Hillary's Hints To Making January A Successful Catering Month

The holidays are over and all the activity has seemingly slowed. Don’t fret, January is typically a very slow month for catering sales. With the rush and excitement of the holidays behind us, stomachs are full and wallets are empty. Meetings become few and far between as people return from vacations and play catch up from the madness that was the end of the 2012.  But… just because 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 2012 and what… not so much?  What are your sales goals for 2013? I always set my monthly targets for “new clients” in January as it gives me motivation to meet or beat my goals each and every month.  I also keep notes in my catering journal (where I set my goals) so I can review each and every month to better myself the next.

Have you completed your 2013 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. Need a few ideas for your Marketing Calendar or ways to reach your goals, ask a Monkey! We love to chat catering and off-premise sales!

Spring Marketing – yes it’s cold and yes Spring seems like an eternity away, but your 2013 Marketing Calendar tells you that January is a perfect time to put together your marketing projects for Easter and Passover, Tax Season, Administrative Professional Day and Hospital Week! Work with your Marketing Coordinator to get your collateral pieces designed, printed, and scheduled to hit your restaurants and clients. Don’t forget the Monkey motto “Feed Your Customer’s Where They LIVE, WORK and PLAY!™

January is also 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 are also 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!

[Side note: US News and World Reports says that approximately 53 percent of Americans go on a diet in January so make sure you bring your lighter, healthier, menu options to tastings in January.]

Lastly, let’s not forget training. Your catering staff had a great 2012 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. January is the month to make sure your restaurants are compliant and all your catering staff is MonkeyMedia Catering Certified.  The best way to prevent issues in 2013 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 2013!

Have a question or an idea on how to be productive in the doldrums of January? I would love to hear from you.

Reach out to me at any time: hillary@monkeymediasoftware.com

~Hillary

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