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


Why Having An Advanced On-Demand Restaurant Strategy Can Set Your Brand Apart

Ever wondered how a great on-demand strategy can differentiate your concept from the rest?

On this episode of Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, our host Valerie Killifer sits down with Mark Toth, Founder and CEO of Urban Wok, founded in 2018 in Minneapolis, to figure out just that.

Urban Wok focuses technology to make the customer experience as efficient, seamless and enjoyable as possible.

One example of that is the fact that Urban Wok is completely cashless.

“The main advantage which I did not think of when I opened up Urban Wok is the ability for our employees, and our managers and myself to interact with customers, since we’re not operating with a transaction having to punch and order in or give cash back or change or things like that,” says Mark Toth.  

“We actually can make a meal, talk to the customer, talk about sauces, talk about clean ingredients, help them through the computer system if they need help, although it happens very rarely. So the ability to interact with customers has been nothing but a great thing without having cash to deal with.”

Urban Wok has become a favorite amongst Millennials and Gen Z patrons because of their modern approach to foodservice. Learn more by listening to the podcast above!

Produced by:

Nathan Mikita

Producer


CEO Frank Paci Shares Why Corner Bakery is Considered a Catering Powerhouse

Having a proven strategy for your catering channel can take your restaurant from just making the margins to expanding your concept. The variables for creating a profitable catering channel are rapidly evolving, so best to learn from the best.

On this episode of The Takeout, Catering and Delivery Show, we sit down with Frank Paci, CEO of Corner Bakery Cafe. Corner Bakery Cafe is known as one of the top performing fast casual operations in the off-premise space with nearly 200 locations in North America. Catering makes up over 25 percent of its business.

We discuss how Paci views the concept’s off-premise business strategy, what his vision for off-premises is moving forward, and how the brand was able to build up its reputation as a catering powerhouse.

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


How to Leverage Third-Party Partnerships and Technology to Increase Off-Premise Profits

We are halfway through the first season of The Takeout Delivery and Catering Show and have covered the foundations for making sure your off-premise strategies are making you money. If you are struggling with the off-premise paradigm shift, if you feel like your catering and delivery channels are not working as effectively as they should, if you see the potential of off-premise but your bottom line is not reflecting the vision, then make sure to listen to the first half of the season to learn how to make your off-premise strategies smart, discoverable and profitable.

There are so many option and so many players, it's a challenge to figure out what is the right blueprint for off-premise success.  The fundamentals of your off-premise strategies are crucial to your future success. In today's episode, Valerie and Erle speak with Richard Hodges, Vice President of Operations Services at La Madeleine. La Madeleine has had 6 years of consecutive growth in the off-premise space. Richard Hodges shares their industry leading strategies like how to leverage third-party partnerships, using the technology to reach customers on multiple platforms, and streamlining the technology to maximize efficiency and profitability.   

Show Notes

14:46 - Free the data!
16:33 - Loyalty intergration.
21:07 - Negotiating with third-party service providers.
25:36 - Please send us your questions and comments at producer@foodabletv.com
 

01:54 - Meet Richard Hodges, Vice President of Operations Services at La Madeleine.
02:26 - Le Madeleine's history in the off-premise space.
04:35 - The importance of differentiating your off-premise channels.
06:58 - Using technology and partnerships to increase efficiency and profits.