Category Archives: Catering Strategy

How Holiday Catering can make up 50% of your sales this year

We love the holiday season at Monkey Group!

For some businesses, things slow down, but for restaurants, it’s one of the biggest opportunities of the year for takeout, delivery, and catering sales.

Our clients at MonkeyMedia Software, The Catering Institute, and Catering Insights tell us how catering orders can account for 30, 40, even 50% of their sales.

There’s a huge opportunity here.

Over the past 21 years, we’ve been using our strategic framework, The 5 Pillars of Successful Restaurant Takeout, Delivery and Catering, to educate restaurant operators on how to take advantage of this incredible opportunity so their fourth quarter can actually make their whole year.

Holiday catering-specific marketing materials become crucial to sales performance, and while that may be obvious, you still have to make some noise.

The following advice comes from personal experience as a former owner-operator, from listening to our clients, and from working with restaurants and foodservice operators of all kinds over the past 21 years.

(Remember – catering is a different business than your in-store operation and not just an ‘add-on’ service! You must be specific and thoughtful, and always stick to your brand promise.)

Your most valuable marketing tool is your people.

Train your people to speak and write the language of restaurant catering. This is true when you’re gearing up for holiday catering sales season, and it will carry through to help you build momentum for your current program year-round. Train your people at the operations level to tell your catering story to the public. Your front-line people should be able to direct your catering customers to the right team within your organization at the right moment, which will ensure that your customers’ expectations are set properly for guaranteed service execution.

Use all advertising methods at your disposal to tell your catering story.

Showcase your whole team as catering experts – no matter who your customer talks to, that person should be a catering expert, and be able to help your customers. Display a list of the clients you currently service in your store and on your website for prospects to see. Post a sign in-store that says “Today’s Deliveries,” showing your orders for the day – it’s a great way to help drive customer enquiries and interest!

Develop and showcase a holiday catering menu.

Your holiday menu should be different and complementary to your current menu. Focus on a category. Be clear that it is a limited time offer. Stick with one specific, high-value (and high margin) offering.

Document holiday policies and procedures for your team and customers.

The holiday season increases stress for your people and catering operations. Your catering strategy during the holiday time should provide a logical plan for the seasonal spike in sales. You may need seasonal staff. Align your holiday strategy with your existing plan, then include a separate policy and procedure guideline focused specifically on your holiday catering customer.

The holidays should be remembered as a time of festivity with co-workers, friends and family. Give your catering customers an experience to remember and they’ll have even more to celebrate, as well as tell all their friends what a great catering experience you were able to provide.

If you want to learn more about how to maximize your restaurant’s holiday sales during the 2017 season, join us on October 11th for an interactive Catering Institute webinar:

Holiday Catering Sales Webinar

It’s on Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

  • It features 25 year catering veteran Tracy Avolio, who will share best practices on:
    • Who to target for the holiday season
    • Where to find the best sales opportunities
    • Components of a holiday sales plan
    • How to effectively communicate what’s unique about your holiday offering
    • Sales tactics and resources to help drive your business forward

Join us for this interactive session by clicking here.

Feel free to reach out directly if you have any questions! And best of luck this season,

Erle Dardick

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Solving Your Restaurants Technology Headache when it comes to 3rd party delivery, takeout and catering.

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These days, my team is working hard on takeout, delivery & catering in foodservice operations.  Not much has changed for us in the last 21 years of this journey.   We have been focused on a single transformative idea which is that the largest growth opportunity for restaurants and foodservice operators is the off-premise sales opportunity.  I’ve been saying it for decades and its finally here.  Everybody seems to agree these days!

Today we support more than 6000 restaurants, and more are coming every single day.

For so many years while we were building our software at MonkeyMedia Software, nobody really understood what we were talking about.  It was complex.  It was sophisticated.  And it was early!  Very early!  The market just wasn’t ready.

Today, I am so proud to be part of a team that is working hard to solve the “off-premise paradigm shift” that is taking place all over the world.  Finally, we are getting the opportunity to work with the largest brands in the world, and they are using our ideas and our technology to radically shift the way they are managing takeout, delivery and catering.

This morning, I read this article about how technology continues to create a headache for US restaurants when it comes to delivery.

I love this article!  The photo really captures the essence of the the havoc that delivery is playing on operations.  And so, because of this, I am SO thrilled.  Thrilled because we have something amazing that will help.

This past April, I gave a keynote presentation at Restaurant Leadership Conference about this very idea.  Check it out here.  It will explain the solution to the complex challenge of solving operations for takeout, delivery & catering.

And so, I am so proud today to be part of a journey and a team that actually has a real life solution to this problem.  I am grateful and lucky to part of this and I can’t wait to share it with you.

If you are trying to solve your off-premise operations for your restaurant or foodservice operations, give me a call!  604-831-7422.  I’ll connect you with my team and they will fix it for you!

 

 

October 5th in Atlanta: Cold Calling Workshop for Restaurant Catering

We’ve seen incredible momentum at The Catering Institute in the past few months after the fantastic turnout at our 2017 Restaurant Takeout, Delivery, & Catering Symposium at Georgia Power HQ in Atlanta.

After 21 years as Founder & CEO of The Monkey Group of Companies – which also includes MonkeyMedia Software and Catering Insights – I couldn’t have imagined that we would get to work with our industry’s most important and largest brands.

When it comes to restaurant off-premise, I am so proud of the work my team has done to become thought leaders and help advance the business, technology, and growth strategies of our clients using The 5 Pillars of Successful Restaurant Takeout, Delivery, and Catering. It means the world to us to be here supporting so many restaurants, spanning the United States, Canada, and beyond, during this critical point in the industry’s evolution.

I’m excited to share our next event – a Cold Calling Techniques workshop, on October 5th in Atlanta.

Once again, we’ve partnered with our friends at Georgia Restaurant Association and Georgia Power to bring you a full-day workshop dedicated to increasing restaurant off-premise sales. This will be a great opportunity for restaurants looking to master the art of targeting and capturing catering leads – a foundational sales skill for building your client list.

We’re covering everything from how to overcome sales call fears, diversionary tactics, developing prospects, and overcoming objections, to addressing gatekeepers, and a day in the life of a Catering Sales Manager.

Learn more here.

Watch catering veteran Tracy Avolio speak on the workshop:

Feel free to reach out directly if you have any questions! Hope to see all of you there.

A big thank you to our partners for their support:

Supported by:

     Catering Insights      Clearpath      Georgia Power      Georgia Restaurant Association
     Inktel      LBP Manufacturing      MonkeyMedia Software      Paytronix
     Pepsico Foodservice      Primary Color      Punchh      Relevant Mobile
     Robust Promotions      Southern Chamption Tray      Synq3      Technomic
     Voice Teleservices      War Room Inc
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