The Catering Software Corner Blog

Is Your Catering Salesperson Undermining Your Success?

Posted by Michael Attias on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 12:50 PM

I have clients and potential clients who employ catering sales reps. The amount of catering success these salespeople achieve are all over the board. Some restaurants and catering companies are really able to propel their catering sales with the right rep.

The wrong choice costs you time and money. Think about what it costs to bring on a new hire, train them, coach them, etc. Every day they aren’t producing for you is a day of catering sales you will never get back.

So how in the world can a catering salesperson be undermining your catering success?

Well, there are two types of salespeople: hunters and farmers. Other people prefer to use the term order taker versus sales person.

The universe of sharp people with excellent customer service skills, the ability to sell/upsell over the phone is far greater than the number of people who enjoy and are good at building sales via prospecting and lead generation.

Now I am not advocating cold calling or a purgatory of endless door knocking. What I am talking about is the difference between a professional visitor or salesperson as the late Zig Ziglar calls them.

What type of person would best help you reach your catering sales goals? 

On average, you should be able to generate ten percent of your sales in catering without doing much.

Now what do I mean by much?

  1. Create a good catering menu that is easy for your customers to understand and order from, as well as, is simple for your staff to take orders from.
  2. Use 4 Walls Marketing: Most of the people I consult aren’t using table tents, signs, banners, washroom signs, staff buttons, messages on hold, flyers for takeout orders, etc. to educate their current customers that they offer catering. Never assume your customer knows everything you do. Every great retailer knows how to use point of purchase to cross sell their current clients.
  3. Do a good job. As basic as this sounds: be easy to work with and likeable. Show up on time. Set things up for them. Make sure they have plenty of food. Make sure the hot food is hot and the cold food is cold. And please leave nothing off an order.
  4. Minimal Catering customer service. A thank you letter here or a follow up phone call there. Return their calls promptly.

If you do these four things, you should be able to grow your catering sales to the ten percent range.

My clients who own 3-6 stores in a market and follow the rules above will generate more than enough sales to justify a catering salesperson. If all their stores are doing five million a year, in a relative short period of time, that would equate to five hundred thousand a year in catering sales

An order taker should be able to facilitate growing this, but will spend most of their time handling inbound calls and proposal requests.

If you are at a place you really want to grow your catering sales, you will want to invest in a catering “sales” person.

This person is not afraid to prospect or talk to people who haven’t called them first.

With our new Sales Tempo Tool, you or your catering salesperson is only focused on working with people in your city they know cater. Yes. The list is over fifty percent of the equation, and we help our clients with that.

By using direct mail, cookie drops and LinkedIn touches to connect, you’re never making a cold call. It’s a warm call at worst.

By only focusing on catering buyers, you avoid the frustration of having to knock on a hundred doors or make a hundred calls to uncover one good catering prospect. 

If I am striking out 99% of the time, it beats me down. If I can be successful 20-30% of the time, then it’s fun.

Our Sales Tempo provides the system to keep you or your salesperson on track with only qualified catering buyers 

Are you fooling yourself into believing little Ms. Order Taker can go out and hunt catering opportunities? Did you sell yourself on their abilities or did they sell you a bad bill of goods? 

How can you tell an order taker from a true salesperson? It’s how they talk to you. 

Often times my consults involve the restaurant owner and someone they have hired to do catering sales; either part time or full time. 

The salespeople get excited about our tools. They realize we are providing a machine gun for the knife fight; not a plastic knife.

They are not scared their sales activities will be monitored. They welcome you listening to recordings or their calls. Every great achiever has coaches and needs feedback. 

The people afraid of actually selling catering make excuses and try to undermine a system like ours. 

Would I love for every person reading this blog article to work with my company and our systems? Absolutely! 

But more importantly, whether you work with me today or years from now, I want to use this forum to educate and help you. That is what has brought us successful clients. 

Only you know where your business is and what you need. Please do not fool yourself into thinking your order taker is going to be a sales shark. You will both fail. 

Meredith has been with me for fifteen years. She started out as a hostess at my restaurant. There are a thousand things she does incredibly well. Sales is not one of them. She knows it. I know it. 

Forcing her to make calls would be akin to wrestling with a pig. The pig gets pissed, and you get muddy. 

If you are interested in learning more about this, then please register for my upcoming webinar entitled: 

How To Generate New Catering Clients

With Your Own Sales Tempo Marketing Machine 

It’s limited to a hundred attendees and will get filled up quickly. Here’s the link:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7225283797001733122 

NOTE: Last year I put on a full day catering seminar in Baltimore with one of my most successful clients and longtime member, Frank D’Antona with Cantina Mamma Lucia in Baltimore, Maryland. We had to turn people away last year.

One attendee, Vince with Trinacria credits us with his best catering Christmas season. He did over a hundred thousand dollars in catering for December 2014 versus $12,000 in 2013. 

Saval Foodservice is sponsoring the event this year. It will be held Monday, May 18, 2015 near the Baltimore airport. 

So if you have any interest, please go to www.CateringSeminars.com/baltimore for complete details. Hope you can join us. 

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 marketing, catering niches, catering sales templates, catering leads

Hotels: The Key To Booking More Catering Sales

Posted by Michael Attias on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 @ 09:09 AM

I know what you’re thinking. Hotels? How can I book more catering jobs because of hotels?

Not only do you get one strategy to book more catering via hotels, this week you’ll get two proven strategies. 

Let me illustrate with two different stories. 

When I owned Corky’s, we did quite a lot of catering to area hotels. To be more specific; we catered meals at hotels to groups renting meeting space. 

Many hotel chains have done away with kitchens, restaurants and all the associated overhead. They focus on rooms and offer meeting spaces for smaller meetings and events. 

Though the hotel may not offer food, their guests booking the meeting space still need food for breakfasts, luncheons, afternoon snacks and dinners. That’s where you come in. 

When a hotel that does not offer food books a meeting space, their clients will often ask for recommendations. A hotel is primarily interested in a caterer that won’t embarrass them. They must be easy to do business with, show up on time, leave nothing off an order, and make sure there is plenty of food for the guests. 

We had such a good relationship with some of the area hotels, we knew exactly where and how they wanted meals set up. They referred their clients to us because the food was good and we made them look good. 

It never hurt that we occasionally brought out food for the hotel staff.

Devote one afternoon to building a list of all the area hotels that offer meeting space, but do not offer catering. Our members-only website, www.RestaurantProfitPoint.com has some letters/promotions you can use to get in with these hotels. 

Members: Click below to see the templates:

http://www.restaurantprofitpoint.com/members/department56.cfm 

When you get in front of the hotel general managers, make sure you focus on their needs. Take the time to learn what they’re currently doing. Ask what they do and do not like about their current caterers. 

Some hotels will want a rebate or discount. You’ll find some wanting to handle taking the catering orders and then call you to coordinate. 

Make sure you are flexible to gain this repeat source of valuable catering sales.

We would create co-branded catering menus for the hotels we worked with. This allowed them to have something to show their clients.

Now on to my second hotel story. 

I picked up a trick years ago from a hotel salesperson. To find prospects to book rooms and meeting space, they will walk into the lobbies of their competitors and read the welcome boards. Those boards welcome the groups and companies in the hotel. They usually have the room they’re meeting in listed as well. 

In college, one of my best friends Mark Moskowitz and I started a bartending service called Gentleman Bartenders. It was a great little business as we went through school.

One day we decided to use the hotel salesperson trick. So we walked into an East Memphis hotel to read the boards, but ended up running into someone who worked with International Paper (the name tag gave it away). 

Luckily we were too green to know better and not afraid to talk to a complete stranger.

That hallway connection turned into some bartending gigs for International Paper and an entrée to the Memphis State meeting facility. The facility ended up hiring us out for some of their events.

I’m not advocating you walk into a hotel looking for someone to talk with, but a company name on a marquee can be a great lead source.

The same companies booking meetings have other events that need catering.

Half the equation to booking more catering is to find the catering decision makers in your market. As far as I’m concerned. That’s the hard part. 

Now you have two great “hotel” techniques to build your catering sales. Go get busy booking some catering jobs!  

NOTE: Last year I put on a full day catering seminar in Baltimore with one of my most successful clients and longtime member, Frank D’Antona with Cantina Mamma Lucia in Baltimore, Maryland. We had to turn people away last year.

One attendee, Vince with Trinacria credits us with his best catering Christmas season. He did over a hundred thousand dollars in catering for December 2014 versus $12,000 in 2013.

Saval Foodservice is sponsoring the event this year. It will be held Monday, May 18, 2015 near the Baltimore airport. 

So if you have any interest, please go to www.CateringSeminars.com/baltimore for complete details. Hope you can join us. 

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 marketing, catering niches, catering software quote module, catering sales templates, Catering to hotels, catering leads

Tax Season Is Catering Season

Posted by Michael Attias on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 @ 11:25 AM

April 15th sends chills down the backs of many people. For some it means a big tax bill and for others an extension is filed; delaying the inevitable. 

April 15th is Christmas for CPA’s and tax preparers. From about now until tax day, accountants, bookkeepers and tax prep firms will be working feverishly to process mountains of returns for their clients. 

This means many late nights and weekends away from home. 

When asked why he robbed banks, the famous bank robber Willie Sutton replied, “Because that’s where the money is.” 

And so it goes with finding catering niches. If a person or niche is spending money to feed a group, then the efficient marketer needs to pursue that niche. 

Whenever employees have to put in extra hours at night or on weekends, you’d better believe the company is bringing in food for their team. 

Pink Logan, a longtime member, sent out a letter to CPA firms soliciting his catering business during tax prep time. I believe he picked up around three thousand dollars in drop off catering. 

As a result of that idea, I created a sales letter targeted to CPA’s. The background of the letter was a 1040 tax form. Members can find that letter template at our members only website; RestaurantProfitPoint.com 

http://www.restaurantprofitpoint.com/members/109.cfm 

Many prudent members have used this promotion with great success. Yesterday I was talking with a client who used the promotion for a second year in a row. Right off the bat he landed a deal to deliver $600 in catering a week from now until April 15th to a single CPA firm. I know he’ll land other CPA businesses. 

Marketing is not some big mystery. It doesn’t have to require the budget of Nike or Coca-Cola. With the software and services available today, the little guy can look like a big guy. 

Niche marketing allows you to focus a small amount of resources on a very tight group of high probability catering prospects. Some of my biggest catering victories have come from niche marketing. For instance, One year I targeted twenty hospitals with my famous x-ray mailer for hospital week catering opportunities. 

Twenty mailers brought in over $17,000 worth of catering.

There are less than two months to April 15th. Will you choose to read this article and ponder or take action? 

Small successes lead to more successes. My first marketing success in booking catering lead to another and another…eventually leading me to start this company.

For me marketing is fun. When it brings in sales, it is downright addicting! Try it. You just may get hooked.  

NOTE: Last year I put on a full day catering seminar in Baltimore with one of my most successful clients and longtime member, Frank D’Antona with Cantina Mamma Lucia in Baltimore, Maryland. We had to turn people away last year. 

One attendee, Vince with Trinacria credits us with his best catering Christmas season. He did over a hundred thousand dollars in catering for December 2014 versus $12,000 in 2013. 

Saval Foodservice is sponsoring the event this year. It will be held Monday, May 18, 2015 near the Baltimore airport. 

So if you have any interest, please go to www.CateringSeminars.com/baltimore for complete details. Hope you can join us.

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 marketing, catering niches, catering to cpa firms, catering sales templates

Email Templates Now In Catering Software

Posted by Michael Attias on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 @ 10:57 AM

As much as we would all like to stay digital and avoid paper, there is no way around it.

Email deliverability and open rates keep dropping. As hard as we try, the spam folder still manages to catch some of our emails.

Being one hundred percent dependent on email as our sole marketing vehicle amounts to suicide. At least once a month you must use snail mail to reach out to your database of catering prospects and customers. 

Being that the average catering order starts in the hundreds of dollars and can run into the thousands, you don’t want to leave your future catering business in the hands of just email.

With that being said, don’t abandon email. Considering it is basically free to use and quick to set up, this extra touch point is a must on your monthly marketing list.

You never know when that perfect catering prospect is ready to give you a shot, so make sure your name is always at the top of their mind. If you can’t be number one, then make sure you’re their number two.

For years I have been teaching and preaching the virtues of a monthly email touch points. Whether you are promoting a seasonal menu or a monthly special, take a few minutes to create and send that email.

Up until now, Restaurant Catering Systems required you to create your own email promotion from scratch and copy and paste it into our email editor. We do have marketing templates you can use for inspiration on our members only website; www.RestaurantProfitPoint.com.

One thing I have learned over the years; make things as easy as possible for our clients.

Restaurant Catering Systems has just built an email template system.

Each month Jillian will be writing three timely emails you can use to communicate with your catering prospects and clients 

These email templates are preloaded into our catering software. Just click on the month you want to promote to see all of the email templates.

278_Email_Templates

Once opened, just click on the Preview link to see the email.

278_Email_Templates_2

When you’ve decided on your email template for the month, just hit the “Create Campaign” button and follow the steps. You can create the emails in advance and pick the date and time for it to go out.

On a side note, I would only send out text based, not html based, emails. Though the pictures can look very attractive, they shout out “I’m an ad”!

Text based emails are how we communicate with our friends and business associates. The open and read rate is much higher.

Whether you choose to use one of our email templates or create your own, please don’t let a month go by without sending at least one out. I can tell you from personal experience; the months I fail to send out my blog article, sales suffer.

NOTE: Last year I put on a full day catering seminar in Baltimore with one of my most successful clients and longtime member, Frank D’Antona with Cantina Mamma Lucia in Baltimore, Maryland. We had to turn people away last year.

One attendee, Vince with Trinacria credits us with his best catering Christmas season. He did over a hundred thousand dollars in catering for December 2014 versus $12,000 in 2013.

Saval Foodservice is sponsoring the event this year. It will be held Monday, May 18, 2015 near the Baltimore airport.

So if you have any interest, please go to www.CateringSeminars.com/baltimore for complete details. Hope you can join us.

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, email templates, catering email templates

The #1 Thing Getting In The Way of Selling More Catering

Posted by Michael Attias on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 @ 08:39 AM

Last week I did a webinar with Michael Rosman of The Corporate Caterer. 

The day after, I started calling all of the attendees to thank them for attending and see if they have any follow up questions for me.

I try to practice what I preach. Follow up is one of the little things that goes a long way.

A side benefit of doing follow ups are the tidbits of market research you walk away with. Whether from connecting with customers or employees, this type of feedback yields some big insights.

I noticed a large trend when calling my list of caterers. A large majority of them did not answer their phones. I was sent to their voice mail. 

In my opinion this is the kiss of death. People looking to take care of a catering need want to talk to someone…now!

Back in 1992 while I was building my restaurant, I mystery shopped all of my competitors in the BBQ catering arena. I found myself getting answering machines and line cooks who could only tell me to call back. 

With today’s technologies and services, you should always have a live person answering your calls. 

Even if you must forward and roll over calls to an answering service, prospects feel better getting a voice. The small cost involved is more than paid for with one booking.

You don’t need your answering service to be an expert in your business. They just need to be friendly, position you well and get you the information ASAP. 

For instance…

“I’m sorry. Mr. Attias is meeting with a client right now. Would you mind giving me a few details about your event, and I’ll have him call you as soon as he gets out of the meeting?”

Most consumers understand you may not always get the person in charge of catering sales on the phone immediately, but there is comfort in knowing a live person took your info and will get it to the right person. 

Without a doubt, the phone is the #1 opportunity for most of us to improve and pick up more sales.

How your phone is answered is one of the first impressions I have of you and your company.

I was doing a catering consult last week with a gentleman who owned a successful Italian restaurant. He started telling me why my telephone techniques did not work. He had tried it all with no luck.

Just like the oncologist who tells it to you straight, I don’t believe in blowing smoke up your skirt.

I told him that I thought he was the problem. Based on his phone skills with me, I didn’t think he was the best fit to be talking with prospective clients.

Harsh? Yes! On the mark? Double yes!!

I am not warm and fuzzy on the phone. I want to help you with your problem and get to the next client who needs help.

Luckily, Meredith, Jillian and Nicole make up for that.

Take a good, hard look in the mirror. Would you want to buy from you?

If the answer is no, get out of the way and put someone in who knows how to win people over and sell catering for you!

NOTE MEMBERS: Please check out our members only website, www.RestaurantProfitPoint.com and download a copy of our telephone training manual.       

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 sales, catering marketing, catering business, catering telephone training

The Anatomy of A Catering Website

Posted by Michael Attias on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 @ 09:57 AM

Growing up in Memphis, my mother would drag my brother, sister and I to Goldsmith’s department store downtown. The first Wednesday of the month was called Clover Day. It was a one day sale that the store used to get rid of returns, overstock and stuff they couldn’t move.

My father taught me to appreciate wrestling, but my mother showed me how it was done. Women would literally grab items out of your hands. My mom could throw elbows and insults with the best of them.

As much fun as Goldsmith’s was, I think the era of the department store is dead.

Retail is now about the specialty store. Containers, kitchenware, hand bags, athletic shoes and hunting gear are a small sampling of the many niched retailers you’ll find.

Marketing your catering is exactly the same.

Many of my clients own restaurants. Catering is the red-headed step child tab on their website, if you can even find that. When I critique websites, I’m usually lucky if I find two generic paragraphs and a PDF catering menu.

For many consumers, your website is their “safe place” to review what you have to offer them. The information on your website should exist to sell them on using you.

Many of my clients have us create Catering Lead Generation Websites for them. They are standalone websites just for their catering profit center. They have their own unique web address and link to it via their main website.

Here are some considerations, when designing your own:

  1. Header: Your header should include some type of benefit statement or a call to action instructing visitors to call you.
  2. Use of prime space: When you go to a website, you see a snapshot of the top part of the homepage. You must scroll down to see the rest. You want to make sure the first thing your visitors see is impactful. Are your tabs clearly marked? Do you have three call to action buttons leading prospects to what you want them to do most? (ie: Online Ordering, Catering Menu, Catering Inquiry Form)
  3. Copy that sells: You can’t use “me too” language on your website. You must tell people what makes you different; fresh food, on time delivery, last minute orders, etc.
  4. Include a catering guarantee. This reverses the risk from a prospective catering client.
  5. What about Frequently Asked Questions? Make a list of all the questions you get asked and the largest objections you hear. Include that on the page.
  6. If you do a lot of corporate catering sales, make sure and have an online ordering interface. Restaurant Catering Systems can give you code that allows you to embed online ordering into your existing website or one we design for you.
  7. Pictures help sell catering. It’s no accident that my most successful clients have invested in great food photography to close deals.
  8. Make sure to include catering inquiry forms throughout your site; preferably one that feeds into your CRM, so you don’t have to re-key information. 

276_Sample_Restaurant_Catering_Systems_Website

This is a great list to use when designing or redesigning your website. We create and manage catering and restaurant websites for our clients. Please let us know if you’re interested.

The internet has become too important of a tool to not have your best marketing representing you. 

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 websites, catering business

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

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