Pavlov’s Catering Sales Technique

Michael Attias Jan 9, 2014
Michael Attias

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Pavlov’s dog”. He was a Russian psychologist known for his experiments involving classical conditioning.

Every time he’d ring a bell, the dog would get fed. Over time, the dog came to associate the bell with food and would salivate. Even when the dog received no food, the sound of the bell caused it to salivate.

We are all conditioned to a certain extent. I tell my brain, “A salad for you tonight.”

When I walk into the restaurant and see a bowl of pasta or smell a burger, I am conditioned to order these types of items.

As a kid, I was responsible for getting our mail. Each day I shuffled through the mail to see I there was anything with my name on it. Most days there was nothing, but occasionally there was a piece with my name on it.

Be it a birthday card or a party invitation, the envelope was hand addressed. To this day you, me and everyone else that gets mail associates a handwritten envelope with something personal; coming from someone we know.

I’d love to take credit for using this form of classical conditioning to increase sales, but it’s been a staple of direct marketers for years.

If there is a catering prospect you want to get your message in front of, send them a catering sales letter in a plain, white #10 envelope that’s hand addressed (pic below).

catering sales envelope resized 600

It’s called sneak up mail. As long as you have the name and address correct, you will get the letter opened; and that’s the hardest part of direct mail.

I like to use a pen with blue ink. You’ll also want to get some type of commemorative stamp from the post office and affix it at an angle. This will make the piece look more personal.

This is a very simple, low cost way to get your mail open and read. Give it a try.


Jon Wool and I will be conducting a full day catering workshop in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. It is called:

How To Turbo Charge Your Catering Sales:

The Ultimate Catering Sales & Marketing Plan Revealed

I’ve created a website with complete details. Just go to

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to 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. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness”). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

P.P.S. – Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

See more posts about: restaurant catering, catering sales, catering marketing, catering goals, catering strategy

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