You’ve taken the big step and hired or promoted a staff member to be your dedicated catering manager. Now it’s time to set them on track to promote your business, organize your staff, and manage customers. Leveraging your catering manager with the right responsibilities will take some pressure off of you and keep things running smoothly.
Below are five tasks your catering manager should be doing to help run and grow your restaurant catering business.
Networking is one of the best ways to promote your restaurant and catering- which means your catering manager should be a social butterfly. Ask them to attend lunches at your local chamber of commerce or hit up some after hours networking events to see and be seen. They can also work the restaurant dining room during the busy lunch or dinner rush to meet, greet, and schmooze with prospective catering customers.
2. Plan employee training programs.
If your catering manager has a corporate background, they will likely have experience in professional training programs. Task them with creating a customer-focused training program for your front of the house staff and delivery team (remember that the delivery person is often the first company employee your customer will meet). Proper training will enhance the customer experience and ensure repeat business.
3. Promote catering services.
Many of your restaurant customers may not realize that you offer catering services. Use your catering manager’s creativity by asking them to design advertising materials, such as table tents or point of purchase (pop) signage and plan social media campaigns to promote your restaurant catering.
4. Maintain sales tools.
The catering manager should take the lead on utilizing and updating your sales software. One of the most important tools for growing your catering sales is a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, which ensures that everyone in your organization can see all the communication that has transpired with a customer – even if they were never personally involved. Forbes says that CRM is essential to building customer relationships and earning customer loyalty. While there are plenty of CRM software packages on the market, be sure to choose one that is optimized for restaurant caterers.
5. Build your brand in the community.
Diners are influenced by their emotions when choosing a place to eat so feeling good about your brand will enhance their decision to choose your restaurant for catering.Your restaurant catering manager should establish your restaurant and catering company as a community brand by getting involved in community charity events. Ask them to reach out to vendors, partners, community event planners, and local charities to ask how your catering business can get involved. You might host an in-house fundraiser for the local high school to raise money for the band trip or sponsor a day of giving where a percentage of the gross sales in the restaurant that day are donated to a local cause. Strive to establish an emotional connection with your customers so that they keep coming back.
Your catering manager is more than an order taker. The key to success is to leverage your catering manager’s skills to increase your catering sales, enhance your company’s recognition in your community and to help market your catering division.
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