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Victoria’s Secret Marketing Lesson

 

If there’s such thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as a stage hand for the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. What man isn’t a fan of Victoria’s Secret?

I remember shopping in Victoria’s Secret right out of college with my girlfriend at the time. I ran into a girl I knew growing up. We went to a high school dance together. I should have had the foresight to see past the Coke bottle glasses and braces, because she had definitely become gorgeous.

I digress. This isn’t about my fantasies involving Victoria’s Secret. It’s about a major lesson Victoria’s Secret can teach you about marketing your catering.

If you are married and have a daughter between the ages of twelve and college age, a trip to Victoria’s Secret is vastly different for your wife and daughter.

Victoria’s Secret has managed to create two stores under one roof. The more mature/adult market is interested in shopping towards the back of the store (or left entrance depending on the outlet). The teenage market, like my daughter Jordyn, is all about the Pink line. It’s their successful branding to the youth market.

My daughter or her friends would never walk into a Victoria’s Secret, if it weren’t for Pink. Sweats, merchandise, fun clothes…that’s what Pink is all about. I bought Jordyn a $75 yoga jacket in there.

Now what does this have to do with you and your catering business?

Simple. Catering is a business within your business. As it relates to your web presence and strategy, you are marketing and selling to two completely different buyers.

Buyer #1: He/she is interested in a place to have dinner tonight. When visiting your website, they want to see your menu, read your reviews and be able to book reservations.

Buyer #2: He/she has an event that requires catering. They don’t want to be embarrassed. If you pick a bad restaurant for dinner tonight, you’re out fifty bucks…no big deal. If you book the wrong caterer, you look like a fool to your friends, boss and/or co-workers.

The more pages I need to dig through to learn about your catering, the less likely I’ll hang around. Just look at your competitors. If you look at most restaurant websites, catering is a tab at best. Maybe they post a menu. They all have the same “me too” language, “We specialize in drop-off catering for groups from 10 to 1000. We are the best…blah, blah, blah!”

An average catering sale is too high to drive prospects to a website where catering is a back stage hand. You must make catering the star of its own internet show. A dedicated website for your catering business is a wise investment.

A site dedicated to what makes you their best choice, loaded with testimonials and other “proof” devices is what you need. You want multiple ways to generate catering leads. You’ll want a means for customers to place online orders.

There are a lot of factors and strategies to creating a successful catering lead generation website. We at Restaurant Catering Systems have been building them for quite while. There’s too much to mention in this article, but it’s definitely worth a conversation and critique of your current website.

Below is a picture and link to a catering website we just completed for a BBQ client.

describe the image

If you’re interested in complimentary critique of your website, just go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and click on the “Free 1 On 1 Consult” at the bottom right of our page.

LAST CHANCE: Jon Wool and I will be conducting a full day catering workshop in St. Louis, Missouri on next Tuesday, February 11, 2014. It is called:

How To Turbo Charge Your Catering Sales:

The Ultimate Catering Sales & Marketing Plan Revealed

I’ve created a website with complete details. Just go to www.CateringSeminars.com.

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness”). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

http://www.restaurantcateringsoftware.com/catering-planning-strategy-session

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

The Perfect List For Your Catering Software CRM

 
Monday night I held a webinar for over two hundred attendees about The 4-Hour Marketing Week. The day after, one of my clients sent me the following email:

Michael - Thanks for the free webinar.  It was informative and a good reminder of what I should be working to get from my RCS system.  You are always very motivating and I enjoy your marketing wisdom.


I have looked online and seen sales list from various companies, some look more reputable than others, but I would like some advise on what to look for specifically.  Having never used one, I don't want to spend a bunch of time learning the hard way about this part.  


And most importantly, how do I know it’s current info?  What should I expect to pay?
Thank you for your time and help!

Sincerely, 
Steve”

Dear Steve…

I feel like Dear Abby. Before I get to Steve’s specific question, let’s discuss the most valuable, profitable list of all…your prospect and client list. Half of my job in building a million dollar a year catering profit center was staying top of mind with my customers and prospects. The CRM in Restaurant Catering Systems is simple, yet powerful enough, to keep up with this valuable list.
A few problems I see:

  1. Not having a database. You must look at each prospect and customer as a hundred dollar bill. Would you let your staff flush hundreds down the drain? Then why aren’t you insisting on a database?
  2. Wrong case. ALL CAPS or all lowercase is not the way to enter info. If you were entering my name and company it would look like this: Michael Attias, Restaurant Catering Systems.
  3. Incomplete info. I know it takes an extra minute to get the complete mailing address, email and phone number, but that’s where the profit is. You must stay in front of your list at least once a month. Relying solely on email is foolish. With email open rates at 6% on average, it’s pure suicide.
  4. Not communicating monthly with your list

Now back to Steve’s question. If Steve is looking to rent a very targeted list like the names of parents of high school seniors who live in the three zip codes around his restaurant, then he will need to use a reputable list broker. Their job is to find you lists like this. Specialized lists are more expensive than general lists. You may pay a dollar a name for such a list.

You need to find a list broker. The list broker I work with personally only works with large list rentals, so you’ll have to do some research to find a good one. Start by asking around your community for the most reputable mailing house. They’ll either have a list broker in house or know of one to send you to.

I think Steve was asking about renting a general business list. This is called a compiled list. The two players in this universe are InfoUSA and Hoover’s, who bought Dun and Bradstreet. These companies each have a database of every business in America. They are always updating their lists and adding new contacts.

Just like we humans, these companies are less than perfect with their lists. For example, I have rented a list of every BBQ restaurant in America. If I just used the business code for BBQ restaurants, I would have missed a lot of BBQ restaurants. After years of list rental, I know a few tricks.

Even with a more targeted list, I have found that wing restaurants are on their list. I guess they don’t deserve their own category. So, I had to go through each record and delete Wing restaurants.
My telemarketers then call to get me a decision maker and verify full contact info. It is not cheap or quick, but it’s what must be done. Many phone numbers are busy, go to voice mail or show out of business.

Out of a list of 10,000 names, I may end up with 5,000 good names.
If Steve rents a list of 5,000 local businesses, he may only end up with 1,750 he can market to.

There is no such thing as a perfect list. A list goes bad to the tune of 5% a month or so.
Steve can also assemble his own list. When I targeted major retailers for my Black Friday promotion, I wouldn’t be able to get a list broker to talk to me for a list rental of 45 names.

I built the list myself through grunt work. I drove to the five major shopping areas of Nashville and literally wrote down the name of all the big box stores. I then went through the Yellow Pages (before the internet) and created my own list. It required phone calls to get decision maker names.
Don’t bother with a mailer addressed to “Catering Decision Maker” or President/General Manager. It’ll end up in the trash.

These smaller, highly targeted lists proved to be my most profitable.

As another example, attending a bridal show to get the names of engaged women in your area is another great way to build a list of qualified catering prospects. There are more catering niches than I can mention in this article.

The key is to get your list and put it into your CRM or catering software. Market, market, market. Over time this will yield a payoff.

If you’re looking for a get rich quick scheme, set your alarm for 3am and find an infomercial. If it was super easy, everyone would be doing it.

I sold a million dollars a year in catering, because I was willing to do what none of my competitors would…even knowing my plan. Many of them bought my Catering Magic System.
 
SAVINGS DEADLINE: Jon Wool and I will be conducting a full day catering workshop in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. It is called:

How To Turbo Charge Your Catering Sales:

The Ultimate Catering Sales & Marketing Plan Revealed

January 31st is the deadline to receive an early bird discount.
I’ve created a website with complete details. Just go to www.CateringSeminars.com.

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias
Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness”). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:
http://www.restaurantcateringsoftware.com/catering-planning-strategy-session

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

P90X Marketing Lessons

 

One of my good friends, Robin Robins, operates a coaching/consulting/training company to help managed service providers (the guys who fix your computers and manage networks for companies) with their sales and marketing. Once a quarter she assembles her Producers Club members for a meeting.

Robin always invites me to her meetings. I usually will carve out time to hear the main presenter. Last week’s meeting featured Tony Horton, the P90X guy. I was able to chat with him at a private cocktail reception and attended a P90X class he put on for Robin’s group.

After the workout, I had my pic taken with him (see below) and heard him address all two hundred attendees.

Michael Attias and Tony Horton resized 600

Based on our private conversation and what he shared with the entire group, here are some points we can all benefit from.

 

  1. Working out is an every day thing. Ok, maybe not every day, but at least three to four times a week. Just like eating, breathing, bathing, etc. It is something to be built into our way of life. As we get older, we start to break down. Working out via cardio, yoga, etc. keeps our bodies healthier longer. The same is true for marketing. It must be your way of life. You can’t just get hot and bothered a few times a year and expect sales miracles. My 4-Hour Marketing Work Week webinar this upcoming Monday night will address this. If you haven’t registered, please go to: www.CateringWebinar.com

  2. Be open to course corrections. Tony went to Los Angeles to become a star. His agent recommended he get in better shape to land roles. Before long he was in killer shape. He still is at 55. While doing odd jobs for a Hollywood exec, he was asked by his boss to get him in shape. He did such a great job getting his boss in shape, that he was asked by celebs like Tom Petty, Sean Connery and Shirley McClain to train them. His training business led him to work with the head of Guthy Renker, the infomercial giant. That led him eventually to P90X. What opportunities are sitting in front of your face?

  3. It takes multiple products to make a profitable company. P90X has sold half a billion dollars worth of DVDs. Are they profitable? I would guess marginally so. The real money is made in nutritional products sold on monthly subscription. They’re also testing meals shipped to your door. Just about every business has a front end and super profitable back end. My restaurant made a decent profit. It was the catering that made us a ton of money.

  4. Test, Test, Test. Infomercial companies know a boatload about testing. They test different offers, stories, testimonials, etc. Only by changing variables can you find the winning formula. The first year out P90X was marginal. During that first year, clients sent in before and after pics and videos. Those home made testimonials caused the product to skyrocket in year two. I never promise someone a get rich quick fix, but trying out different catering marketing strategies will help you discover the ones that work for you.

I may never have a six pack and look like Tony Horton at 55, but his lessons will help me out the rest of my life.  As you start 2014 focused on your new goals, please keep them in mind.

SAVE THE DATE: Jon Wool and I will be conducting a full day catering workshop in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. It is called:

How To Turbo Charge Your Catering Sales:

The Ultimate Catering Sales & Marketing Plan Revealed

I’ve created a website with complete details. Just go to www.CateringSeminars.com.

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness”). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

http://www.restaurantcateringsoftware.com/catering-planning-strategy-session

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

New Calendar View In Catering Software

 

We all have a preferred method for taking in data. As it relates to calendars, some people work best from a daily view, while others prefer a monthly view. Personally, I like to look at my week at a glance. This allows me to see what's happening a few days in advance to plan accordingly.

In order to help our catering software clients become more productive, we added an Overview Tab to our catering software. This allows you to view all your orders for a date range in a spreadsheet type view. There are hyperlinks built in to take you straight to the ticket or the customer record.

You can subtotal on any of the columns for a down and dirty recap report. This report can be exported in Excel for manipulation and analysis.

We've also added the ability to batch print order tickets, delivery directions and kitchen production reports for each order in the report. Imagine you have 4 catering orders going out tomorrow. As opposed to opening each ticket one at a time and printing the ticket, then the delivery directions and finally the kitchen production report...a few clicks of the mouse and all your vital tickets and reports for the entire day (or range of days) pops up as a PDF you can print all at once.

Check out the brief video below for a brief overview:

CATERING SALES & MARKETING SEMINAR ANNOUNCEMENT

Jon Wool and I will be conducting a full day catering workshop in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. It is called:

How To Turbo Charge Your Catering Sales:

The Ultimate Catering Sales & Marketing Plan Revealed

I’ve created a website with complete details. Just go to http://www.cateringseminars.com/seminars/st-louis-catering-sales-and-marketing-seminar/

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness”). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

http://www.restaurantcateringsoftware.com/catering-planning-strategy-session

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

Pavlov’s Catering Sales Technique

 

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Pavlov’s dog”. He was a Russian psychologist known for his experiments involving classical conditioning.

Every time he’d ring a bell, the dog would get fed. Over time, the dog came to associate the bell with food and would salivate. Even when the dog received no food, the sound of the bell caused it to salivate.

We are all conditioned to a certain extent. I tell my brain, “A salad for you tonight.”

When I walk into the restaurant and see a bowl of pasta or smell a burger, I am conditioned to order these types of items.

As a kid, I was responsible for getting our mail. Each day I shuffled through the mail to see I there was anything with my name on it. Most days there was nothing, but occasionally there was a piece with my name on it.

Be it a birthday card or a party invitation, the envelope was hand addressed. To this day you, me and everyone else that gets mail associates a handwritten envelope with something personal; coming from someone we know.

I’d love to take credit for using this form of classical conditioning to increase sales, but it’s been a staple of direct marketers for years.

If there is a catering prospect you want to get your message in front of, send them a catering sales letter in a plain, white #10 envelope that’s hand addressed (pic below).

catering sales envelope resized 600

It’s called sneak up mail. As long as you have the name and address correct, you will get the letter opened; and that’s the hardest part of direct mail.

I like to use a pen with blue ink. You’ll also want to get some type of commemorative stamp from the post office and affix it at an angle. This will make the piece look more personal.

This is a very simple, low cost way to get your mail open and read. Give it a try.

CATERING SALES & MARKETING SEMINAR

Jon Wool and I will be conducting a full day catering workshop in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. It is called:

How To Turbo Charge Your Catering Sales:

The Ultimate Catering Sales & Marketing Plan Revealed

I’ve created a website with complete details. Just go to http://www.cateringseminars.com/seminars/st-louis-catering-sales-and-marketing-seminar/

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness”). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

http://www.restaurantcateringsoftware.com/catering-planning-strategy-session

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

Happy New Year

 

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!!!! The holiday is Christmas. It always has been and always will be.

This Jewish boy has been in love with the holiday since I could remember. My mom would drag me to the basement of Goldsmith’s department store in downtown Memphis to see the enchanted forest and drink crappy hot chocolate and eat stale donuts with Santa.

I had my pick of all the great toys Christmas morning, as I visited all my little gentile friends and played with what they thought Santa brought them. And no…I didn’t let them know Santa did not exist. Far be it from me to spoil their holiday and get banished from their homes.

I love the music, the food, the lights and the meaning of the holiday. Christmas is about a spirit of giving…like the waitress I had last Monday night. Her six top stiffed her, so I left her a $40 tip on a $40 tab.

Yes. I know for many people in this country, Christmas is a religious holiday. For most of us, it is a national holiday to celebrate family, friends and giving. My girlfriend chastises me for wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas”.

My Christian friends don’t get upset when I wish them a “Happy Halloween”. Though they’re not pagans, they enjoy the generic meaning of the holiday.

This Christmas, my girlfriend, kids and I drove to Memphis to be with my family. My mother made a large spread for Christmas Eve dinner, and I gave my niece and nephews gingerbread house kits to drive their parents crazy.

Christmas day was spent doing what all Jews do; catching a movie and eating Chinese.

Now we’re days away from the New Year. I’m a homebody for this holiday. Give me a bowl of pasta and a movie, and I’m good.

The last ten days of the year are quiet around here. That gives me plenty of time to have a little fun and fine tune my 2014 goals.

I am so excited about the possibilities in 2014. It reminds me of the Far Side cartoon where two spiders have spun a web at the bottom of a playground slide… “If we pull this off, we’ll eat like kings!”

Have you set your BHAG goals for 2014? (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

Time is running out. Get on it.

SAVE THE DATE: Jon Wool and I will be conducting a full day catering workshop in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. It is called:

How To Turbo Charge Your Catering Sales:

The Ultimate Catering Sales & Marketing Plan Revealed

I’ve created a website with complete details. Just go to www.CateringSeminars.com.

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness”). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

http://www.restaurantcateringsoftware.com/catering-planning-strategy-session

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

The Food Factor

 

A few months ago I joined an angel investing group. I would call us a band of mini-angels. Members have an opportunity to invest individually in the companies we review, as well as, use our group’s funds to invest collectively. A friend of mine started the group.

Once a month we meet for lunch and listen to a pitch from a different start-up. I’m usually more into strategically analyzing each venture than the lunch.

Yesterday lunch was catered by Jason’s Deli. We had box lunches. If you’re not familiar with Jason’s Deli, I suggest you check out their website. They have an incredible reputation for catering.

With all the great things I’ve heard about them, you would think their food would be over the top. I was expecting artisanal bread, fresh carved turkey and a cookie Mrs. Fields would lose sleep over.

Sadly, they were just above average for this foodie. I enjoyed my meal, but no wow factor.

Guess what? That is perfectly acceptable.

But why do they sell so much catering from all of their stores? It’s not just a one or two store phenomenon. I have no inside scoop to share, just my observations and stories over the years.

So here goes…

 

  1. They know what business they are in. They are in the business of marketing and selling catering. They hire full time catering salespeople. They realize to do multiple six figures to even seven figures in catering takes someone out selling and marketing each and every day. My most successful clients do this as well. Accident? I think not.
  2. They know what the marketplace wants. Go to their website and download their catering menu. Their USP, unique selling proposition is “Last Minute Catering Experts”. While owning Corky’s, at least twenty percent of our catering orders were placed for the day of; maybe more. To truly have a thriving catering profit center, you must embrace last minute orders.
  3. One-stop shopping for the corporate catering niche. They offer breakfast, lunch, box lunch and snacks for breaks. They have a menu designed to provide everything their primary target market wants. A catering decision maker planning a full day training session would prefer to order breakfast, lunch and an afternoon break snack from one caterer. One phone call and one bill makes their job much easier.
  4. A system to run their catering profit center. I know Jason’s Deli has developed catering software for their stores. I’ve heard it is not nearly as robust as ours, but I’m betting it more than serves their needs. You can’t operate a large catering profit center with pieces of paper and prayers.
  5. They more than deliver on the basics. Jason’s would not be successful and have repeat catering clients without efficiently taking orders, showing up on time, leaving nothing off of an order and providing billing for corporate clients.

Even though my sandwich wouldn’t have made it on Iron Chef, Jason’s realizes it’s not just about the food.

As 2014 quickly approaches, how many of the five points above can you claim you do well; very well? If not all of them, then you have something to focus on in 2014.

NOTES: Please join me in wishing Somers, our Marketing Concierge well, as she moves on to a new opportunity.

Please join me in welcoming Jillian Davis to the RCS team. She is our new Marketing Director and Marketing Concierge for our clients. Jillian has already hit the ground running and will be a big asset to RCS and our clients.

SAVE THE DATE: Jon Wool and I will be conducting a full day catering workshop in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. It is called:

How To Turbo Charge Your Catering Sales:

The Ultimate Catering Sales & Marketing Plan Revealed

Marketing materials will go out the first week of January. If you are interested in registering before then, please email me: Michael@RCSMailBox.com. I’ll see if I can get Jon to agree to an early, early bird special for my members and clients.

Jon will spearhead the selling part and me the marketing part; together a deadly combination to help you grow your catering sales in 2014.

Please see Jon’s bio below.

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

http://www.restaurantcateringsoftware.com/catering-planning-strategy-session

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

Jon Wool is considered one of the hospitality industry's foremost experts and personalities.  Following his tenure as a Senior Vice President with Wolfgang Puck Catering, he established Finesse Cuisine Catering and Events, a boutique catering company serving Chicagoland and beyond.  Over the years he fielded requests to conduct workshops at institutions such as DePaul University, Chief Executive Boards International, Catersource, ISES, and Special Events.  He also served as an Adjunct Professor of Hospitality Management at Kendall College and became central to the national Catersource Consulting Unit.  The success of these assignments prompted him to launch JHW Hospitality Consulting in 2010.  As a consultant, coach, and speaker, Jon has been applauded for his warmth, humor, and ability to clearly communicate complex concepts.

Jon received a BFA in Acting at Carnegie Mellon University and attended Loyola University's MBA program.  As an actor, he appeared in movies such as Wall Street, television's The Untouchables, soaps, commercials, and regional theater.  This experience inspires Jon to approach each speaking engagement as a unique piece of theater and to bring to each coaching assignment a director's eye for show stopping success.  

Catering Software Features New Quote Feature

 

Restaurant Catering Systems has just made a major upgrade to its Catering Quote feature in our web based catering software system. Here are the highlights:

1. All Quotes now end up on your calendar view. This allows you to check out any pending events on your books, before committing to a new event. You can now call back anyone with a pending quote and let them know someone else is interested in the date, thus either confirming that event or booking the other.

2. You have the choice of what you see on your calendar. You can choose to see Quotes only, Orders Only or Both. This feature is great for RCS clients who don't use the quote function often. Like order types, colors can be customized for your quotes.

3. You now have the ability to edit an existing quote. If a prospective catering client calls you up the day after they receive your quote and asks you to make any changes, simply open up the quote, make changes and save it.

4. Similar to #3 above, you can pull up any quote in the system and place a duplicate quote. This is great for a client who wants a new quote from an event in the past or wants different options for the same day.

Please check out this video to see this new Catering Quote upgrade. Please contact us at 615-831-1676 or Michael@RCSMailBox.com for a catering software demo or to put the power of RCS to work for you.

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What’s Your Bright Shiny New Catering Object?

 

The New Year is less than three weeks away. I’m taking stock of my business and my life.

Goal setting is simple in one regard, but to really drill down to what you want and need in your life takes being brutally honest with yourself.

As I write this, there are six mind mapped pieces of paper with thoughts, facts and figures to guide me. I am analyzing what worked in 2013 and what didn’t.

Hopefully, every lesson learned will help me grow.

As you look back on your 2013, what do you want to see happen differently in 2014?

From a business perspective, I’m hoping increasing catering sales is on your list. That’s a very high level goal. Add a number to it and a timeline, and it becomes a measurable, accountable goal.

What specifically will you do to reach your sales goals? When it comes to taking action, that’s when most people freeze up. They are overwhelmed by the shear number of options and paths to take. Believe me. I am working through that right now.

Once you’ve brainstormed ideas to help you build sales, you must put a value to each idea. I’m not referring to just sales dollars. What about behaviors?

Though you may not be able to quantify what an hour each day of uninterrupted focus on marketing is worth, you must place a high value on blocking out time.

As you look at your laundry list of marketing ideas, are you hypnotized by the bright, shiny new catering object? Do you think a new van with a cool wrap is the answer to your sales prayers?

Do you just know hiring that high school kid to Facebook, Tweet and Link In will drive a flock of new catering sales to your door?

The truth is most bright, shiny new catering objects are good at getting your attention, but lousy at contributing to an increase in catering sales.

I’m not telling you to forgo the van, nor shun social media. You just must know what each brings to the table.

We all have a limited amount of time and money to build our businesses. The truly successful leaders know where to focus efforts; theirs and their team’s.

As you prepare for 2014, I sincerely hope you identify one game changer to help you build your catering business. Maybe you need to invest in a full time catering salesperson. Maybe you should focus on cookie drops and networking.

We at Restaurant Catering Systems have more ideas for you, than you could possibly implement.

The key to your 2014 is to do just one thing differently than you did in 2013 to grow your sales. And you must do it consistently. But beware the bright, shiny new catering objects that pull you away from your goal. What seems attractive and easy often is not.

As much as I wish there were, there are no silver bullets. All the catering sales go to the guy or gal willing to roll up their sleeves and make it happen. The alternative is to stand back and watch things happen to you.

Do you want to be a victim or victor in 2014? The choice is solely yours.  

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

http://www.restaurantcateringsoftware.com/catering-planning-strategy-session

 

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

Last Minute Push For Holiday Catering

 

I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving with your family. It is one of my favorite holidays, as it is dedicated to nothing else but eating.

Though I am a capitalist at heart, I am saddened by the rush to capitalize on the holidays. Poor Thanksgiving has lost it’s shelf space and store displays to Christmas.

Thanksgiving was a solid holiday with very few businesses open. Now retailers are tripping over each other to start Black Friday early. My buddy Mark called me at six o’clock Thanksgiving night from Wal-Mart.

He decided to subject himself to retail torture to save a few bucks on a TV set.

I’ll gladly pay a few bucks more to avoid the feeding frenzy.

It may be unrealistic, but I’d love to live in a place that totally shuts everything down on Sunday. Is there a restaurant that outlaws cell phones, and parents are forbidden from using iPhones and iPads as babysitters while dining?

I’ve started dating a lady with younger children connected to all of these devices. I keep them engaged with a game of 20 Questions.

My In Box is inundated with one retail offer after another, but I’m noticing more from restaurants. One local independent sent me a Cyber Monday email offering a 20% bonus for any gift cards purchased. That’s a very smart way to piggyback off the Cyber Monday hoopla.

I remember the Friday before Christmas was one of the biggest drop-off catering sales days of the year. Many companies want to treat their employees to a holiday meal before Christmas.

As a lot of people take off the week of Christmas, Friday, December 20th has the potential to be a big catering day for you this year.

Have you pushed and promoted holiday catering?

If not, you need to get busy now! Hopefully you have different lists to target; your catering client list, your catering prospect list and your dining room database.

Due to time constraints, you may only have time to shoot out some last emails. If you have fax numbers, look into broadcast faxing.

My girlfriend manages a high end boutique. She and her team routinely use outreach as a marketing tool. They will put together a list of their best clients and call them to promote a big event or drum up sales.

Make a list of your best catering clients, inactive clients and clients who booked events last year. Divide the list up for you and your managers to call.

If your calendar is light, you may offer special incentives for booking with you. Maybe offer a stronger incentive to book on slow days. This strategy can also be used for booking your party room.

Let your dining room customers know you offer complete catering packages or individual food items in bulk to bring to a party.

Which one of your catering clients would want you to deliver a catered meal to their best clients? Offer a special incentive if fulfilled in January, a traditionally slow catering month.

There are a million ways to slice and dice catering marketing. You can create a different bucket for each group and create a special catering marketing message to each one.

The key is to take action!

I would hate for you to wake up the day after Christmas with nothing but “Catering Coal” in your sales stocking. We all want to believe in Santa Claus, but know the gifts are really bought by the grown ups!

Learn to be your own Catering Sales Santa!

Please share any last minute catering sales promotions or stories that work for you.

For those of you who are in constant search of the silver catering bullet or the “one” thing to build catering sales, think again. Catering sales success is the sum of all the little things done consistently combined to form a catering profit center.

If you don’t believe me, just ask the University of Alabama head coach, Nick Saban. Two back to back national championships meant nothing in their game with rival Auburn this past Saturday night.

There were at least four “little things” that done correctly, would have meant a win for Alabama. Never underestimate the importance of all the little things at your disposable with the catering software and systems provided by Restaurant Catering Systems.

My son Jerrod comes from a long line of Alabama Alums and is a huge fan. I know he’s in mourning today, but has made zero excuses for their loss. At least he’s learned something from me.

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

http://www.restaurantcateringsoftware.com/catering-planning-strategy-session

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

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