Tag Archives: multi-unit restaurants

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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Your Restaurant’s POS System is not designed to scale catering sales – Another Perspective

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For many years I’ve been publicizing the sales, marketing and overall business case for layering a catering program on top of your existing multi-unit restaurant operation. I believe strongly in the year-over-year sales life that a solidly executed catering program can provide.

Yet in order to fully sell your catering services, and to capture those transactions at the point-of-purchase, you will need to apply the business logic and technology to keep this aspect of your business organized and streamlined.

While there are several items to discuss as they relate to how catering software fits into an existing IT infrastructure, I’d like to focus this conversation on the role that your POS systems plays in the catering ecosystem.

As restaurant operators, we are sunk into our POS systems as the core technology infrastructure for our restaurants.  Many restaurateurs believe that POS integration is a requirement when it comes to catering; however, in my nearly 20 years experience at MonkeyMedia Software, I can tell you confidently that POS integration is not required for the successful execution of the catering transaction.

Today’s point-of-sale systems have not been built with the right business logic needed to succeed in the catering market.  As you approach the business logic for catering execution, consider that your POS cannot manage the conversational ordering or the batch manufacturing and distribution requirements that are so integral to the successful catering transaction.  POS was designed for a retail transaction, not a business-to-business transaction.

Because catering orders are taken online and by telephone, conversational ordering systems are needed during the catering transaction so you can provide your catering customers with a consistent and predictable order experience.

From the beginning, you will need an order-entry system to generate invoices, statements, collection notices, and to manage accounts receivable. Naturally, the system must also extend into your production and distribution process. It’s important to understand that order fulfillment for a catering transaction, follows a different internal dynamic when it comes to making and delivering your products to your catering customers.  POS is designed to fulfill one single transaction at a time and when it comes to catering, we are facing a micro-batch production dynamic.

I am clear that POS systems are not geared to handle the subtleties of each catering transaction and that they do not have the right business logic to properly and effectively service the catering channel.  Catering is about relationships and to be successful, your sales teams need the appropriate customer relationship management tools that POS systems cannot provide.

In our world at MonkeyMedia Software, our products stand outside the POS and our customers use our technology to focus solely on the catering transaction.  POS is not required.

Now, as part of a successful enterprise deployment of catering software in your ecosystem, allow me to move the conversation to reporting.  We do need to continue to find ways to report catering data into the overall restaurant’s IT infrastructure in order to scale.  In many instances, we can look to an end of day catering process where we drive the day’s catering transaction data back into the POS ecosystem, not for the execution of orders, but simply to report data in real time to your management team.  This is where POS integration can play a role in the catering transaction.

Catering software: What to consider

The right software will ensure that the correct data is gathered from your catering client at the point of order capture. Additionally, once fully deployed, the catering software system should be fully integrated with your back-end reporting systems, where it makes sense. Your catering software system should be web- and enterprise-based, and should be standardized to easily share data across your entire organization. This will provide complete transparency into your catering business and will provide the organizational framework to grow catering sales while feeding customers where they live, work and play.

Let’s talk catering!

 

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