Better Management #4

The goals of a great manager:

1. Constant search for positive change.
2. Total commitment to win-win outcomes.
4. Empowering others.
3. Maintaining leadership control.
5. Attaining financial success for everyone!
6. Promoting professionalism and fun, while decreasing stress for everyone including themselves.

Have you checked out my new website?
Don't forget about my new sales clinics coming to
Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Roman On Pricing #2

Here are some cool scripts to use when you hear a prospect say "Your prices are higher than the other caterers I've spoken with!"

“When a caterer doesn’t have any track record, they usually offer lower prices, which results in lower levels of experience and food quality that foster much more risk for embarrassment to the host.”

Yes, we are one of the more expensive catering companies in town, but we also have the most clients—so we really must be doing something right.”

"Yes, Ms. Weaver, we have higher prices, but we stand behind everything we do. You won't have nay complaints. mishaps, or failures when using us."

"We are very professional Ms. Weaver, and we really don't expect to sell everyone. We need to charge prices that permit us to maintain the professional staff and high standards of the ABC Catering Company."

Have you checked out my new website?
Don't forget about my new sales clinics coming to
Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How Much Extra Food To Send To Events?

Off-premise caterers need to send extra food to serve more than the actual guarantee, traditionally 5 to 10 percent more. This extra food is needed for everything from staff meals to covering a host who has given a lower guarantee by simple error or by cunning preplanning. A caterer must not run out of food to serve, no matter who or what caused the situation. The caterer will be the one the guests are unhappy with, not the host.
When doing away events, caterers need to be concerned about what affects the amount of food that was sent from the kitchen, including:
·   Food that was sent to the wrong event.
·   Food that becomes burned or unsanitary before the event starts.
·   Food that gets stolen during the setup of the event.
·   Additional uninvited guests who come to the event.
·   Guests who attack the buffets and take more than they can eat.
·   Food to feed the photographer, musicians, DJ’s, valet, etc. This may not be required, but it’s often good for marketing your quality to vendors who can recommend your catering to shoppers.
·   Food for the event staff to eat, either the same menu or a different one.
Should you let the host know you’re sending extra food to the event? Some believe this encourages the host to cheat by under-guaranteeing. Others believe it makes the host aware that there is a limit to the amount of extra food being brought to the event.
Some are challenging the idea of an extra 5 to 10 percent of food. Caterers are starting to send extra food only for certain menu items, based on how much the local guests may find exciting. As caterers examine the menu, they determine which items will be the most popular and which will not.
Many caterers charge the hosts a fee for extra meals at a full or reduced price. After all, were is it written that the caterer must feed 22 musicians and valet parkers for free?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Guest Artilce: It's All About The Client - Jon Wool, Finesse Cuisine

Salespeople, by nature, must be aggressively competitive.  Once we secure a client, we hate sharing them with anyone else.  Although it goes against our instincts, sometimes the right thing to do is to genuinely help the competition. Last season, I fielded a call from a long-time retail client who was having trouble communicating with caterers in markets outside of Chicago. She was frustrated they weren’t catering for her customers the way Finesse Cuisine does in Chicago.  She asked if I would help.

This can be very sensitive territory.  Creative people can be wildly defensive and no one likes to be told they aren’t satisfying their client.  But it’s important to me that my client is happy – even when she’s not entertaining in my market.  I agreed to help and she introduced me to the other caterers.  I found them all to be exceptional catering companies who graciously welcomed our suggestions. They showed great flexibility and willingness to make minor adjustments to their menus, and to review with us the quantities, sizes, and presentation. They were even willing to bring in key staff before the event to be coached on the client’s preferred style of service. Please note that I was working with excellent caterers who hardly needed my input. Their only weakness was the breakdown in communication with the client.  Once I translated from Client into Caterer, everything fell into place. 

My involvement gave my client peace of mind and the successful events made her a hero in her boss’s eyes. Best of all, she made each of those caterers her official vendor in their market and she now relies on them with confidence.  Helping the competition felt counter-intuitive to my sales instincts but it was a reminder about the true nature of our business: Ultimately, catering is not about serving delicious food and drinks with grace and charm.  It’s about tending to our client’s needs.

Jon Wool

Monday, May 21, 2012

Roman On Pricing #1

There will always be the comment that your prices are high compared to other caterers:

Shoppers are comparing your prices to the prices of other caterers. So, it’s not that your prices are “high”, but that your prices are “more” than the other caterers. Therefore, the answer lies in what they will “get or not get” from you over the caterers who charge less.

“We hear that from many people, and it’s an honest comment. But because we charge a little more, we are able to put a lot more into your event. So, I think the extra money is worth your peace of mind because you won’t have to worry about the success of the party. What do you think?”