I was looking at some old files today and then I found this fun image that my friend Mike Tyler made for me a few years ago! Those were from the days long before the Catering Institute! Life is so much different today…. As the Catering Institute continues to evolve, so do I!
The way I see it, our software division has a core client responsibility. They must use the 89 characteristics of the 5 Pillars to benchmark the operations. (Call me at 604-831-7422 if you’d like to discuss the characteristics). Using our scoring systems allows the group to decide as to whether or not a restaurant company is ready to implement our world class technology into restaurant operations. We have so much experience now to know that companies that are trying to implement sophisticated technology on top of poor business processes, are not suited for a successful implementation. They must score high on the 89 characteristics that we have documented to succeed with software implementation.
And so of course the story goes. It is the 89 characteristics that the Catering Institute will to continue to work on…..
And so, this leads me to today’s list of reasons why I believe off-premise programs fail. I’m sure there are dozens more that we could add. Here goes…..
1. Lack of a documented takeout, delivery & catering strategy
2. Inability to establish standard operating procedures. Management of off-premise business by “seat of the pants”
3. Frequent critical incidents “putting out fires is common practice”
4. No focus on takeout, delivery & catering as its own business unit
5. Lack of investment
6. Lack of leadership and catering business experience
7. No Separation of Menu Items between takeout and catering
8. No differentiation in packaging between takeout and catering
Here at the Catering Institute and MonkeyMedia Software, we work with the most amazing restaurant companies in America. I am always dissecting new ways of doing things, and always looking at ways of how to make catering work in restaurants. After all, a restaurant is a complex manufacturing plant! Adding more revenue channels is complicated.
The single most important lesson I have learned is that we need executive alignment to make catering work inside these complex operations. It requires commitment.
So, here are 5 things to think about as you consider growing catering sales.
1. Slow Down – We have to take the time to understand the 360 degree strategy of takeout, delivery and catering. They are all closely related. They are interdependent on each other.
2. Plan – We have to take the time to make a proper plan. We ALL need to do a better job at that. Planning is hard for everyone.
3. Menu Differentiation – We need to focus on markets. The market for these services is different from our current restaurant products and services.
4. Sales – We have to become very active in our selling process. It needs to become part of our culture at all touch points of our companies.
5. Patience – All great things take time. Growing catering out of our restaurants is a major commitment and it will take investment and time.
Of course, I could make a list of a hundred more ideas… just call me at 604-831-7422 if you want to chat more.
I am living and breathing this material all day long!