Did I keep you coming back .. ? We all want more and I am no exception. We sometimes get in a rut and it is hard to keep motivated. Keeping the creativity and excitement alive in this business is sometimes not that easy, although some of you make it look real easy.
Taking the plunge and building a huge kitchen on our land was kind of scary. Everyone has a dollar amount they need to turn, just putting the key in the door, ours just got a whole lot more expensive.
With all the overhead came all the worries and more bills. Getting and keeping corporate clients became even more important than ever. We pooled our notes from previous conferences and one of the speakers or maybe it was even Mike Roman himself.. stressed how important it is to keep your present clients happy and coming back for more.
Repeat clients are our bread and butter and should be treated with loving care. We decided that each and every event we catered from there on in.. we would add a little something extra.. if it was a big line item we would list it .. then put NO Charge. We hired a DJ for a breakfast event to add a little ambience at a mine site. It went over really well and next time they wanted him again and they paid for it.
We add a décor item or a maybe an extra salad , sometimes a dessert bar.. we even took pictures or made a video.. this has paid off for us BIG TIME! We list it on the invoice and we make them aware what it is we are doing for them. Our big corporate clients kept coming back for more!
The very best one I learned was from Meryl Snow .. taking pictures and video of a clients event from start to finish! We presented it to them a couple weeks later and they were so impressed they showed it over their monitors at work all the following week.
I’m sure that was over ten years ago and we still not only have that client but they have recommended others to us. This past year we published all the pictures into their very own coffee table book and sent them several copies for xmas.
We received permission to use that video on our website and it is still on there, the original one from way back when (probably time to change it but it serves the purpose). Take a group shot if you can get everyone together and have it blown up and framed with the company name and logo.
We DO NOT charge for the pictures or cd or similar offerings.. these events are usually 25,000.00 and up and warrant something special.
Another big client wanted a last minute (next day) coffee and donuts (something we usually would not do) for two coffee breaks. This was cut and dried for a minimal price. They had 900 employees. We decided to give them flavoured creamers .. no charge. We also set up a cambro with iced water.
They were so impressed with this that we got all of their coffee business (taken from another coffee business caterer). We eventually expanded the donut fare and added iced tea and the bill was double what we originally contracted for.. plus they look forward to any suggestions we may have.
It is sometimes just the small things that make a difference. Giving them real cutlery at a picnic instead of plastic, linens or even just real plant centerpieces (which can be used for other picnics) to add ambiance to the event.
The point is that when corporate books us they know we are going to go the extra mile. When the phone rings and they want another event, we all get our thinking caps on and try to think of something unique or out of the box or failing all that.. then a menu item we can ‘give’ them.
thank you once again , Catersource .. Mike Roman .. and Meryl Snow, we are still making money today from what you taught us!
ps I am going to put the video link here but I warn you that song will not leave your head for the rest of the day. (keep in mind it is also over ten years ago and should get an update.)
Here is the direct link