For price quotes on Restaurant Catering Director Mentorship please enquire with Tracy Avolio

The Catering Institute™ developed the Catering Director Mentorship program to help train, develop and certify program leaders and position them for success in their role of leading, managing, directing and expanding the off-premise sales and catering channel.  The end in mind – a company off-premise leader who is the resident expert in profitably feeding your customers where they live, work and play. The primary responsibilities of a Catering Program Leader are to:

  • Set the company vision for the off-premise revenue channel
  • Maintain strategic alignment among executives and cross-functional departments
  • Set and monitor catering business plans, roadmap and budget
  • Set Sales Direction, Facilitate Asset Allocation, and Assure Execution
  • Exploit and maximize efficiency, productivity, and sales within the developed structure of the off-premise and catering program

The Mentorship program equips program leaders with the insight, knowledge and experience of our own industry catering leaders and affiliates.  Our Mentors have hands-on experience growing and managing successful catering business units in a multi-restaurant franchised and company owned environment.

The program is especially significant and important when searching for an individual within the organization who has proven drive and ambition and additionally is:

  • Aligned culturally with the concept and organization
  • Has a demonstrated record of accomplishment
  • In franchise environments, familiar with and preferably experienced with franchise operations and management
  • Financially sound or sponsored/connected with finance department support

The Mentorship Program consist of a one (1) day initial onsite meeting and eight (8), one hour mentor phone sessions designed around the Catering Director’s specific needs.

The initial mentorship Session curriculum will cover the following topics:

  • Where is your catering program today?
  • Five Pillars of Successful Restaurant Catering Overview
  • Interpret OSA into Catering Program Roadmap  – 90 days, 6 months, 1 year – Identify timeline and action steps- Identify budget requisites
  • Organizational Reporting & Communication – Defining responsibilities across the organization – Promoting visibility
  • Sales Planning and Sales Direction at the Director Level – Franchise sales support model – Sales Team accountability – Compensation and incentives
  • Leveraging full use of MonkeyMedia Software to drive sales while bringing visibility to both sales and operational accountabilities.
  • Key Sphere of Influence – Discussion on leveraging, aligning and protecting Catering from competing priorities – Active utilization of the roadmap to galvanize alignment / enlist departmental support
  • Catering Consumer Behaviors and Insights – Key factors influencing order placement – Key ways to influence order frequency – Hot Target List review
  • The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance – Assessing sales talent – Developing sales skills
  • Summary – Applying existing resources to the most obvious opportunities – Attacking low hanging fruit
  • Homework, Commitments, Schedule Follow-Up Sessions – Calls with subject matter pre-preparation by student

Subsequent mentor session topics build off of the initial Session and are typically determined by the Catering Director Personal Development needs and the Organization’s most immediate specific needs as determined in the initial Session.  The Sessions are comprised around, but not limited to the following menu of topics and include student review of essays and materials prior to the one-hour session and discussion.

  • P&L – Discuss explicit costs of the catering program and labor allocation, theoretical food costs, catering sales manager wages, administration (G&A), driver wages, delivery charges, call center costs, travel costs, etc.
  • Centralization of Services  – Value vs. Investment and Internal vs. External, Key metrics, continuous improvement
  • Leveraging Existing Assets – The economics of catering
  • Hot Target List – Where is the Business and How do you Get It?
  • Leading and Promoting Sales Activity Visibility Within the Organization
  • Executive Alignment  – Leading the Organization with Clear Road Maps and Three Year Strategy Plan Development
  • Franchisee Buy-in to Centralized Catering Support – Steps towards successfully enrolling the Franchisee Community and Options for Program Cost Distribution
  • Sales Force Organization and Compensation – Discussion of Different Models and Structures Designed to Incent New Customer Acquisitions and Relationship Building
  • Customer Relations Management System – Requisites for Efficient and Productive Sales Management
  • Catering Marketing 101: A primer on leveraging and aligning Marketing leadership – Bringing the Brand to Catering and Bringing Catering to the Brand while expanding relationships and driving frequency in the digital marketing arena
  • Building the Business Case: Gathering the Internal and External Facts
  • Further Defining the Service Script – leveraging all guest touch points
  • Catering Menu Optimization – Improving Sales and Profitability through development and presentation of the menu
  • Critical Accelerated Growth Key Enablers – Sales Teams and Flawless Execution

The goal of the Catering Director Mentorship Program is for The Catering Institute™ to support and develop Catering Directors by offering one-on-one development time with mentors that have hands-on experience within the Catering Director role and can share leadership best practices that contributed to their program’s success.  The experiences shared by the mentor will help shape and implement the strategy needed in order to become experts within the off-premise channel.  The end result will be that our partners will have the knowledge, plan, roadmap, expertise and confidence to be a stellar off-Premise and Catering Sales and Process Program Leader.  It is our mission that our customers increase their profits by becoming experts at feeding their customers where they live, work and play and this program develops the leadership required to enable and continue accelerated sales growth.


  • One (1) day initial onsite meeting
  • Eight (8) one hour mentor phone sessions or onsite sessions as required



I found the mentoring sessions to be very helpful.  It was a great sounding boarding to process information and develop a business plan.  That will lead our organization to improved results in a much shorter time frame. Erle and Tracy challenged me in very positive way, to look at information from a different view point.”   Tim Kimmel, Fazolis System Management Director of Off-Premise Business Development