The Best $975 Delivery Mistake I Ever Made

Michael Attias Feb 24, 2016
Michael Attias


“Where in the world is my catering order?”

…words you never want to hear from a catering client.

In the spring of 1993, less than six months after I opened Corky’s, I received a call from a pharmaceutical rep inquiring about her order. At the time, cell phones weren’t as common place as they are now.

I had absolutely no idea where the driver was with this lady’s $325 catering order for a very important doctor.

UGH!!!! I absolutely hate looking bad. I asked her to call me back in ten minutes.

Ten minutes later the order was fifteen minutes late, and I had one very pissed off catering client on my hands. I had a split second to make the call.

“I am truly sorry. Let me put together another order and bring it out personally,” I replied.

By the time I showed up, she was now sitting on two orders. I could tell she was still upset and needed me to make things right.

I didn’t charge her for her order, or her re-make I delivered, and offered her the next order for free.

All told; a $975 delivery mistake. Was I upset? Absolutely. But it was not her fault.

IIn business, you must consider the lifetime value of a customer and the lifetime value of their referrals.

Because I went above and beyond, I became her new best friend that would do whatever it took to make her look like a hero. I was rewarded with one to two thousand dollars a month in catering orders for the next few years she stayed in Nashville.

Had I not made things right, she would have bad mouthed me to every pharm rep in the city. The opposite happened. She referred me to her colleagues and even introduced me into the inner sanctum of pharm reps: The Middle Tennessee Pharmaceutical Reps Association.

We sponsored their calendar and threw them a big party once a year.

That $975 screw up helped put us on the map.

Sometimes, you have to go above and beyond to the point of pain for the long term gain.

At Restaurant Catering Systems, we work on creating systems to help our clients look like heroes with their customers.

Today we launched the second version of our Delivery Driver Module. It will be showcased at Caterpalooza.

So here is what it will do to help you avoid calls like the one I just mentioned above:

  1. Route All Your Deliveries On A Map: You can see each delivery for the day and create routes. Each route is assigned to a driver with as many stops as you want to make.
  2. Driver Interface: Once a driver is assigned a route(s), they log in from their smart phones.
  3. View Orders: The driver has a copy of the ticket on his phone along with what time to leave.
  4. Load Out Check List: The driver can pull up a list of items ordered or the prep list and mark off that each item is in the vehicle ready to go out.
  5. On My Way: The driver selects this button and the catering client is notified via email and/or text that the driver is headed to them. The driver’s picture is sent with the email.
  6. Mapping: The driver can choose from a variety of mapping apps like Waze and Google Maps.
  7. I’ve Arrived: When the driver pulls up, he hits this button to notify the catering client that the driver is on premise.
  8. Set Up Check List: The driver pulls up his checklist of catering items and checks them off on his screen once delivered and set up.
  9. Finalize Order: The client is handed the smart phone and can approve the order, leave a tip and sign the check.
  10. Emailing Ticket/Invoice: If requested, the driver can email a copy of the invoice and/or catering ticket to the client from their phone.
  11. I’m Done: This button notifies the restaurant that the driver has completed the delivery.

This system is very thorough and will give all of your clients the utmost confidence you will show up on time.

Remember. You are dealing with professionals at these corporations who order in catering. They appreciate working with companies who employ the latest technologies to get the job done. It is far more impressive than hand written tickets and having no idea when your order may arrive.

If you are interested in a demo of this system, please email Nicole in my office at

She can set a time for us to do a Go To Meeting and walk through it together.

If you would like to see the system live at Caterpalooza: An Extraordinary Catering Conference for Restaurants, then please make plans on attending.

You will walk away with sales, marketing and operational systems and learn lessons based on in-the-trenches experiences.

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

We are getting filled up, so make plans to attend with your team.

Just go to

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 business, catering strategy

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