Start the New Year Off Right with Catering and Big Profits – Part 1

 In 8. Guest Bloggers, Catering, Menu, Operations

By Sandy Korem

A restaurant has downtime every day and if you want to bring in a big profit revenue stream, catering is your answer.

I have owned an off-site catering company for 20 years and in my world there are three categories of off-site catering:
Boxed lunches
• Drop off and/or set-up
• Full-service

When it comes to any kind of off-site catering, first and foremost, I have to share my cardinal rule: test, test, test. What works in your restaurant may not transport well.

After you follow the cardinal rule of testing everything, apply these pointers for boxed lunches:

Boxed Lunches
Simple concept, but to excel you must make the lunches special. Everyone has a turkey sandwich, but how many have a hand-carved, oven-roasted herb turkey breast presented on specialty bread with a dollop of homemade basil pesto mayo?

Don’t offer too many selections. For boxed lunches and drop-offs, limit the selection just like you do your restaurant menu.

Presentation is key. Don’t use a plain white box. Find a great container where the client can see the food and label the container with your logo.

Timing is crucial. Be late for a corporate office lunch meeting once and you’re history.

Presentation of the staff is monumental. They represent who you are. Fresh clothes with your logo, a knowledgeable delivery person and a great attitude go a long way.

Establish a minimum order or you won’t make money. Our minimum is 25 lunches AND we charge $38 for the delivery too.

Don’t be the cheapest. If you have a great product clients will buy it. Don’t be afraid to charge for it.

Visit again next week when I will provide some tips on developing a drop off and/or set-up catering program in your restaurant in “Start the New Year Off Right with Catering and Big Profits – Part 2.”

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,, helps restaurateurs take their off-site catering revenue stream to a different level. Korem uses her 20-plus years of catering expertise to offer insight into how to price catered events, the importance of testing and testing again, and how to train your staff so that you don’t have to be at every event. Plus, learn why “charge for it” will become your company’s catering mantra!

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