Category Archives: Teaching

A Successful Catering Event is Music to the Ears

When something goes as planned, it is pleasing and so we often say that’s “music to my ears”.  Thing is, to make great music, like great catering, it takes practice.  It takes perseverance.  It takes an ongoing commitment to doing the right things.  Every day.  All day.  Any great musician knows that they have to practice and train on their instrument.

To be successful at catering, like in life, you have to work at it.  Day in and day out.  Only after planning, training, playing and doing it, over and over, can you then be really good at something.  You can’t just put a sign in the window saying you do catering well.  You can’t just send out an email saying you are good at it.  You actually have to work at it over and over.  You actually have to feel it;  to live it; to mean it.

I have heard that you become an expert at something after doing it for 10,000 hours…. I wonder if that’s true.  If so, you’d better get back to work because we have a lot of work to do!  Catering out of restaurants is serious business.

Listen to this girl sing.  Listen to the notes.  The melody.  The perfect pitch.  When something sounds this good, it’s music to your ears.  And music to your ears, feels good.  Just like restaurant catering.  When done well, it will be music to your ears.

Enjoy a little music from 11 year old Maya Rae.  It’s music to my ears.  I hope it is to yours too.

Let’s talk catering!

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Successful Catering Takes a Team Effort

I received these photos today, hot off the press from my team.  In the photo you will see the proud faces of Tracy Avolio, one of MonkeyMedia Software’s Senior Catering Analysts, John Dumbrille, our VP of MonkeyUniversity and Lisa Nguyen, one the senior members of our software services team.

Monkey's Working Hard kpbwork

They are working onsite with one of the largest KFC Franchisees in the ecosystem.  If you have not heard the news, you can read about it at the following link here.  We are growing catering sales for the brand.  A huge opportunity!

We are proud of the work we do at MonkeyMedia Software.  We think about catering in a multi-unit restaurant environment every waking moment.

Today, I’d like to thank my team for all the fantastic support they give me.  If not for their ongoing dedication and deep belief in the work we are doing at MonkeyMedia Software, I’d never get to do that things that I love to do!  I’m very grateful to work with such fantastic people!

I admire your passion, leadership and enthusiasm!  Keep up the great work gang!


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We are a community – a place for second chances

David and Carrie Schat

For me, this restaurant business has always been about the people I get to meet.  The people who are slugging it out every single day to do amazing work in their communities.  People like Carrie and David Schat.  Talented, generous and kind.  Passionate about baking.

About a year ago, they sent me this photo.  I was not only honoured, but touched deeply by the connection and passion that they both have towards the restaurant industry.  I was touched that through the words of my book, they had some hope to try to get over that difficult financial hump which we have all experienced as entrepreneurs.

When they contacted me, they were struggling.  Business was tough, finances thin and they were very stressed out.  I tried to give words of encouragement, but as we all know, making it in the restaurant business is wrought with risk.  It’s hard for everyone.

I was sad to hear that they had to pack it in.  Join me in sharing that there is no shame in trying.  No shame in closing a restaurant.

Well, it’s been awhile now since I connected with both of them and a few days ago I received this email.  Please drop a comment on this post to provide words of encouragement to Carrie and David.  Even better, if you are looking for a very passionate and talented artisan baker in the Los Angeles Area, please contact David.  You won’t regret it!

Our industry is so amazing that wouldn’t it be cool if we reached out and helped someone who is so kind.  Someone like David.  Now that would be magic, wouldn’t it?

“Dear Erle:

I am sorry to tell you that we were not able to work though our challenges at the bakery and Dave decided to close the business. Our last day was December 9th. Dave put everything he had into it and I tried to help him as much as I could but it just was not the right formula. Dave’s business plan was not quite what the business turned out to be. He tried to evolve and make the necessary changes to the business and his mindset but he just could not get over the hump. Dave and I both learned so much about the restaurant business and being business owners. It was an experience that I will never regret. One of the things I cherish the most are all of the wonderful people I met along the way. Although you and I have not met in person, I have learned so much from you and you will continue to be a great inspiration to me. 

He also has an interview lined up with a wholesale pie company located in our area and Safeway is interested in him as well. 

I look forward to reading your blog and enjoying your continued success with MonkeyMedia. Thank you for all of your advice and support. All of my best to you!

This email means more to me than anything else that I do in my work.

Carrie and David, thank you for taking the time to send me this note and please know, that the restaurant industry is a place of second chances.  I have no doubt, that should you ever want to circle back on your passion for baking, you will find a home here.

Just reach out.  All the best.

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