How to Calm Your Fear of Off-site Catering
Fear is often a barrier holding many restaurant owners back from realizing the good opportunities and the success that off-site catering can bring. It may surprise you that the restaurant owners who fear off-site catering the most are very successful restaurant owners. Just recently, a very knowledgeable, profitable, high volume, white-tablecloth restaurant owner confessed that he was scared of off-site catering and his off-site catering was only a football field away on his own property!
So what scares a successful restaurateur about off-site catering? The words “OFF SITE!”
Here’s why: There’s isn’t a kitchen three feet away to fix the mistakes made. There isn’t a lighter if you forgot to bring one, or worse, there’s no lighting for your outside prep area if you failed to think about what happens when the sun goes down.
I’ve been there!
Imagine the perfect scenario with an awesome event taking place and a very happy client with guests fed and a band rockin’. My staff is set up in a 10 x 20 prep tent next to a horse arena where the guests are partying, and I suddenly realize that it’s getting dark and I forgot to order lights for my prep tent. I had to run down several car batteries because I forgot to order the prep tent lights!
Here’s another example of off-site scares… a rooftop-downtown-Dallas event on a Saturday afternoon around 5 p.m. The guests are arriving in one hour, and I realize we don’t have forks. Yes… it actually happened! I’ve been in your shoes. I know the fear!
What helps to soothe the fear? Control the fear by preparing proven, reliable and detailed rental and packing checklists and event crates. Never leave for an event without your checklists. In our production kitchen we have three complete sets of crates packed and ready at any time for any event. In addition, we have five smaller “house” sets ready for private home social catering events. Every Monday morning these crates are the first items that are reassembled from the weekend events and prepared for the new week.
After you have established your checklists and packing crates, develop a customized checklist for each specific event to fit the menu. It’s easy to make this list because your mind is only thinking of the special items you need for that particular menu. All the “standard” event and emergency stuff is taken care of… done.
For example, one of our prepared crates is packed with only paper goods that we might need for an event. Yes, there’s a backup of plastic plates and cups (but think about it… those aren’t useful if the event is glass only). Most importantly, the crate contains paper items needed for any event and fluctuates depending on the guest count.
For instance, how many boxes of staff gloves are needed for 100 guests versus 200 guests? If you haven’t thought about it, you need to. At 10 p.m. on a Saturday night if you run out of staff gloves and the event is not over until midnight, you can’t exactly go out and buy more gloves.
If you need help starting your checklist and are interested in the list I use, email me or call me at 1-866-484-3056. Mention that you read about the “Ultimate Paper Goods Crate” on TheRestaurantExpert.com blog, and I’ll send you a complimentary copy.
With your organized checklists and event crates you can work through the off-site catering fear with confidence. You might be wondering about the restaurateur who needed help with his on property off-site catering? He has joined my VIP coaching group and discovered that he has a gold mine right in his own backyard! I can’t wait to see how much new catering revenue I can help him bring to his bottom line, because he is overcoming his fear. Maybe it is time you consider what off-site catering can do for you and your bottom line.
Sandy Korem is the CEO and founder of one of the Top 20 Catering Companies in America, The Festive Kitchen, based out of Dallas Texas. She was awarded the White House Food Service Medallion in 2008 for outstanding food service to President George W. Bush. Her company, The Catering Coach, helps restaurateurs take their off-site catering revenue stream to a different level. For more information, email or call toll-free 1-866-484-3056.