This is the time of year when your volume should be on the rise and you should once again feel as though there is light at the end of the tunnel. Summer is almost in full swing. School will be letting out in the next week if it hasn’t already, and America takes to the neighborhood eateries at night as they begin enjoying the summer weather. A perfect time for banking those extra bucks that should be filling your register drawer and your bank book. It isn’t happening yet? How can that be? It’s simple…… The Squat and Gobble Cafe opened across the street where that run down greasy spoon with the bookie operator once stood. The Squat is a relatively comfortable place with a nice atmosphere. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner they have put a damper on every other establishment within a two mile radius. It may be time to turn lemons into lemonade.
During the summer months, we all pass the most efficient restaurant operations in the world. The corner, neighborhood, lemonade stand. And, the success of the stand on the corner of Third and Napa Street has little to do with the quality of the nectar inside the blue flowered Dixie Cup. Whether too sweet, or too tart, whether filled with partially disolved sugar granules, or made with simple syrup, the taste matters not. The sales kids in the front of the stand, the huckster who hawks the product to the passers-by on foot or vehicle, makes the difference. I wonder how many of those lemonade stand 101 graduates grow up to become catering sales managers?
An interesting thought. But of more interest, if your restaurant is not quite up to speed in the volume department it may be time to hire a catering sales person to bring some dollars to the bottom line. They pay for themselves after a bit of training if hired on a base salary plus commission basis. And, you will see a boost in your volume.
It’s a proven industry fact that catering sales bring more profit to the bottom line if developed correctly than any other segment of the business. Whether on-site events, off- site parties, or something as simple as supplying a variety of salads for corporate lunches, catering is a profit center and a sales person in the area is a definite advantage.
The criteria for the position is a bit more complex than getting Buffy or Mat to agree to grow into the title once they outgrow the card table and plastic pitcher. But the theory is the same.
Although a strong food background is a plus I bet the lemonade sales kid doesn´t know care about Asparagus being white, green, or purple. Being successful in the position calls for someone with a good sales ability, a wonderful personally, who has the ability to multi task while paying attention to detail. Compensation should be formulated on a base salary and commission, and in many situations, the commission is built into the price of the event. The profit margin should be high enough to make that possible.. On top of all this, there is no waste with a catering event. The customer pays for everything. A perfect situation.
This summer, don’t miss the boat. Hire a catering sales person as soon as you can. Develop a menu that appeals to your customer and your chef and let that sales person begin to bring in revenue by planning events and catering to the needs of your clients.