The holidays are over and all the activity has seemingly slowed. Don’t fret, January is typically a very slow month for restaurant catering sales. With the rush and excitement of the holidays behind us, stomachs are full and wallets are empty. Business meetings become few and far between as people return from vacations and play catch up from the madness that was the end of the 2016. But… just because catering orders have slowed, doesn’t mean your efforts should!
The first month of the New Year is a great time for reflection, organization and planning. Take time to consider what worked in 2016 and what … not so much. What are your sales goals for 2017? Set your monthly targets for “new clients” in January as it gives new motivation to meet or beat your goals each and every month. Keep notes in a catering journal so you can review each and every month. Have you completed your 2017 Marketing calendar? Who are you targeting? How are you targeting? When are you targeting? Marketing calendars keep you ahead of the game because — as we all know in the catering world — timing is everything.
Work with your marketing coordinator to get your collateral pieces designed, printed, and scheduled to hit your restaurants and clients. January also is a great time to get those ‘We’ve missed you’ calls completed. Pull up old clients you haven’t heard from in a while, give them a call to wish them a ‘Happy New Year’ and remind them you are there to help with any catering needs.
List scrubbing…it can be a tedious task but is necessary to keep your marketing list current. January is perfect for checking through your list and calling your clients to update your files. Of course, make sure to ask them if they have any upcoming meetings or events you can help with! These calls also are a great opportunity to ask your clients if there are any other people in the office that may be interested in learning more about your services. If so, make sure to get in front of them for a tasting as soon as possible. The more tastings in January, the more sales for the year.
Lastly, let’s not forget training. Your catering staff had a great 2016 so call a meeting, congratulate them on a successful year, ask for suggestions on how to improve, and, most importantly, review your operations and procedures. The best way to prevent issues in 2017 is to train in January.
And look at that…January was not so dull after all! You reflected, you planned, you prepped, and now you and your team are organized and ready for a huge year.
Happy New Year and all the best for a successful catering-filled 2017!