Restaurant Catering Sales Compensation? Ask Jeffrey Gitomer!

As you all know, I am always looking for content specific to restaurant catering at the MMS Catering Institute.  Then I found this…. Jeffrey Gitomer addressing a catering sales manager’s question about compensation….  I’ll post it here for your consideration…

I can think of some more ideas.  Can you?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below…


3 thoughts on “Restaurant Catering Sales Compensation? Ask Jeffrey Gitomer!

  1. Well, he is right….if catering is truly incremental and profitable (controls/thresholds are needed here when bidding and closing jobs to ensure profitability and thus, commission), an operator should be able to absorb a 10% commission to the ‘salesperson’ across the board. And it does make it simpler to manage/track.

    But this comp plan feels so ‘old school’, doesn’t it?

    The pitfall here is to assume that catering sales is akin to a typical ‘outside sales’ type of job. I personally do not believe it is, or should be.

    That said, aren’t there more novel ways to compensate these individuals? Overall sales growth? ‘Quality’ client bookings? Bonus on ‘High Visibility’ gigs in the market?

    I think you have to be very careful with whom you chose to be responsible for catering in your business. Not everyone should be compensated by top line results alone.

    1. Jonathan,
      Great thoughts. I do agree with you that it is a bit old school; but old school can work. I have seen more sophisticated bonus/commission structures out there that I think can work much better. For me, it is always the little things that matter for sales people. If we measure the incremental tasks against sales, I always find that is a much better way of measuring performance. For example, measuring the number of cold calls, samplings, first time orders, leads converted to sales and other metrics might be a better way of providing incentives to your sales people in the short term.

      Then, I think approaching the overall company sales goal is another higher level measurement as to the overall success of your catering program.

      Hope these thoughts help as well..

      1. Thanks….I like those metrics. I should have mentioned we are in the nascent stage of our catering, (inside of a year) so not really a good proxy for established brands and how they approach catering sales, but this will certainly help when we hire our next catering salesperson. (which we hope is soon!) Thanks for the insight!

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