Friday, February 8, 2013

Roman's Opinion: Discussion Points For Meetings #9

Here a some new discussion points for your next meeting:

1.You need to continually present the shopper with “real” scenarios.

2. Selling catering is not a service industry concept – it is all about negotiations.

3. Doing challenges that are impossible to solve is what makes people greater!

4. A salesperson needs to become more “interesting” as the sale advances.

5. The salesperson needs to connect with the inner self of the shopper.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sell What Is Best For You To Sell

Usually, caterers begin their business with a game plan to cater any type of event a buyer wishes to do. Their theory is that the best way to build a new business is by booking all events that come their way. This may be a reasonable marketing policy for a newly launched business, but it isn’t the wisest way to navigate after the first year. Determining what product lines to offer based on ease of production and maximum profitability is the best strategy when a caterer wants to limit their difficulties caused by mixing their better product lines with those that don’t benefit their profit goals.
Determine which of your product lines are better for your company by a combination of monitoring financial statistics and simple observation of what your customers buy the most. If weddings under 100 guests is one of your biggest selling product lines, but the profits from them are less than desirable, you should eliminate them from your product list by raising guest minimums and/or increasing pricing.
Changing or stopping certain product lines is often difficult to do if you are a caterer who tends to make decisions only with your heart. However, a surgeon does surgery and doesn’t sell services to people that have the flu. This doesn’t mean that a caterer does only a limited kind of catering. It does mean that a caterer needs to make sure they understand the profit footprint of what they sell, whether it’s weddings, picnics, box lunches, dinner parties, corporate galas or whatever.
The larger your annual volume, the more profit you are missing by failing to diagnose and evaluate the types of catering being sold. Notice that I used the word “missing” instead of losing. Often, larger caterers are actually making good profits from their hard work without examining the value of their product lines, but they are missing even more profit by not adjusting or eliminating one or more product lines. This is a practice that you cannot put off till tomorrow.

NOTE: If you didn’t receive this blog post directly to your computer via your email without needing to login to my blog site, then you should take a moment and register to get my posts automatically without going directly to the website. Simply input your email address in the field directly under my photo in the top right margin of my blog site.  You will receive an email to reconfirm and you are done

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Make Marketing Messages Shorter - IMPORTANT

People have little time to waste. Most get their marketing messages on the fly. Some tune out to all marketing messages that come their way whether they are reading, seeing or hearing them.
Many people look upon the constant marketing barrage they face each day as an invasion of their privacy and time. When creating a marketing piece, make the message short, concise and easy to understand. Some believe a marketing message has four seconds or less to capture enough interest for the target of the marketing to invest 10 additional seconds.
This means large blocks of copy are unwise. Use concise headlines and/or images to seduce the viewer to take more time. No matter how hostile a person is to mass marketing, they will not throw away anything that has a cat on it if they are cat owners! A “foodie” type person will do the same when a message has words or images that appeal to their particular interest.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Guest Article: Completing Projects by David Turk Indiana Market & Catering, New York City

How to manage any project to completion

Whether it’s an intimate dinner for six or a gala for thousands, the parties that we cater are each individual projects and need to be treated as such.  At the very least, simple project management tools must be put in place in order for us to be successful in running our respective businesses.

Here are a few simple steps that we use to make sure that we are consistently on track to cause our most important result to occur:  happy customers and their guests!


1) Identify the Outcome
2) Build the Right Team
3) Schedule Everything!
4) Honor your Word
5) Celebrate your Success!
Identify the Outcome
·      What are the specific results you are looking to create? 
         For instance:  to create 1000 hors d’oeuvres, crafted up to a particular minimum standard, by 3 pm on Wednesday afternoon
·      What are the tools that you can put in place in order to know that you are on track (i.e. timelines, pictures)?

Build the Right Team
·      What are the areas of accountability that are needed to fulfill on your specific results?
         For instance:  the kitchen, led by our chef
·      Who are the best people to fulfill on these duties?
         The chef will want to determine which teammembers are best suited to the task
·      Identify what’s in it for them
Good feelings, knowing they did the job well
Pizza lunch for the whole kitchen
A small bonus

Schedule Everything!
·      Create a timeline that makes clear what will be done when
·      Schedule the actions necessary to produce those results
·      Build in time to account for the inevitable breakdowns

Honor your Word
·      Do what you say
·      Do it when you say it would be done
·      If you don’t, make that public
·      Deal with the impact of not keeping your word
·      Respond to that impact, if necessary

Celebrate your Success!
·      Make sure everyone knows about the job well done and that the customer is thrilled!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Kitchens Need a Heads-Up and Eyes-Open Management Style

A chef usually works with eyes looking down at what they are doing. It is difficult for a chef who also is a manager to lead and manage a kitchen unless their eyes are up the majority of the time. Things go wrong in a kitchen in a matter of seconds—anything from seasoning to time in the oven to incoming deliveries from vendors. The manager of a kitchen is similar to an umpire at a ballgame.
A successful kitchen manager is never timid. They need to barge right in with their eyes and tastebuds. The manager of the kitchen must praise and critique at the same time. They are the captains of the company’s image and need to use discipline correctly to maintain the quality of the food. Management needs to walk around all areas of the kitchen, cooler, and loading area regularly to get close to the action.
A kitchen leader’s back must never face the same direction for any length of time. They are like a football coach on the sidelines who keeps moving as the ball goes up and down the field.