The Catering Software Corner Blog

Will The "Big Game" Be Super For Your Catering Business?

Posted by Michael Attias on Mon, Jan 26, 2015 @ 11:11 AM

It doesn’t matter if you’re betting on the Seahawks or the Patriots, you’ll win either way with the right Super Bowl catering strategy.

Technically, you’re not supposed to use the words “Super Bowl”, since it’s trademarked. Most people refer to it as the “Big Game”.

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest party days of the year.

What I’ve observed, is it’s also one of the biggest pot luck party days of the year. I can’t recall one Super Bowl party that I didn’t bring something with me to share. 

I love grazing the tables for a taste of this and nibble of that. When I owned my restaurant, I would bring fried chicken drummies and tamales and chili dip to Super Bowl parties.

I would set aside any promotion of catering packages and push trays and pans of food, as your customers are looking for one thing to bring. 

As opposed to focusing on your catering client database, I would focus on your dining room customers. Hopefully you have an email list to work with. 

By the time you read this, there’ll be less than a week till the big game. That’s plenty of time, as most people will decide at the last minute what dish to bring. 

I would send out one email to your list mid-week and one towards the end of the week. Showcase your best options for items to take to a party; appetizers, sandwich trays, entrée platters, large salad bowls and desserts.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the good intention to make something for a friend’s party, but opted to pick something up instead. Time gets away from all of us. Make sure you embrace last minute orders.

Were I looking for a subject line for my email, I would use: Are you coming to the Super Bowl Party? 

The right subject line will get people to read your email. Once you get them to open the email, move right into some catchy copy:

…I’m sure you’ve been invited to at least one Super Bowl Party. Are you going?

If the answer is yes, the next question is, “What are you bringing?”

There. I’ve done the hard part for you. Just complete the email with what you have to offer them, along with simple instructions for ordering…like an online ordering link. 

Don’t offer online ordering? Time to ditch the rotary dial phone for a smart phone.

Even though time is getting tight, you still have plenty of time to email your list a few times to generate a few “Big Game” catering orders.

NOTE: New podcast with Frank D’Antona. Just go to www.RestaurantCateringSmarts.com . Make sure and register to receive regular updates.

Well, that’s all for this issue.

To Your Restaurant's Marketing & Catering Success,

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.P.S. – Please check out my podcast at www.RestaurantCateringSmarts.com

P.P.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.

 

 

Topics: catering, catering software, catering sales, catering marketing, catering business

How To Reach Catering Decision Makers

Posted by Michael Attias on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 11:37 AM

One of the first questions I receive about building catering sales is, “Where do I get a list of catering prospects?”

Now I could write a book on this subject. You can rent or compile your own lists; that’s the short answer. Without a doubt the right “list” makes a difference. It is over fifty percent of the success equation. 

I will cover the long answer in another article.

Let’s discuss the best way to reach catering decision makers.

Once upon a time, getting to the right person was easy. Think back to the early 1900’s. There was no TV, internet or much mass media to distract us. 

If a traveling salesman came by the farm, you welcomed the company and stories.

If Sears & Roebuck mailed you a thousand page catalog, it was your fireside entertainment; dreams of things you wanted and a source for your Christmas wish list.

These days I get five catalogs a week.

Getting through to the catering decision maker takes multiple touch points via multiple strategies.

If I had a dollar for each time someone just wanted to use email. After all, it costs nothing. If “free” doesn’t work, it isn’t free. It’s costly.

I just returned from a marketing conference in Atlanta. Top companies are using multiple touch points: direct mail, telephone, email, social media touches, Google ad words, etc.

In fact, I just made a commitment to launch a new podcast. It is called Restaurant Catering Smarts. I urge you to go to www.RestaurantCateringSmarts.com and register to get updates to new podcasts. You can even check out my first episode.

Show_Artwork_(2)

It’s available on the iTunes store at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/restaurant-catering-smarts/id955916725

If you use Stitcher, you can get it at:

http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=58980&refid=stpr

Make sure and register at my site to get notified immediately of new shows and get automatic downloads from your podcast service of choice.

Why did I launch a podcast? The world is changing. More people have smart phones and blue tooth. It is so easy to stream a podcast through your car speakers at your convenience. You can listen while you walk or jog. You can listen while waiting in line or at the doctor’s office. You no longer need to be tethered to your car’s audio cd player.

Now back to how to reach catering decision makers.

Create a marketing rhythm. Get in the habit of adding a set number of qualified catering prospects to your funnel each week.

Mail them, call them and visit them.

In RCS, we have a 3 step catering lead generation postcard system. After all three mailers go out, you’re prompted to call them. We are going to build a cookie drop screen. After the first two steps are completed, you’ll see all of your non-responders on a map.

From there, you can group catering prospects to visit after lunch with a cookie drop.

Imagine. As opposed to bringing cookies to all fifty offices in a high rise, you can focus on the four offices who house the companies who actually use catering services on a regular basis.

You can add in email touches and social media touches like LinkedIn and Facebook. Do you think it was a coincidence you received a Facebook feed announcement of my webinar last week?

Marketing excites me. Any time I can provide a tool to help you make more catering sales, I’ll be taking a serious look at adding it.

Well, that’s all for this issue.

To Your Restaurant's Marketing & Catering Success,

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.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.

 

 

Topics: catering, catering software, catering sales, catering marketing, catering business

The Secret To More Catering Sales In 2015

Posted by Michael Attias on Wed, Jan 7, 2015 @ 09:28 AM

For the sake of argument, I am going to assume you run a good to great operation. People love your food. Your staff is tidy and friendly. Your place is clean. Overall you deliver or over deliver on your value proposition.

This is where you need to be brutally honest with yourself. My favorite saying is, “A pig in a dress is still a pig.”

One of my first travel consulting jobs was over ten years ago to a place in Florida. All of my great marketing advice was a waste. The place was dirty, the food was mediocre and the staff was so, so.

Great marketing accelerates what is already happening.

If you suck, marketing will let more people know quicker that you suck. If you are doing a great job, marketing will speed up your success.

It is very difficult for business owners to look at their “child” and call it ugly.

If your restaurant or catering business is “ugly”, you’d better find yourself a good plastic surgeon and Mary Kay rep and get busy with an extreme makeover.

Now assuming you are ready to go to market, what’s the next step?

Four walls marketing, catering lead generation, cookie drops and niche marketing are all great marketing vehicles…but only if you have the time.

January ushers in a wave of people temporarily motivated to get in shape and lose weight. Health clubs and gyms are counting on record sign ups with a small percentage of clients actually motivated past February 1.

If there is one word you need to use in your 2015 goals it is consistency!

Hitting the gym hard for three weeks will not help you fit into your holiday dress in December. It’s the person who dedicates three workouts a week and gives up soda who will end up in shape.

Marketing your catering is exactly the same. At our December Catering Coaching Call, we had members of all types from newbies to those more experienced with varying degrees of catering sales success.

Newbies aside; the number one difference between the people who hit marketing home runs and those who don’t is consistency in action.

Take Mark Rogers with Smoke and Spice. To the best of my knowledge, he doesn’t have a sales and marketing background. He definitely puts out great food with flair.

What Mark did perfect in the last fourteen months was consistently follow our system. Using the same techniques we share with our members, Mark increased drop off catering sales by over $100,000. This past December was three times busier than the last.

Assuming you can deliver on your promise, the answer to a great 2015 lies within you.

As I coached a newbie who is the general manager of a cupcake store that caters for all sorts of occasions...

Give me an hour per afternoon at least four days a week…week in…week out…

And you will see results.

Simple? Yes.

Will you take action?

If so, then please register for the webinar below.

NOTE: To help you get 2015 headed in the right direction, you are invited to a one time only webinar entitled:

How To Make 2015 Your Best Year with Catering Profits

To grab one of the hundred spots, please click on the link below:

www.FreeCateringWebinar.com

Well, that’s all for this issue.

To Your Restaurant's Marketing & Catering Success,

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

Topics: catering, catering software, catering sales, catering marketing, catering business

It’s The Most Beautiful Time of the Year

Posted by Michael Attias on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 @ 09:49 AM

I am going to throw PC, political correctness, out the window and just say it, “Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year!” Not Hanukah. Not Kwanza. Not Festivus for the rest of us. Yes. All of these other holidays are just fine and dandy. Look. I’m Jewish. I make a mean potato latke, but let’s face it...Christmas rocks!

Since I was a little kid, this raised Orthodox Jewish kid has loved Christmas.  No. We did not have a Christmas tree, but I soaked up and enjoyed the holiday. My earliest Christmas memory was me at age four going through the enchanted forest in the basement of the downtown Goldsmith’s department store in Memphis and seeing Santa Claus. One year my mom even sprang for breakfast with Saint Nick. The memories were far better than the stale donut and watered down hot chocolate they gave us.

I loved running over to my friends’ homes to see their gifts; enjoying a Christmas treat. The sound of Christmas music, after Thanksgiving, warms my heart. For the few years I was dating/married to my second wife, we celebrated Christmas in the home. I loved seeing the look on McKenna, Jerrod and Jordyn’s face when we surprised them with cell phones (wish I didn’t get them started on cells and texting so young).

The food, music, TV cartoon specials and overall uplifting of the spirits makes this my favorite time of the year! We really could use an extra Christmas come April 15th. My favorite part of the holiday is giving! To see the look on someone’s face when they open “just the right gift” is priceless. The appreciation received from volunteering Christmas morning at a nursing home each year of high school in Memphis so someone could celebrate with their family was great (not to mention the Chinese food and a movie the entire Jewish world enjoys).

The best gift I ever received was on Christmas Eve eight years ago. I was in a very sad place about to get divorced, when I headed into McDonald’s for a quick bite. The lady behind the counter handed me a Christmas card she had purchased out of her pocket. I don’t remember the exact words, but that act touched me deeply. The tears flowed freely for a minute. As I left, I went up to that counter, thanked her for the gift and placed a hundred dollar bill in her hand and wished her a Merry Christmas! She tried to give it back, but I told her she’d do more good with it than me. That definitely was the best gift I’ve ever received...or given.

All this talk about Christmas and gifts is to make a point. This is a time of the year to truly count our blessings. There’s a Persian proverb that sums it up, “I complained of having no shoes, until I met a man with no feet.”

I feel very blessed to have you in my life. Whether it’s to read my blog or entrust me with helping you grow and manage your catering business. Thank you!

Regardless of which holiday(s) you observe, on behalf of everyone at Restaurant Catering Systems, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year! We look forward to working with you in the years to come.    

NOTE: To help you get 2015 headed in the right direction, you are invited to a one time only webinar entitled:

How To Make 2015 Your Best Year with Catering Profits

To grab one of the hundred spots, please click on the link below:

www.FreeCateringWebinar.com

Well, that’s all for this issue.

To Your Restaurant's Marketing & Catering Success,

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.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.

Topics: catering, catering software, catering sales, catering marketing, catering business, catering proposals, catering sample lunches

Givers vs. Takers

Posted by Michael Attias on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 @ 10:55 AM

Whether you are religious and believe in tithing or are a subscriber to the laws of the universe and believe in paying it forward, the concept of giving dates back to the dawn of civilization.

As a kid growing up in Memphis, I had many Christian friends who would tithe. The idea of giving ten percent of your income to charity was mind boggling at the time. 

Seeing my parents struggle through bankruptcy, I saw money as a finite resource not to be squandered. Tithing was as foreign to me as the cast of Star Wars. 

I can’t tell you what caused it or when it happened, but at a certain point in my life my attitude about giving changed. The pie is not limited. If I give you a piece, I’m not a slice down. The world will lead me to a pie twice as large. 

There is no joy or satisfaction in being a taker. There are people who fall on hard times and need a helping hand. But for your sustenance to come via others, when you are able is detrimental. 

There is a sense of accomplishment from doing it yourself. To deny someone that experience is plain wrong. 

I live in an inner city transitional neighborhood. We have everything from soccer moms in Audi’s to SWAT teams raiding my neighbors home(now that was cool to watch).

There is a church that sits across the street from my home. I’ve become friends with Reverend Randy. Though I don’t subscribe to his religion, I am all for what his church stands for and the great community outreach done in our neighborhood.

A few weeks ago he invited me and my family to his church for a Thanksgiving dinner a few nights before the holiday. I asked what he needed.

He was in need of four hundred to go boxes and cutlery kits, as they were going to feed families in our neighborhood. Running out to Sam’s Club to get these supplies was better than any gift I could receive.

The fact my kids volunteered to help serve with zero arm twisting was incredible.

270_Giving_Back_(2)

As corny as it sounds, I am humbled by the fact God/the universe has blessed me with the ability to be a giver. As a kid living in a home going through bankruptcy, I was the recipient of generosity of my friends’ families. From lunch at McDonald’s to a movie, others paid for me.

I did not like the feeling. To this day, I bend over backwards to make sure I’m not on the taking end. 

If you believe the media, all the rich are miserly and do nothing but sit around and count their money.

That is so far from the truth. I have a group of friends who are as successful, if not more so than myself. Each one of them gives back…like my landlord friend who received a call from a tenant saying he couldn’t pay rent in December so his kids could have Christmas.  

As opposed to throwing him out into the cold, he’s deferring rent until his tax refund check comes in.

Or my friend who offered a recently fired single mom a zero interest loan to help her through a rough patch.

And please don’t think the “rich” give for the tax break. Would you give a dollar to save fifty cents in taxes?

Those blessed with abundance understand giving back is part of the package. It’s the unspoken deal you make for success. And they aren’t doing it expecting anything in return.

I have seen this played out so many times, it’s crazy. The vast majority of the “rich” I know get a greater sense from giving back than most anything else.

As 2015 approaches, we can talk about goal setting, focusing on selling more catering and the best marketing strategies, but the best tool I know of is giving back.

As you start to visualize your 2015, picture what your life would be like giving. How would you feel knowing you helped someone out in true need?

What pride would you get from passing on a giving legacy to your children?

Given the choice, we would all prefer to not need to be “takers”.

Moving forward commit to being a giver. Your financial and non-financial payback is infinite!    

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.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.

Topics: catering, catering software, catering sales, catering marketing, catering business

How To Harvest More Catering Clients

Posted by Michael Attias on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

Last September I bought a new home in East Nashville. East Nashville is just over the river from downtown and is a work in progress.

As soon as an old home is purchased, it is either renovated or torn down to make way for new construction. East Nashville is known as the cool part of Nashville. It is very transitional and the inhabitants are a collage of yuppies, hipsters and low income folk.

I’m not quite sure I fit into one of the categories above, but I love the food scene in East Nashville. Chains are non existent, and the independents are either really good or out of business 

I had looked for years to find my home in East Nashville and was thrilled to find a new construction with a courtyard backyard. I have no patience to rehab and a large backyard without small children is lost on me

My real estate agent turned me on to a great landscape guy who transformed my backyard into a wonderful stone and pebble entertaining area surrounded by planting beds following my fence line. Practically zero maintenance!

Below is a pic of my backyard before I planted.

269_Michael_Backyard

This past spring I took a drive to Bates Nursery to buy flowers, vegetables and herbs for my beds. I learned a few things. Though I love spaghetti squash, I will avoid the takeover of the backyard next summer.

My two favorite things to harvest were berries and tomatoes. I had a solid month of blueberries followed by raspberries. I feel like my tomatoes lasted all summer long.

My tomato plants remind me of marketing.

Every day I went out, watered my tomato plants and picked the weeds. Marketing is pretty much the same. You must consistently tend to your market or target market.

As it relates to catering, you must consistently use four walls marketing, cookie drops, trade shows, bridal shows, lead generation mail, client newsletters, email newsletters, birthday clubs, loyalty and referral programs, niche mailings, telephone follow up and tastings to get catering clients and repeat events.

When the day came that my gardening paid off with my first few tomatoes, I couldn’t stop watering the plants or picking the weeds. The day I cut off the supply to that plant, the tomatoes would cease.

Marketing works exactly the same way. Your catering business may not shrivel up today should you cease marketing, but soon it would.

Dan Kennedy, one of my marketing mentors, makes sure he does at least one marketing activity a day. Even if it’s sending a single fax, he won’t end his day without some type of marketing.

Recently I had dinner with my friends Jay and Terry Siff from Moving Targets. Jay and Terry met at the gym and are both are into their health. I asked Jay if he enjoyed lifting weights. He admitted he didn’t, but he knew he needed to do it.

For me marketing is a joy. I love for the next marketing campaign or challenge.

Winners do what they need to do, not just what they want to do.

Whether it’s you or a key person, marketing must be a consistent activity in your restaurant catering business. People ask me what’s the one thing you did to build a million dollar a year catering business.

There is no “one” or silver bullet. It’s the piling on of a million little things that lead to large sales.

Please don’t forget marketing is far more than a sales letter or cookie drop. Marketing is the impact of small impressions on your prospect: staff, uniform, hygiene, punctuality, phone skills, etc.

From my 30,000 foot high overview of what it takes to harvest more catering, this all sounds daunting and overwhelming.

The road to a million dollars a year in catering sales starts with one action. Decide today you will focus on one initiative for thirty days. At the end of that thirty days add another marketing initiative to your plate. Before long you’ll be harvesting bushels of “catering tomatoes”.

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.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.

Topics: catering, catering software, catering sales, catering marketing, catering business

No One Has Dumb Or Ugly Kids

Posted by Michael Attias on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 @ 11:31 AM

Since I can’t find it on the internet, I am going to attribute the following quote to myself, “No one has dumb or ugly kids.”

 Every parent, me included, thinks their children are attractive and oh so smart.

 I’m not sure whether I read it somewhere or saw it on TV, but there are reasons we think our kids are attractive. Besides the fact they look like us or our spouse, nature needed to make sure we wouldn’t abandon our children.

 As much as people don’t think they have dumb or ugly kids, similarly, no one thinks their business is ugly either.

 What’s an ugly business? Ask yourself the following questions: From a physical perspective, what do people think when they walk into your building? Do your restrooms smell like a Port-O-Potty used non stop for Extreme Makeover Home Edition?

 Are your uniforms a little dingy? Is your furniture starting to look over used? Are your menus dirty and worn?

 Ugly can take many forms. It can be your sales, profits, operations, staff…

 We are as close to our businesses as we are to our own children. We don’t see the flaws others get slapped upside the head with.

 It takes a very confident person to face their weaknesses head on and take corrective action.

 Your customers and friends will hardly ever shoot you straight. Every now and then someone will tell you what you need to know.

 About a year ago, I had a prospect who later became a client tell me our website did not match the quality of our software.

 We launched a new catering software website about six months ago. (Due to Google rankings, I will not post the new web address in this site. Feel free to email me for the new web address).

 Now there are mystery shopping companies you can use for feedback on your restaurant and phone operations. I know this works well for many.

 Some our clients use the telephone call recording feature in our catering software to mystery shop their catering sales team.

 Some people hire consultants to come in and give their place a thorough exam. Please don’t ask me, as I prefer you think of me as nice.

 Do you have a business friend you trust? Maybe offer to swap out and each evaluate the other’s business: top to bottom. 

 Can you handle the truth? If not, just keep to yourself in La La Land.

 Being able to check your ego and listen; really listen to what needs fixing, can have a huge impact on your business.

 All it takes is one small change to make a big impact on your bottom line.

 The holiday season is off and running. If not now, devote your slow January to evaluating and fixing things.

 You can’t fix ugly in real life, but you sure can in business!

 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.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.

Topics: catering, catering software, catering business, mystery shopping, catering phone system

Catering Lessons From The Shark Tank

Posted by Michael Attias on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 @ 03:20 PM

Shark Tank is one of my favorite shows. I have been a religious follower since the first week. If you’ve never seen ABC’s Shark Tank, you must add it to your “must watch” list.

Each week different entrepreneurs pitch their business to five sharks. The sharks put them through the ringer and fight each other for a piece of the action.

The show is a classroom for business. They talk about valuations, marketing, manufacturing, scaling and a whole host of business challenges. This is the perfect show to watch with your kids.

A few weeks ago I was invited to have breakfast with Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank. He spoke at a conference for IT company owners hosted by my good friend Robin Robins.

You can see the picture of the two of us below.

267_Robert_Herjavec

Robert started a few internet security firms and sold them for over a hundred million dollars.

He went on to start another internet security firm.

Some times a fat bank balance is the kiss of death. The first year’s revenues in his current venture were four hundred thousand dollars. He lost a million dollars the first year and decided to move forward.

Building that business was slow and painful trudging his way to around five million.

He knew if he didn’t make a dramatic shift, he would pull his hair out growing so slowly. He decided the big bucks were going to come from the big companies.

His focus switched to large institutions like Banks, the Fortune 1000 and government institutions. By targeting the big fish, he has taken the company to over a hundred million dollars a year in sales.

I’ve been practicing and teaching this for years. I call it the Top 100. When I first started implementing direct marketing, I mailed and called the hundred largest employers in middle Tennessee. Within nine months, I had booked over $45,000 in catering sales. Keep in mind; this was around 1996; almost twenty years ago.

I have a long list of clients who have benefited from this strategy. Marketing is not a mystery. It’s one part common sense and four parts action.

During his talk, Robert also talked about the investments that made the most money on Shark Tank; products and services targeted to consumers not businesses.

Though it seems like common sense since the show is seen by consumers, it took them a season or two to figure out.

Robert was entertaining and motivating. After all, what guy wouldn’t be impressed by a guy who owns and races Ferrari’s?

But my big takeaway was the power of targeting.

I’ll sound like a broken record saying this, but the riches are in niches. Few, if any of us, have the pockets to blanket the masses with our message.

The other day on our Catering Coaching Call, a member asked about how to target individuals for their catering needs. Unfortunately mass media, even with an unlimited budget, is a losing proposition. I suggested he use target marketing to capture consumer based catering.

With niches like weddings, rehearsal dinners, high school graduation parties, B’nai Mitzvahs and other easy to target niches, his ROI would be much higher.

Just look at the largest restaurant chain, Subway. They have deep pockets and tons of marketing muscle. If they advertise catering to consumers, it’s an afterthought piggybacked to a direct mail piece of television commercial usually used at strategic catering times. If there was a way to target consumers with just a catering message, they would have figured it out.

Our members only website at www.RestaurantProfitPoint.com is full of ad templates ready to help you capture catering from a variety of catering niches.

Stop looking for ad reps to sell you a silver bullet for new sales. Roll up your sleeves, climb on the target marketing bull and ride it all the way to the bank.

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.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.

Topics: catering, catering software, catering marketing, catering business, catering niches

Profiting From Evergreen Catering Niches

Posted by Michael Attias on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 @ 01:34 PM

As soon as September hit the calendar, the weather started to drop here in Nashville. As I look onto my backyard garden, I see the plants I need to pull down to make way for fall plantings.

 Luckily not every plant must go. My favorite fall herb is rosemary. This hearty plant will be a go-to, when I need a pop of fresh in a dish.

 In the world of plants, an evergreen is a plant that stays green throughout all four seasons. In the catering world, I have coined the term “evergreen catering” to mean a catering niche that is always blooming.

 More specifically, this niche has a new batch of opportunities each and every year.

 Let me give you an example: Each year across this country, men will propose to women. I guess if I’m being politically correct, men will propose to men and women to women as well.

 Not to get sidetracked. The results of these proposals are weddings. These weddings represent an evergreen catering niche. Until marriage is outlawed, there will always be an evergreen catering niche; new brides and grooms celebrating their big day with a catered event.

 What other niches are evergreen? Graduation parties, christenings, milestone birthday celebrations, anniversaries, baby naming’s, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, baby showers, bereavement meals and rehearsal dinners are great examples.

 In fact, one of my best friends Stephen is about to have a baby naming for his newest daughter Abigail. He and his wife Melissa will make it a double evergreen event, by celebrating their daughter Miriam’s third birthday at the same time. (See pic of big sister Miriam and her new sister Abigail below).

266_Miriam_and_Abigail_Sauer

 My daughter Jordyn and I will be there, and I’m sure the event will be great. Don’t tell anyone, but if Miriam was up for adoption, I’d claim her. She is my favorite!

 So where do you find the people to target for these niches? That would take a book to explain, but let’s at least get you headed in the right path.

 Become Sherlock Holmes. Where would you go to find people getting married?

Bridal shows are a biggie. What about working with jewelers and bridal shops? Which venues in your area are the ones who book the most weddings? Can you get on their preferred caterers list?

 You get the idea. We have created a marketing system for our clients to turn brides into bookings. Just click the link below and go to our private, members-only website:

 http://www.restaurantprofitpoint.com/members/department49.cfm

 What about Bar and Bat Mitzvahs? How do you capture that group? Network with Jewish Temples and Synagogues. Advertise in your local Jewish newspaper.

 What about bereavement meals? A long time client, Kyle Agha graciously allowed me to interview him for our April 2014 Profit Points about how he is making money on this valuable catering niche. Members can check out the interview at:

 http://www.restaurantprofitpoint.com/members/271.cfm

 You get the idea. The difference between a quarter million dollar a year restaurant caterer and a million dollar a year caterer is in the marketing. Focusing on niche catering allows you to hit homerun after homerun.

 Once you build your list of qualified catering prospects for these evergreen catering niches, you’ll want to use catering software with a simple to use, yet powerful CRM like Restaurant Catering Systems. If you have anyone accountable to you for selling, our built in phone module allows you to record all incoming and outgoing calls. This is great for coaching purposes!

 There’s never a better time than today to focus on building your catering sales!

 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.P.S. – If you are interested in a free 30 day trial of our catering software, please go to www.ezCateringSoftware.com

 P.P.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.

Topics: catering, catering software, catering marketing, catering business, catering niches

Another School Catering Niche

Posted by Michael Attias on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 @ 10:38 AM

Last Saturday was a big day for our family. My son Jerrod moved into Vanderbilt University. For the last couple of weeks, Jerrod and I have been driving around picking up things for his dorm; sheets, towels, and microwave just to name a few.

Vanderbilt has the move in process down to a science. You pull into a parking lot and are directed to the line for your dorm. I felt like we were going to Hogwarts as we were directed to the Sutherland Dorm line.

After about a fifteen minute wait, the lines started to move. We pulled up to his dorm and in about sixty seconds flat a team of co-eds unloaded our vehicle and whisked away his belongings to his dorm room.

Jerrod and I spent the next few hours unpacking, while his sister, mom and my girlfriend helped. OK. They offered more verbal than physical help. 

Pictures Below: Jerrod getting into his room for the first time (while his sister photo bombed) and Jerrod and I after the hard work was done. 

265_Jerrod_and_Jordyn_pic    265_Jerrod_and_Dad_pic

As much planning as we did in advance, there were still things to be purchased.

Jerrod and I sent the girls home, while we grabbed lunch and hit target for extension cords, bins and bulbs. Target was an absolute mad house. 

College move in day is Black Friday for Target and maybe a few other retailers. I do remember the Target near Vanderbilt ordering in lunch for their crew on move in day.

So file this article away for next year, if there’s a college campus near you. Approach the store manager four to six weeks before move in day about your catering services. The easier you can make it, the better. Offer complimentary delivery and set up. I would lend them my insulated containers to keep the food to temp for such a large group.

After our Target run, we returned to the dorms and met his roommate. Luckily his roommate went to summer camp with a lot of Jerrod’s friends, so it appears he picked a good one.

I helped the boys loft their beds, arrange furniture and assemble a television stand.

By the time we had that done, families returned for a school sponsored barbecue. Over three thousand people were fed pulled pork, chicken, coleslaw, assorted salads, marinated tofu (the college is a little on the liberal side), watermelon and ice cream.

That even was a big payday for one lucky caterer. Which brings me to another school catering niche: back to school gatherings. 

From elementary schools to colleges, most educational institutions hold some type of welcome back event. It can be as simple as an ice cream or dessert reception, to as fancy as a barbecue or dinner.

Though this opportunity has probably passed you by this year, please make sure and add it to your marketing game plan for 2015.

The perfect target is someone you know is buying at a particular time. This takes most of the guesswork out of the equation. Just assemble or rent a list of all the schools and colleges in your area and focus on the decision maker. A combination of direct mail, phone calls and personal visits will give you a new catering income source.

Our catering software has a CRM that makes keeping up with groups a snap. You can even send personalized one page letters to any one contact or all members of a group. Just write the letter, select the recipients and hit send. RCS does the rest while you sleep. 

Though Jerrod is all moved in, by job isn’t done. I need to swing by the dorms to drop off lights, dry cleaning and help exchange a broken couch to Target.

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.P.S. – If you are interested in a free 30 day trial of our catering software, please go to www.ezCateringSoftware.com

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.

Topics: catering, catering software, catering sales, catering marketing, catering business, catering business planning

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