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Erle

Erle Dardick

Founder & CEO


Erle Dardick is a 20-year catering veteran, business turnaround expert and author, and is best known for helping multi-unit restaurant executives create successful catering revenue channels.

Erle founded The Catering Institute to provide catering solutions to multi-unit restaurant operators. He also is the author of “Get Catering and Grow Sales! A Strategic Perspective for The Multi-Unit Restaurant Executive.”

He holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University.

Tracy

Tracy Avolio

VP, Catering Institute


As VP, at The Catering Institute, Tracy’s role is to help multi-unit restaurant concepts develop, implement and grow their catering program, focusing on strategic program planning and educational training.

Tracy has been in the restaurant industry for nearly 25 years working in positions such as Marketing Manager, Sales Director, Regional Catering Sales, and National Account Manager, with concepts such as Ruby Tuesday, Landry’s Seafood and Boston Market.

Faculty

Betsy Craig

Faculty Member

Betsy Craig is the CEO and Founder of MenuTrinfo, LLC. She brings more than 25 years of foodservice-industry experience to her role and was voted #4 CEO in the fast-casual industry.

Erle Dardick

Founder & CEO

Erle Dardick, CEO of The Catering Institute, is a 20-year catering veteran, business turnaround expert and author. He’s best known for helping multi-unit restaurant executives create successful catering revenue channels.

Fred LeFranc

Faculty member

Fred LeFranc has 35 years’ experience as a restaurant industry executive. He is the Former CEO at Flat Rock Grill & Louise’s Trattoria, former President at Ruby’s Diner and COO of El Torito.

Greg Seei

Faculty member

A graduate of Entrepreneurial Studies at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Greg has successfully launched and operated four separate businesses in the last 26 years; the last being a marketing consultancy dating to 1996.

Jody Birnbaum

Faculty Member

Jody Birnbaum, is the President of Caterconsult, Inc., a Business Management Consultancy providing core strategies, methods, resources, training and support to entrepreneurs in the catering and restaurant industry.

Larry J. Reinstein

Faculty member

Larry Reinstein is President of LJR Hospitality Ventures, a consulting firm that provides profitable and executable solutions to private equity, owners and operators of restaurant companies. He is one of the original innovators and leaders in the fast casual segment.

Leslie Allison-Seei

Faculty member

For over 25 years, Leslie has worked in the creative fields of promotion, graphic arts and package design. Her roster of clientele includes Quaker Oats, Perdue Farms, Keebler, Tootsie Roll, Haagen Dazs, Bennigan’s, Popeye’s and El Pollo Loco Restaurants, among others

Seth Makowsky

CEO, MRG Makowsky Restaurant Group

Seth Makowsky, C.E.O. and Founder of MRG Makowsky Restaurant Group, specializes in restructuring, advancing, and streamlining restaurant companies. As CEO, Seth has worked with both regionally and internationally acclaimed Food and Beverage brands in the hospitality, airport, gaming, and restaurant industry.

Tracy Avolio

VP, Catering Institute

As VP, at The Catering Institute, Tracy’s role is to help multi-unit restaurant concepts develop, implement and grow their catering program, focusing on strategic program planning and educational training.

Betsy Craig thumbBetsy Craig thumb
Erle Dardick thumbErle Dardick thumb
Fred LeFranc thumbFred LeFranc thumb
Greg Seei thumbGreg Seei thumb
Jody Birnbaum thumbJody Birnbaum thumb
Larry J. Reinstein thumbLarry J. Reinstein thumb
Leslie Allison-Seei thumbLeslie Allison-Seei thumb
Seth Makowsky thumbSeth Makowsky thumb
Tracy Avolio thumbTracy Avolio thumb

Book a free introductory session with one of our faculty members

Our History

The Catering Institute is a leading educator in takeout, delivery and catering, providing training, certification and consulting to restaurant operators and their teams.

The Catering Institute is a private, independent academic institution. Led by founder and CEO Erle Dardick, the faculty at the Catering Institute is passionate about helping brands excel at feeding their customers where they Live, Work & Play™

1997
1997 - Erle Aquires Tony's Deli
1997- 2002 Erle is chipping away at Tony's Deli and builds a restaurant catering powerhouse. Cover_MenuDevelopment
1997
1997 - Erle Aquires Tony's Deli
1997- 2002 Erle is chipping away at Tony's Deli and builds a restaurant catering powerhouse. Cover_MenuDevelopment
2002
2002 - Erle Shares the Business Strategy of Tony's Deli
Erle shares the successful business strategy of Tony's Deli with the Spectra Great Group of Restaurants. Catering_Strategy
2002
2002 - Erle Shares the Business Strategy of Tony's Deli
Erle shares the successful business strategy of Tony's Deli with the Spectra Great Group of Restaurants. Catering_Strategy
2010
2002- 2011 - The 5 Pillar Framework Develops
As sister company MonkeyMedia software continues to grow, Erle shares the business strategy with restaurant operators. He continues to develop the framework of the 5 Pillars of Successful Restaurant Catering. 5 pillars  
2010
2002- 2011 - The 5 Pillar Framework Develops
As sister company MonkeyMedia software continues to grow, Erle shares the business strategy with restaurant operators. He continues to develop the framework of the 5 Pillars of Successful Restaurant Catering. 5 pillars  
2011
2011 - Erle Publishes Get Catering and Grow Sales
As Erle continues to share the 5 Pillar Framework in the marketplace, Get Catering and Grow Sales! is published. The book outlines how to successfully implement a restaurant catering strategy. Get Catering and Grow Sales Book
2011
2011 - Erle Publishes Get Catering and Grow Sales
As Erle continues to share the 5 Pillar Framework in the marketplace, Get Catering and Grow Sales! is published. The book outlines how to successfully implement a restaurant catering strategy. Get Catering and Grow Sales Book
2012
2012 - Curriculum creation begins
Erle creates his curriculum base, by publishing essays, articles, videos, webinars, and more. curriculum
2012
2012 - Curriculum creation begins
Erle creates his curriculum base, by publishing essays, articles, videos, webinars, and more. curriculum
2013
2013 - The Catering Institute is born
With a full curriculum now in place, The Catering Institute is born, setting the framework and standards for the restaurant catering industry. Catering Institute icon
2013
2013 - The Catering Institute is born
With a full curriculum now in place, The Catering Institute is born, setting the framework and standards for the restaurant catering industry. Catering Institute icon
2014
PepsiCo FoodService becomes a Partner in Education
PepsiCo FoodService becomes a Partner in Education for the Catering Institute. The PepsiCo Advantage program is created for their customers. Pepsico partnership
2014
PepsiCo FoodService becomes a Partner in Education
PepsiCo FoodService becomes a Partner in Education for the Catering Institute. The PepsiCo Advantage program is created for their customers. Pepsico partnership

Our Future

We dedicate our work to all the shareholders, executives, managers and front line employees – people who spend their energy making our restaurant community thrive. We will continue to focus on helping restaurants grow sales and increase profits through takeout, delivery and catering.