If your restaurant offers catering, you may already have an idea about the importance of a powerful sales culture and an organized system. If you’re not yet doing catering but are considering it, you’ve come to the right place for some clear-cut knowledge about running a successful catering program.
Here at Eustress and Demeter, we cannot stress enough the importance of a collective, goal-driven team. Your business is a machine, and proper maintenance paired with consistent use will generate successful results. You and your team are responsible for running this machine.
Your restaurant is a producer, and no matter how you look at it, you’re constantly having to sell your product. To be able to pitch at a consistent rate, it is crucial for every member of your team to be on board and ready to sell.
But before we dive into the details of sales, there are a few things you need to have in place as a restaurant owner to generate a rewarding outcome from your catering department.
For one, you need to have a catering leader who will differentiate the catering aspect from the restaurant itself, and will understand the business from the inside out. Leadership is one of our strongest beliefs when it comes to the prosperity of any business model. The catering leader will be responsible for educating not only your team, but current and prospective clients as well. In a sense, they will be the face of your brand as a catering business, so it is crucial to choose a leader who loves and cares for your business the way you do.
Next, you and your catering leader must have a clear, organized internal system put in place to ensure that every member of your team can take on catering operations internally. This system will look different for every restaurant, but it is imperative to have some version of the following taught and ready to use:
If your team is proficient in these key factors, they are sure to alleviate much of the stress and commotion that can come with off-premise sales in a growing catering department.
To better understand this, let’s talk a little more about marketing and sales. In any business, those two factors will make or break you. Marketing and sales work very closely together, but it is important to create two separate plans for different members of your team to work on and execute. A sales team will utilize the product of a marketing team, so it is wise to have a marketing plan in place before setting a sales plan in stone. Once you have things like packaging, marketing (in and out of store), and online presence ready to go, you may implement this in selling your catering service, and efficiently producing your product.
Finally, with all the above in place, you can begin to train your team and get your machine updated and running smoothly. One determining factor is to teach your team to differentiate between catering and restaurant language. Now, we all know learning a new language can be challenging, but luckily you have a team who you value enough to take the time and ensure that they become fluent in catering. In simply understanding the contrast between catering language and restaurant language, your team will be on the path to successfully differentiating and executing both businesses.
One last thing to consider before acknowledging sales is the gravity that your delivery system has on the business. Once a sale is made, you must be able to deliver the goods to your customer efficiently and on time. Consider details like affordable and productive transportation, specialized packaging, drivers, bringing the sufficient equipment, and marketing your brand on the go.
Building your catering business dynamic with the above in mind is sure to generate success. Once you have an internal system in place, you have the freedom to go more in-depth with your team about actually selling your product. Set precise expectations; make your goal clear to your team so that they can effectively put in the work to meet your sales standards. Make catering a daily internal conversation; it is equally as crucial as the restaurant itself, so discuss new sales tactics, improvements, and opinions with your team. Your team is your greatest asset, so don’t ignore their creativity and potential. Create a sales environment that everyone is on board with, and find ways to consistently improve and produce. As mentioned earlier, the fine details of this system is unique to every business, so it is imperative that you and your team are familiar with both the big picture, and every detail inside.