Friday, January 4, 2013

Talking About Your Competition?

It is best not to talk negatively about your competitors as part of your sales information. But what happens if a shopper brings up the name of one or more competitors in an attempt to gain a price or other advantage over you? Since the shopper is actually throwing the competition by name into your face, the salesperson needs to consider a measured response.
The salesperson needs to decide if the competitor has been mentioned or thrown into their face because the shopper is trying to haggle down the price or if they truly need some reasons for paying more per person with your company over the less expensive competitor.
It is unwise to talk about competition in a negative way as a method of sales, but it is just as wrong not to explain your differences and advantages over the competition when a shopper brings them up. Often the shopper is really asking for information that will help them select you over the other company even though you are more costly.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ranking Clients By Importance

If you really believe that all clients are equally important, you will have difficulty maximizing your profitability. Of course, all clients are important, but some contribute more to the bottom line than others. Some are slow at paying and demand more than they are willing to pay for. Some are easy to work with; others are always seeking ways to get a refund. Some buy just one of your product lines; others buy both drop-off catering and larger holiday events from you.
There are certain clients that you just must say “yes” to, no matter what type or size of order they request. When the mayor’s office or an old friend or family member calls, you probably need to respond favorably to their catering requests. There are always exceptions.
Your entire staff needs to understand who spends the most money. Chances are you already know the two or three clients who spend the greatest amount of dollars with you, but do you know the sixth, seventh and eighth largest clients in your customer list? Track sales data for your clients to find your top 20 best buyers. The names on the list need to be on the desks of your staff so everyone knows them.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Worry About Everything Before It Leaves The Kitchen

Never assume anything in a kitchen. For off-premise caterers, never assume anything, period. Just because you think or were told that the pesto sauce is in one of the boxes on the delivery truck doesn’t mean that it’s there! It’s a long trip back to your facility and then the event with forgotten stuff. Check and double-check it. When a catering kitchen gets in full swing, errors often happen. Things go into the wrong packages and then on the wrong trucks and maybe even to the wrong event.
Use a yellow highlighter to check an item off on a packing list. The person responsible for double-checking the list uses the same paper as the first checker. Everything should be marked in yellow. The second checker uses a blue highlighter and runs the blue highlighter right over the yellow, which then turns green as the blue mixes with the yellow.
It’s not a matter of not trusting your kitchen staff; someone just needs to make sure that the correct amount of food was prepared for the event as requested by the executive chef or kitchen manager. Catering kitchens move at a very fast pace and often are just one small step away from chaos. Take a pan of food from an order ready to go and see if the food sent is the same amount as requested on the order or packing list. If the order calls for 42 chicken breasts, how many are really going? You should be just as concerned about sending too much as about sending too little.
Kitchen labor is one of the larger cost centers in a catering business. One way to cut these costs is to hire retired individuals who are looking for part-time work to pick up a few dollars and beat boredom. They are great for doing some of the tasks that regular staff don’t enjoy, like checking in deliveries, shaping up the walk-in cooler, counting out all the things that need to be counted and more.