The #1 Thing Getting In The Way of Selling More Catering

Michael Attias Feb 11, 2015
Michael Attias

Last week I did a webinar with Michael Rosman of The Corporate Caterer. 

The day after, I started calling all of the attendees to thank them for attending and see if they have any follow up questions for me.

I try to practice what I preach. Follow up is one of the little things that goes a long way.

A side benefit of doing follow ups are the tidbits of market research you walk away with. Whether from connecting with customers or employees, this type of feedback yields some big insights.

I noticed a large trend when calling my list of caterers. A large majority of them did not answer their phones. I was sent to their voice mail. 

In my opinion this is the kiss of death. People looking to take care of a catering need want to talk to someone…now!

Back in 1992 while I was building my restaurant, I mystery shopped all of my competitors in the BBQ catering arena. I found myself getting answering machines and line cooks who could only tell me to call back. 

With today’s technologies and services, you should always have a live person answering your calls. 

Even if you must forward and roll over calls to an answering service, prospects feel better getting a voice. The small cost involved is more than paid for with one booking.

You don’t need your answering service to be an expert in your business. They just need to be friendly, position you well and get you the information ASAP. 

For instance…

“I’m sorry. Mr. Attias is meeting with a client right now. Would you mind giving me a few details about your event, and I’ll have him call you as soon as he gets out of the meeting?”

Most consumers understand you may not always get the person in charge of catering sales on the phone immediately, but there is comfort in knowing a live person took your info and will get it to the right person. 

Without a doubt, the phone is the #1 opportunity for most of us to improve and pick up more sales.

How your phone is answered is one of the first impressions I have of you and your company.

I was doing a catering consult last week with a gentleman who owned a successful Italian restaurant. He started telling me why my telephone techniques did not work. He had tried it all with no luck.

Just like the oncologist who tells it to you straight, I don’t believe in blowing smoke up your skirt.

I told him that I thought he was the problem. Based on his phone skills with me, I didn’t think he was the best fit to be talking with prospective clients.

Harsh? Yes! On the mark? Double yes!!

I am not warm and fuzzy on the phone. I want to help you with your problem and get to the next client who needs help.

Luckily, Meredith, Jillian and Nicole make up for that.

Take a good, hard look in the mirror. Would you want to buy from you?

If the answer is no, get out of the way and put someone in who knows how to win people over and sell catering for you!

NOTE MEMBERS: Please check out our members only website, and download a copy of our telephone training manual.       

Well, that’s all for this issue.

To Your Restaurant's Marketing & Catering Success,

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.P.S. – Please check out my podcast at

P.P.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: catering sales, catering marketing, catering business

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