The Art of Losing

Michael Attias Nov 4, 2015
Michael Attias

Sir Winston Churchill has a quote you should post on your wall: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

I think most successful people share a common trait: a healthy dose of paranoia. Even if things are going great, they realize life can come out of nowhere and kick them in the ass.

Please do not confuse what I said as pessimistic. I like to be a realist; prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

There are many times I have lost out on a catering job, but have come back to get it.

So many people consider winning catering business a yes/no, now or never opportunity. There is as much business to be gained from persistence. A prospect once shared with me a quote her boyfriend used all of the time, “the fortune’s in the follow up.”

That sample catering tasting may result in no immediate bookings, but call backs, monthly emails and mailings will keep you positioned. When someone’s primary caterer drops the ball or a change in menu is desired, you can be the first and only name that rolls off the tongue and earns a shot of getting a new, repeat catering client.

I remember the late Michael Roman of Catersource sharing a story of an event he didn’t win. He still offered to share a recipe to make sure the event was a success. That nicety earned him their business down the road.

At my catering seminar last month, an attendee shared a similar strategy with the group.

Whenever he lost out on a catering bid, he would call the client within days of their event. He wanted to know how the event went. Was there anything that could have gone better.

This positioned him as a caterer who cared. If the company he lost out to dropped the ball, he would be number one on the list for next year.

This is especially powerful if you lose out by a few bucks, but discover the food sucked, portions were small or the service stank.

At one time or another, we have all chosen the lower price only to be disappointed in quality, service or timing.

Personally, I lose more times than I win. That’s ok.

What is not ok is giving up. A buyer is a buyer. Qualified prospects are expensive and time consuming to identify.

Why give up at the first no? Patient persistence wins out every single time.

In fact, thanks to my weekly emails, I end up picking up clients who may have been in my list of prospect for years.

What are you doing to turn losing into winning? Stop whining. Start a strategy to win these catering prospects over.

And make sure you do such a great job that they never want to use anyone else.  

NOTE: In the spirit of working to help our community of RCS Catering Software clients (and future clients), we are putting together an extraordinary catering conference for restaurants called Caterpalooza! 

This two day catering conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, March 7th & 8th, 2016. I expect this event to fill up.

Though the complete website is not completed and some of the speaking slots are to be filled, I encourage you to grab a spot or two.

Just go to

We will also be crowning our RCS Catering Spokesperson. If you are a current RCS client and interested in competing, please check out this link for all of the info:

My team and I hope to see you in Nashville!

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 software, catering sales

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