The Takeout, Delivery & Catering Show – A podcast for Foodservice Operators

Hi there,

Well, I finally have my studio going again and I’m really excited to be working on some brand new content to help foodservice operators get their minds wrapped around their Takeout, Delivery & Catering Strategies.

My work for the last 20 years through MonkeyMedia Software, The Catering Institute and Off-Premise Insights has been focused on helping Restaurant & Foodservice Operators to understand the paradigm shift of managing a new operating model to incorporate off premises sales.

Please feel free to send me your feedback.

Here is a link to my show.  We have completed 27 episodes or you to listen to. Hope you enjoy!

You can listen here.

 

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.

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

Erle Dardick

Leadership is the #1 Pillar for successful Restaurant Catering – It begins with the CEO

5 Pillars_slide

I’m very proud of both my teams at MonkeyMedia Software and The Catering Institute.  For the last 20 years we have focused on a single business strategy called the 5 Pillars of Successful Takeout, Delivery and Catering.  All of our products and services are focused on helping restaurant operators to grow sales and increase profits through feeding their customers where the LIVE, WORK & PLAY.

Through our consulting and coaching, and our curriculum and technology, we have been able to provide a sound business framework that is scalable and predictable to the Fazoli’s team.  I want to point out here that the ONLY reason it is working is because of the leadership and franchisees at Fazoli’s.  They are leveraging it properly and are applying it methodically.  This is yielding exemplary results.

Yesterday, Fazoli’s put a statement out to the marketplace that they are doubling down on technology and catering.  I am not posting it here to boast, but simply to call out that because of Carl Howard’s leadership and the conviction of his whole team, they are moving the needle for their franchisees in a meaningful way.

For me, it’s always been about the people and I am blessed to be able to work with the leadership team at Fazoli’s.

The article is below:

Fazoli’s, The Catering Institute and MonkeyMedia Software Announce Strategic Partnership to Deliver Takeout, Delivery and Catering Solutions to Franchisees

 

Is On Demand Delivery Threatening the Restaurant Catering Business?

 

Screen-Shot-2015-05-01-at-1.50.31-PM

Happy New Year!

Feeling confused about your off-premise business strategy?  Takeout?  Delivery?  Catering?  Get some ideas here!

Check out this article published by Foodable TV discussing the restaurant industry’s developments with takeout, delivery and catering.

 

Restaurant Catering Sales Tip #287 – Isolating Objections

Isolating Objections

Sales objections are just a part of selling.  Whenever a customer objects, they are never telling you the truth!  Of course, I am not saying that your customers are liars.  No.  I am just saying that they are not telling you what the real problem is.  The real reason why they are not buying from you.

The key to a successful sales call is being able to find out what the real objection is, and then isolating that objection to make sure that there is nothing hiding in the background of your prospects mind.  If you isolate the objection, you can now deal with it and close the sale!

Ideally, your Catering Sales Manager(s) will be offering solutions throughout the sales call to many of the possible objections that a prospect will bring up during the sales call.   Very often the customer may say “okay, I understand,” yet still not have accepted the solution.

A good Catering Sales Manager must figure out what needs to be asked in order to find out the real objection so it can be addressed. The process of doing this is called isolating the objection.

Move closer to closing by following these steps:

1. Validate The Objection:  appreciate the way that the customer sees the issue. Use phrases such as “I understand,” “I know how you feel.”

2. Ask why or what: “why is it that…?” “compared to what?” . An excellent Catering Sales Manager asks questions and finds out what the customer is thinking.  Remember, customers never say what they mean.

3. Isolate the Objection by Asking “Besides the (Objection) Is There Any other reason that is preventing you from purchasing today?  If they say yes, find out what it is and then isolate the two objections together..  if they say no, then move to step 6.

4. Find common ground and get permission to move forward:  “If we can get together on the issue of (objection), will we be able to move ahead?” Notice that you have not handled the issue yet, but have simply learned why and what makes it a concern to the customer. If the customer answers “yes,” then answer the question and close the sale. If the customer answers “no” or “maybe,” then continue to step five.

5. Stop Talking and Listen:   Stop talking and listen to the customer so you can figure out the real issue.  Great Catering Sales Managers realize that resisting handling the issues first presented and probing for other issues is essential to effectively overcoming the objection.  Keep going through this cycle until you have isolated the issues.  Once the issues have been isolated, then you can move to Step 6.

6. Solve The real issue:  The process of isolating the objection is a skill that takes time and practice to develop.  Once the issue is isolated, you can now close.

Let’s move to an example where the objection is, “It’s Too Expensive”. Here is a possible dialogue between the Catering Sales Manager and The Customer

CSM:  So, I understand you feel our product is too expensive? (Step 1)

Client:  Yes.

CSM:  Too Expensive Compared to What?  (Step 2)

Client:  Too Expensive compared to your competitor.

CSM:  Besides being to expensive, is there any other reason that you won’t move forward with our services today?  (Step 3)

Client:  No

CSM:  So, if price were not an issue, would you move forward then?  (Step 4)

Client:  Yes.

CSM:  Ok. If you place 12 orders with us, we will provide you with a 15% discount on select menu items.  (Step 6)

There is ALOT to discuss here.  Isolating objections every single time is the key to closing more sales.

Let’s talk catering!

Restaurant Catering Sales Tip #214 – Opening the Sales Call

Unknown-1

At the Catering Institute, we are focused on helping restaurant operators to grow sales and increase profits by educating their people to be experts at feeding their customers where they Live, Work & Play.  Here and idea for your catering sales team.  Feel free to pass it along!

Always start off a catering sales call by covering 3 things:

1. Make sure your customers/prospects understand how long the call will take.  NEVER go past that time!

2. Make sure the customer knows what the objective of the call is.  Be clear and always close with that objective in mind.

3. Relate the reason for the current sales call to the previous sales call you had with the person, or to information you may have sent them in the past.

Connecting the current sales call to something previous gives the customer the comfort of knowing you remember fully everything that may have already occurred. This also gives the customer the comfort of knowing you respect their time.

Let’s talk catering!

Thinking “Inside” the Box – Growth of Box Lunches

Happy Monday!

I’m always looking for articles that I think might help me to do my job better at The Catering Institute, MonkeyMedia Software and Catering Insights.

I really think that Barney Wolf at QSR Magazine did a great job here!  Check out the article he wrote about the Box Lunch dynamic:

Thinking Inside the Box