Heading to NRA 2013? – Join the Celebration of Technology Dinner, May 19, 2013

I always look forward to this time of year.  As a restaurant operator in Vancouver years ago, I always made sure I attended the National Restaurant Association gathering, year after year.  Mostly, it was for the learning.  Lot’s of learning.

Even today, 15 years later, as the CEO of MonkeyMedia Software and the Founder of the MMS Catering Institute, I still go for the learning.

There are so many events to choose from in just 5 short days.  One of my favourites is the Celebration of Technology at Zed 451 on Sunday night, May 19.  I’d recommend you attend if you are in Chicago.  You can register here.

But today, it’s become more than just learning for me.  As our organization works with thousands of restaurant operators, day in and day out, all focused on their catering operations.  We owe it to our community to reach high and be the best that we can be.  A never ending commitment to make ourselves better.  We can only do that by taking part in community based activities.  We need the feedback, validation and the passion of others.

Well, over the years, you end up making great friends.  Real friends.  Nice people working in an amazing industry.  I enjoy circling back, year after year.  I really go there for community…. to be part of something fantastic and make sure that I have a place to “hang my hat”.  Check out this video that Dawn Sweeney made, as the president and ceo of NRA.

I think she does a great job at setting her passion for her work in this video.

Well, there’s always alot to discuss.  Me?  I’ll look forward to meeting you on the show floor, or perhaps, if you have time, you might come by our booth where we are showcasing the services of the MMS Catering Institute and MonkeyMedia Software.  Booth #6878.

Hope to see you there!



Save The Date June 6,2013 – Chicago Restaurant Catering Workshop


Join the MMS Catering Institute TM Team for a one-day Catering Sales Management Certification (CSM) workshop on June 6th, 2013 in beautiful Downtown Chicago. This workshop is open to restaurant executives and management teams looking to develop their catering programs and drive real results through improved operations and increased sales.

The CSM course was developed to educate and engage your catering leadership team on managing successful catering operations. This workshop will outline key Catering Sales Management initiatives to realize maximum sales potential.

Curriculum will focus on:page1image11520

Canvassing and Lead Generation • Consultative Selling Techniques
• Effective Cold Calling Tactics

• Buyer Types and Motives for Purchasing

• Sales Meetings that Make Sense
• A Day in the Life of a Catering Sales Manager

This workshop will be filled with representatives from many different restaurant brands and will offer a unique opportunity to learn, participate in real world practice scenarios and network with fellow industry members during our networking lunch.

Date: Thursday, June 6th, 2013
Place and Time: TBA, (Downtown Chicago)
Cost: $249.95* each for up to 3 attendees ($199.95* for 4 or more from the same company)

Register for this invaluable workshop, and send an email to workshops@monkeymediasoftware.com










Contact Tracy Avolio, Sr. Catering Analyst at the Catering Institute.
Phone: 1-877-6-MONKEY ext. 127 | Email: workshops@monkeymediasoftware.com

To learn more about the services, certification, workshops and resources offered by the Catering Institute, or to request a catering assessment for your restaurant, please contact us via phone or email.

Let’s talk catering.

* Course materials and a catered lunch will be provided. Travel expenses not included.



One Lucky Film Maker! – I love the restaurant industry!

I am in Chicago, on the last leg of a 10 day road trip.  Being on the road is always bitter sweet for me because on the one hand I get so much done, but on the other hand, I am away from my family.  That part is hard and the sacrifice is substantial.  But, in the end, I think it will all be worth it.

My post today is about community.  It takes a village, as they say.  Our little film project, Back To Basics, is really getting some attention.

The story line is resonating with alot of people, everywhere.  Yesterday, I had a wonderful meeting at the NRA offices in Chicago with a fantastic group of people.  They are so excited about our project and as you might know by now, we have earmarked all of the net proceeds of the film to Prostart.









Well, I can’t say much about it yet, as the details are just unraveling.  What I can tell you, is that in total, we now have more than 30 people working on this project as a community effort and our prospectus is being prepared for support from the Food Network! We have also agreed on our official release date of the film which will be coordinated with NRA 2014.  The Food Network will bring Hollywood Celebrity Power to the film, which will help to support the thesis of the project and further support the stories that will be told by our fantastic cast of leaders;

After all, with Star power like Ed Rensi, Jon Luther Sr., Ron Shaich, Don Fox, Jim Vinz, Paul Mangiamele, Al Bhakta, Roz Mallet, Kat Cole, Carin Stutz, Dawn Sweeney, Peter Romeo, Darren Tristano and Bill Cunningham, it’s tough to go wrong!

Over the next year, the film will be used to help raise awareness around the work that is being done around Prostart.

Watch for some amazing developments in the next few weeks as we make more details public.  We’ve got alot of surprises in store and based on how fast things are moving, and the amount of community support we are getting, this film is going to go mainstream on the Food Network as well as Theatres everywhere.

It just gets better and better.  Please visit the website for the film and stay up to date.  www.backtobasicsthefilm.com

Drop me a line to show your support. I am one lucky film maker!  Thank you to MonkeyMedia Software for agreeing to be the Executive Producer of the project!