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THE CATERER AND THE
CLIENTS
CHAPTER 2
WHY CLIENTS DECIDE ON A CATERER
 It is important for a caterer to understand how the potential customer’s
decision making process works.
 A potential client looking for a caterer who has the capabilities to do both
on-premise and off-premise catering is certainly beneficial.
 There are many advantages that ultimately attract a potential customer.
 The caterer must understand how the needs of the customer will
influence their decision to select the right caterer.
Caterer Choosing
Reputation Referrals Word-Of-Mouth
Reputation
• One of the most important considerations a client uses in the
decision-making process is a caterer’s reputation. It is imperative
that the caterer is reliable.
• There are four requirements when choosing a caterer.
• 1. Is the caterer well respected and well known?
• 2. Does the caterer do most of the catering in the client’s area?
• 3. Are the customers satisfied?
• 4. Are clients recommending the caterer to others?
Referrals
• Referrals may be a caterer’s best vehicle for advertising his
skills and expertise.
• A referral in the catering trade occurs when a customer is
satisfied with the quality and workmanship of the caterer.
• If the caterer satisfies their needs, clients will share their
experiences with friends and associates.
Word-Of-Mouth
• Word-of-mouth advertising is the best type of advertising for a
caterer.
• A potential client may believe that the caterer is as good as a
friend says.
• Satisfied customers are always willing to recommend a caterer
they are excited about.
• Current functions, as well as future jobs, offer the opportunity to
attract new customers from the guests in attendance.
• This introduces Ingredient for Success : “Every customer served at
the event is a possible referral.”
• Guests can be impressed with the food, service, or the caterer’s
attitude displayed during the function or this purpose, it is important
for the caterer to project a positive attitude regarding the
presentation of food and related services.
• A satisfied client will potentially tell at least three friends, family
members, or business associates.
Social Catering
• Social catering is a distinctive field with its own characteristics.
• Having the event held in a guest’s house is one distinguishing facet of social
catering.
• As a social caterer, never promise anything that cannot be done.
• Clients may ask the caterer for special requests, and at times, clients will be
persistent. They may even just tell the caterer,
• “Research it and do it!” In every situation, a caterer must remain in control
and must be comfortable with saying to the client, “We are unable to do
that.”
Disadvantages of Social Catering
• There are some disadvantages of social catering.
• One disadvantage may be the caterer’s limited capabilities to satisfy the often
unrealistic demands of the client.
• Sometimes, without fault of the caterer, it may be impossible to satisfy a client.
• Therefore, it is important for the caterer to research and understand the
customer’s needs before accepting a job.
• A social caterer must be selective and realistic as to what can be accomplished
based on the capabilities of the client’s home.
• When planning a social event to be held in a client’s home, a caterer will need to
seek the following information.
• 1. What is the purpose of the social event? Is the event an intimate dinner for 10–12
people or a cocktail party for 35–40 people?
• 2. What can be supplied by the caterer or the client?
• 3. Will the caterer require bartenders and adequate bar supplies? In most situations, the
customer must supply their own liquor.
• 4. Will the caterer’s insurance provide adequate protection for the staff as well as the
guests? Did the caterer consider the legality of liquor liability? Will the homeowner have
special insurance coverage for their own party?
• 5. Has the client made any last minute, out-of-the-ordinary special requests? If so, this is
an opportunity for the caterer to generate incremental revenue. Sometimes, as the event
approaches, a client, in their need to impress their guests, will have last-minute, panic
requests to ensure the success of their event.
• 6. Are the details of the contract specifically spelled out ?
• A caterer must understand the human nature of the client.
• The successful caterer should consider studying consumer behavior as it
relates to the event and their request of services.
• Caterers may be bombarded with additional requests during the execution of
the event.
• Make sure the specific details are spelled out and agreed upon by the client
and the caterer in the contract.
• A caterer must refrain from deviating from the contract, especially if this
action will incur a loss of revenue.
• This introduces Ingredient for Success : “Never confuse being a nice person
with being an astute business person.”
Corporate Catering
• Corporate catering is a wonderful form of catering where the professional
caterer will build a clientele comprised of large or small corporate and business
accounts. These corporate catering events can vary depending on the situation.
• Many caterers decide to specialize in corporate catering.
• One corporate caterer named his business Strictly Business Catering.
• His business strictly caters breakfasts and lunches to small business
organizations.
• This type of caterer does not do any socially catered events. Examples of
corporate catering events encompass employee training sessions, board of
directors’ luncheons, and company-specific picnics for employees and their
families.
What Experience Teaches
• How can a caterer safeguard against the poor business practices?
• 1. Explore Options
• 2. Research the Job
• 3. Know the customer
Explore Options
• Caterers have to explore all options.
• Someone will say that they have cooking facilities, but their idea of
cooking facilities may be a two-burner hot plate.
• Touring the facility before the event is scheduled is important to help
determine what options are available at an off-premise facility.
• Make sure all things are in place before the event to avoid getting caught
in an unsatisfactory situation.
Research the Job
• Caterers have to research every job.
• Ingredient for Success : “Research every job.”
• The caterer must be aware of and understand all situations that can
potentially occur at the event.
• Food service, personnel, the type of service be it buffet or sit-down, and the
china must be decided in advance.
• A well-planned catered function should include a schedule that specifies when
the event will happen, where the event will happen, and how jobs will be
completed.
Know The Customer
• Caterers need to get to know their customers.
• It is possible to cater a dinner with fine china, glassware, silver, and no facilities
out in the middle of a meadow as long as the caterer is prepared and willing to
do so.
• The key to doing these events is to design some kind of checklist to organize
and plan all activities and equipment needs before arriving at the event.
Summary
• The process of selecting a caterer is influenced by multiple factors.
• A positive reputation may give a competitive advantage in the market.
• Both referrals and positive word-of-mouth advertising provide excellent
opportunities for new business.
• Working to define the customer based on similar needs helps the caterer
develop the market.
• Researching each job can help to selectively create a preferred customer list
that may eliminate undesirable clients.
• The professional caterer can work at either an on-premise or off-premise
• site, in a corporate or social environment.
• The corporate segment provides financial security, long-lasting relationships,
and the challenge of designing creative events.
• Social catering, primarily held in the client’s home, is a distinctive field
• having its own characteristics.
• Formulating individualized, simple plans that consider the environment,
budget, and available resources are ingredients for success.
• Building a trusting relationship with the corporate or social client ensures
long-term prosperity.

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Chapter 2 cateres and d clients

  • 1. THE CATERER AND THE CLIENTS CHAPTER 2
  • 2. WHY CLIENTS DECIDE ON A CATERER  It is important for a caterer to understand how the potential customer’s decision making process works.  A potential client looking for a caterer who has the capabilities to do both on-premise and off-premise catering is certainly beneficial.  There are many advantages that ultimately attract a potential customer.  The caterer must understand how the needs of the customer will influence their decision to select the right caterer.
  • 4. Reputation • One of the most important considerations a client uses in the decision-making process is a caterer’s reputation. It is imperative that the caterer is reliable. • There are four requirements when choosing a caterer. • 1. Is the caterer well respected and well known? • 2. Does the caterer do most of the catering in the client’s area? • 3. Are the customers satisfied? • 4. Are clients recommending the caterer to others?
  • 5. Referrals • Referrals may be a caterer’s best vehicle for advertising his skills and expertise. • A referral in the catering trade occurs when a customer is satisfied with the quality and workmanship of the caterer. • If the caterer satisfies their needs, clients will share their experiences with friends and associates.
  • 6. Word-Of-Mouth • Word-of-mouth advertising is the best type of advertising for a caterer. • A potential client may believe that the caterer is as good as a friend says. • Satisfied customers are always willing to recommend a caterer they are excited about. • Current functions, as well as future jobs, offer the opportunity to attract new customers from the guests in attendance. • This introduces Ingredient for Success : “Every customer served at the event is a possible referral.”
  • 7. • Guests can be impressed with the food, service, or the caterer’s attitude displayed during the function or this purpose, it is important for the caterer to project a positive attitude regarding the presentation of food and related services. • A satisfied client will potentially tell at least three friends, family members, or business associates.
  • 8. Social Catering • Social catering is a distinctive field with its own characteristics. • Having the event held in a guest’s house is one distinguishing facet of social catering. • As a social caterer, never promise anything that cannot be done. • Clients may ask the caterer for special requests, and at times, clients will be persistent. They may even just tell the caterer, • “Research it and do it!” In every situation, a caterer must remain in control and must be comfortable with saying to the client, “We are unable to do that.”
  • 9. Disadvantages of Social Catering • There are some disadvantages of social catering. • One disadvantage may be the caterer’s limited capabilities to satisfy the often unrealistic demands of the client. • Sometimes, without fault of the caterer, it may be impossible to satisfy a client. • Therefore, it is important for the caterer to research and understand the customer’s needs before accepting a job. • A social caterer must be selective and realistic as to what can be accomplished based on the capabilities of the client’s home.
  • 10. • When planning a social event to be held in a client’s home, a caterer will need to seek the following information. • 1. What is the purpose of the social event? Is the event an intimate dinner for 10–12 people or a cocktail party for 35–40 people? • 2. What can be supplied by the caterer or the client? • 3. Will the caterer require bartenders and adequate bar supplies? In most situations, the customer must supply their own liquor. • 4. Will the caterer’s insurance provide adequate protection for the staff as well as the guests? Did the caterer consider the legality of liquor liability? Will the homeowner have special insurance coverage for their own party? • 5. Has the client made any last minute, out-of-the-ordinary special requests? If so, this is an opportunity for the caterer to generate incremental revenue. Sometimes, as the event approaches, a client, in their need to impress their guests, will have last-minute, panic requests to ensure the success of their event. • 6. Are the details of the contract specifically spelled out ?
  • 11. • A caterer must understand the human nature of the client. • The successful caterer should consider studying consumer behavior as it relates to the event and their request of services. • Caterers may be bombarded with additional requests during the execution of the event. • Make sure the specific details are spelled out and agreed upon by the client and the caterer in the contract. • A caterer must refrain from deviating from the contract, especially if this action will incur a loss of revenue. • This introduces Ingredient for Success : “Never confuse being a nice person with being an astute business person.”
  • 12. Corporate Catering • Corporate catering is a wonderful form of catering where the professional caterer will build a clientele comprised of large or small corporate and business accounts. These corporate catering events can vary depending on the situation. • Many caterers decide to specialize in corporate catering. • One corporate caterer named his business Strictly Business Catering. • His business strictly caters breakfasts and lunches to small business organizations. • This type of caterer does not do any socially catered events. Examples of corporate catering events encompass employee training sessions, board of directors’ luncheons, and company-specific picnics for employees and their families.
  • 13. What Experience Teaches • How can a caterer safeguard against the poor business practices? • 1. Explore Options • 2. Research the Job • 3. Know the customer
  • 14. Explore Options • Caterers have to explore all options. • Someone will say that they have cooking facilities, but their idea of cooking facilities may be a two-burner hot plate. • Touring the facility before the event is scheduled is important to help determine what options are available at an off-premise facility. • Make sure all things are in place before the event to avoid getting caught in an unsatisfactory situation.
  • 15. Research the Job • Caterers have to research every job. • Ingredient for Success : “Research every job.” • The caterer must be aware of and understand all situations that can potentially occur at the event. • Food service, personnel, the type of service be it buffet or sit-down, and the china must be decided in advance. • A well-planned catered function should include a schedule that specifies when the event will happen, where the event will happen, and how jobs will be completed.
  • 16. Know The Customer • Caterers need to get to know their customers. • It is possible to cater a dinner with fine china, glassware, silver, and no facilities out in the middle of a meadow as long as the caterer is prepared and willing to do so. • The key to doing these events is to design some kind of checklist to organize and plan all activities and equipment needs before arriving at the event.
  • 17. Summary • The process of selecting a caterer is influenced by multiple factors. • A positive reputation may give a competitive advantage in the market. • Both referrals and positive word-of-mouth advertising provide excellent opportunities for new business. • Working to define the customer based on similar needs helps the caterer develop the market. • Researching each job can help to selectively create a preferred customer list that may eliminate undesirable clients.
  • 18. • The professional caterer can work at either an on-premise or off-premise • site, in a corporate or social environment. • The corporate segment provides financial security, long-lasting relationships, and the challenge of designing creative events. • Social catering, primarily held in the client’s home, is a distinctive field • having its own characteristics. • Formulating individualized, simple plans that consider the environment, budget, and available resources are ingredients for success. • Building a trusting relationship with the corporate or social client ensures long-term prosperity.