Training Sales Employees For The Modern Catering Landscape

On this episode of Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, our podcast hosts, Valerie Killifer and Erle Dardick, sit down with Tracy Avolio, Vice President of The Catering Institute.

Avolio has been with The Catering Institute for eight years and with her, she brought her restaurant industry experience of 25 years to help multi-unit restaurant concepts develop, implement and grow their catering channels. The Catering Institute, which was founded by our show host, Erle Dardick, focuses on the Five Pillars of Successful Restaurant Catering: leadership, centralized services, sales and marketing, operations, and delivery.

On this episode, we will discuss how to train sales employees for the modern catering landscape, but the conversation will touch on how the five pillars are necessary for ultimate success.

“One thing I would add about leadership... the catering is really a business onto itself. It’s different than the retail part of the business...the consumers are sometimes different, their needs and expectations are different, menu is different, packaging is different, delivery is different, you name it,” says Tracy Avolio. “So, it really warrants having somebody that is leading that division and that part of the concept…”

Listen to the episode above to take a deep dive into catering sales and what’s necessary for success!

Produced by:

Nathan Mikita

Producer


Operator Guidelines For Building Delivery Sales Through Third-Party Service Providers

The massive growth of off-premise third-party service providers is going to continue to proliferate. Working with third-party service providers can be a lucrative venture when done correctly, but it can also be a curse when done wrong. With so many variables, there are a lot of challenges that operators have to tackle on the quest to create a streamlined, successful, and profitable off-premise program. From technology, staffing, and packaging to call centers, order entry, and delivery – today’s restaurants have gone from a retail operation to a manufacturer with several distribution points.

On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, Valerie and Erle speak with Gracie Prasanson, director of sales for Jason’s Deli and a member of the Catering Council for Multi-Unit Operators, about how restaurant operators working with third-party service providers can make sure that a strong foundation is in place, and known risks are mitigated so that your restaurant does not get outmaneuvered by the third-party service provider.

SHOW NOTES

14:21 - The data paradox
17:49 - There is a connivence customer and Amazon knows it
20:04 - Food safety and legal concerns with third-party service providers
22:34 - How can one unit operation navigate the off-premise landscape?
27:50 - Rethinking packaging when it comes to delivery

00:55 - Gracie Prasanson, welcome to the show!
04:24 - We have to separate third-party marketplaces from third-party service providers
07:02 - Make sure you understand the fees
10:38 - Every detail about these transactions are different
12:54 - Third-party completely changes your menu pricing structure


Centralized Services Can Increase Your Restaurant's Efficiency and As A Result Your Revenue

Centralized services is one of the 5 Pillars of Successful Restaurant Takeout, Catering, and Delivery, and refers to the idea of minimizing the complexity of your sales, marketing, ordering, and even IT channels to one central point outside of the restaurant. This allows your restaurant operations to focus on what’s most important, the execution and presentation of your dishes.

For example in the takeout and catering channel, it is estimated that the average restaurant misses 6 - 12 calls a day that could be leading to additional sales and revenue. Enter Inktel and Voice Teleservices which provides centralized call center operations to make sure that your restaurant is not losing out on potential customers.

In this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, Valerie and Erle explore how a call center can help you maintain your customer relationships and increase sales, how centralizing these services can save you money by reallocating your labor, and how you can take your consumer back from the third-party service provider.

SHOW NOTES

00:44 - Call Centers and Centralized Services.
02:54 - Introductions to David Sawicki, President, Voice Teleservices and Jason Schlenker, Executive Vice President, Inktel.
08:57 - Third-Party Marketplaces are Beating the Foodservice Operator.
17:21 - What Are The Cost Savings Of Centralized Call Center Services?

21:50 - Amazon is Just Going To Buy It All!
25:27 - These Services Are Critical To Build, Maintain, and Protect Your Customers.
29:24 - How Can Independents Make Sure They Are Not Getting Left Behind?


Best Practices to a Successful Off-Premise Program

Best practices are one of the biggest challenges of the Off-Premise Paradigm. But that does not mean there can not be success. On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show we meet Mike Axiotis, CFE, President & CEO, Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group, who is the franchise operator for Red Robin, covering Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg. Lehigh Valley is known for being a model for off-premise sales success. They have differentiated their channels with a unique transaction workflow, product selection, packaging, and centralized services. This has laid the groundwork for their successful off-premise franchise story. But, this is not the full story. This episode will explore how one franchise system launched an off-premise program, maintains their program, trains the staff, and trains the customer through marketing and other brand touch points designed to keep guests coming back for more.

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:18 Introduction

  • 03:14The Development of the Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group

  • 04:32 Off Premise Systems

  • 06:09 Off Premise Strategies

  • 09:56 Lessons from catering

  • 11:44 Aligning the executive team

  • 14:08 Pillars to a standardized system

  • 17:02 The employees within the system


  • 20:13 Service experience

  • 22:26 Call Centers

  • 28:11 Marketing Differentiations

  • 33:10 In store marketing

  • 33:42 Corporate commercial Impact

  • 35:27 Determining a marketing channel

  • 37:23 Advice to operators

  • 37:53 Who influenced who?


Artificial Intelligence Is Primed To Drive Economic Growth In Food Service

In this episode of The Takeout Delivery and Catering Show, Valerie and Erle talk with Ted Cohn, Co-Founder, and CTO at Orderscape Inc, to talk about AI in food service. AI is predicted to be a major player in economic growth over the next decade in food service.

“56 percent of consumers today are ready to order meals using voice…” Says Cohn.

In today’s ever-changing technological landscape it is important to be on top of where the technology is today and where it will be in the future. Your customers are adopting faster than you are and you do not want to be playing catch-up.

SHOW NOTES

  • 01:49 - Why is it important for operators to get out in-front of this technology?

  • 04:57 - Ted Cohn, Co-Founder, and CTO at Orderscape Inc, welcome to the show!

  • 07:28 - Why is voice so important right now?

  • 13:48 - How does this impact operators?

  • 17:33 - How will A.I. drive economic growth?

  • 24:49 - Can A.I. learn your customer?

  • 26:35 - Tell us about some of the success stories.