The world is truly getting smaller. As a kid, a night out for Italian was a trip to Shoney’s for spaghetti and meat sauce.
If you were to have followed me around for the last year, you would have seen me eating at restaurants from all over the world; Thai, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, etc.
If I personally flew to each local, I’d easily have a million airline miles.
When we first started catering, I’d come across the occasional special request for a vegetarian, non-red meat eater or non-pork eater. Today,America’s melting pot has made offering alternate entrees a must.
A Mexican chain I work with offers several options, including tofu, on their Fajita Bar. I was working on adjusting kitchen production formulas with one of the operators yesterday, when he told me they offer the customer anywhere from one to five meat choices on their Fajita Bar.
I am all for giving the customer what they want, but at what cost?
Hypothetically, if you give five ounces of meat on a fajita bar and the client wants all five meats, each person only gets one once of each meat.
We came across this often at Corky’s. Our clients wanted to take a one meat option and split it for the group. So, in a group of forty, twenty would get the pork and twenty would get the turkey.
Unfortunately, it is impossible for a catering client to know exactly who will take what. What if more people eat pork than turkey? Then the first pork lovers through the line are happy, the others are left with turkey they’re not crazy about.
That’s why a two meat option has a little more than a meat times two. This allows each guest to get the meat they desire.
The last thing you want to do is deliver a catered meal and have someone scraping the bottom of the pan. A friend of mine with a background in hotel foodservice told me, “The client is paying to have the last guest through the line enjoy the same experience as the first guest.”
It’s very easy to explain this concept to a catering client:
“Mrs. Jones. If you choose to take our one meat option and split the meats, chances are you will run out of one meat before the other. Or worse, your guest who really must eat the turkey, may be faced with the turkey pan empty.”
Another idea I gave my client: Offer to add a pound or two of the tofu for an up charge just for the person(s) on a special diet.
Selling catering is as much psychology as anything else.
You are not doing yourself or your clients a favor if they run out of a particular item on the line.
Your job is to position it in such a way that you show the value to your client and help them visualize avoiding embarrassment.
NOTE: As I write this, I am about to leave for Grand Jury Selection. I’ve never been on a jury, so this could prove to be interesting. I’ll let you know.
Well That’s All For This Issue!
Restaurant Catering Software
P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to www.RestaurantCateringSoftware.com and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!
P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to: http://www.restaurantcateringsoftware.com/catering-planning-strategy-session